Test and assess the quality of drinking water as we learn about the water cycle and microplastics.

Two young students wearing lab goggles and gloves examine a vial of cloudy water.

About the lab

Students dive into the science of drinking water to better understand water quality through the water cycle and humans’ impact on this natural resource. Students will also be introduced to a new metric for assessing water quality: microplastics.

  • Grades: 3–6
  • Capacity: 30 students
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Cost: $170
  • Offered Tuesdays through Fridays at 10:15 and 11:45 a.m.

Register online

Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering Practices:

  • Asking questions and defining problems
  • Developing and using models
  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information

Crosscutting Concepts:

  • Systems & models (the water cycle)
  • Energy and matter: flows, cycles and conservation
  • Stability and change
  • Cause and effect

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

LS4.D: Information Processing
ESS2.A: Earth Materials & Systems
ESS2.C: The Role of Water in Earth's Surface Processes
ESS2.D: Weather & Climate
ESS3.A: Natural Resources
ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems

Lab goals

Students will:

  • Increase their understanding of humanity’s place and impact on the water cycle.
  • Understand the connection between water quality and health.
  • Increase their understanding of the importance of water quality in our drinking water.
  • Increase their understanding of the components of water quality.
  • Get an introduction to the science of water quality and how to test for it.
  • Recognize microplastics as an aspect of water quality and a current problem facing the world.