We had some trouble with our well awhile back, and it brought up the issue of water on my hubby’s radar. Although we got the well repaired, he thought it would be a good idea to test our well. Of course, he wanted me to ask the county Extension Agent, but I jumped on it as another opportunity for a STEM activity in our homeschool.
I’m all into the science of water. We have a swimming pool at the house, which offers interesting lessons in chemistry, and I’m responsible for maintenance…and the myriad of chemicals that that thing consumes! (Really, you just wouldn’t believe it!)
But I digress…
So while I was doing a bit of online searching a fellow homeschool blogger told me about TestAssured, a manufacturer of water testing kits and supplies who also make student kits. The company recommends them for science fair projects, and since my youngest will be doing an “official” one this year, how could I pass it up?
I ordered it online and the kit came in quickly. We were both excited when it arrived! I opened it up to find the four kits each sealed in their own bags with a small instruction booklet. We took some time to look through it to understand the process and what things we would be testing for.
Nice and simple, the booklet also serves as a record of your findings, with each page keeping track of each mineral/chemical/aspect, and would make a nice addition as part of a Science fair presentation.
After a little discussion together, my daughter decided to use this as a basis for her science project this year, so we’d test out own well water as a “control”. We have access to some other nearby water sources that she’ll use for the other three tests.
She filled the enclosed plastic vial with water from the sink…
…and got started with the tests one by one. The enclosed test strips (for 8 different aspects) each had their own directions; we went through and tested for alkalinity, hardness, pH, iron, total chlorine, nitrates, nitrites and copper. For each test, there was a short description of that aspect, why it was important to test, or what effect it has on our water.
The booklet has space for four different samples, and the set contains four individual bags. That makes it easy to grab one and go out and about, collecting samples from different locations without mixing things up. You can pull your sample and do the test right there!
This was a fun, easy project to ease into back-to-school, with potential for deeper learning in the future. And I found the cost reasonable, too, makin’ me one happy camper…
Find some neat kits for your own family or homeschool group on the WaterTestingKits website, and follow them on Facebook, too!
Looking for more from our series on STEM Activities for middle schoolers?
Here’s the whole kit-n’-kaboodle:
Day 1 – Solar Cars
Day 2 – Crazy ’bout Crystals
Day 3 – STEM Resource round-up
Day 4 – Water-testing
You might be interested in these posts, too!
Latest posts by Pat (see all)
- Coffee and Conversation #159 – Who Turned Out the Lights? – August 16, 2017
- How to Assign High School Credit to Life Learning Opportunities – August 14, 2017
- Homeschool Freedom Friday – Science Fair Help! – August 11, 2017