STEM Challenge # 2

With pollution there were many ideas of how to teach the importance of not polluting and cleaning up the pollution we could. One activity I found to do this was a STEM challenge from PBS Zoom Kids. This activity I used to show an oil spill. It is called Water Filter. I gave each group a 2 liter cut in half to use as a funnel and water which was contaminated with oil, food coloring, and dirt. I told the class I wanted to have clear drinking water by the end of class and that they needed to see me for supplies to help them clean up. Some of the supplies I offered to them were:

  • paper towels
  • napkins
  • newspaper
  • coffee filters (limit 3)

I also told them if they thought of something else that might help them to ask me and if I had it I would supply it to them.

I watched the kids plan their filters and talk about what might work. They knew with the limited supplies they would have to use their resources wisely (talked about conservation this week too!). Then the kids set to work and tried their ideas. They would stop and rethink how to make it better as things were not working to their liking.

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In the end, some groups have very little water left (no ocean=no fish 😦 ). Other teams had lots of water left but also had oil and food coloring. Most of the groups got close to all of the dirt out of the water (although no one thought to ask for a spoon to help with this- most used their hands). All of the groups had a different favorite item which helped them. It was great to watch their minds problem solve and the leaders step up and help their groups!

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