Do your STEMists realize that water isn’t just for drinking, bathing, or swimming in? Water has a multitude of uses and your STEMists can have fun learning about water with these educational experiments designed with fun in mind!
Make a Rain Gauge
Afternoon rain showers are common during the summer months in many regions. Your STEMists can have fun learning about rain accumulation by making their own rain gauge to measure how much rain has fallen during one rain shower or over a period of time.
Supplies you will need:
- 1 plastic 2 liter water bottle
- 1 pair of scissors or razor (parents or teachers should do this part)
- A few stones, pebbles or sand
- 1 Permanent Marker
- A ruler
First, uncap your water bottle then cut the top off where the wall of the bottle is straight. Place sand/stones in the bottom to cover the ‘legs’ of the bottle. Next, turn the top bottle piece upside down and place it into the bottle which will act as a funnel; it’s best to tape the funnel to the outside lip of the bottle. Then, tape a ruler on the side of the bottle for measuring – the zero measurement should meet the sand/stone level. Pour water into the bottle and fill to the zero measurement level. Your STEMists’ rain gauge is now ready to collect and measure rain water.
Ask your STEMists to provide your family a daily weather or storm report. And, for more fun, STEMists can line the funnel with a coffee filter and use a microscope to observe what the rain water leaves behind!
Give a Hoot. Don’t Pollute!
STEMists learn the challenge of cleaning polluted water in this experiment. First, pour 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a bucket of clean water. The oil acts as a toxic oil spill. Next, ask your STEMists to dump some household trash into the bucket. Used food wrappers, old chip bags, food scraps, banana peel, newspaper, old coffee grounds, etc. will provide you with a good pollution base. Leave your water stand still for at least an hour. Once you are satisfied with your polluted water, ask your STEMists to use tongs to remove the trash from the water. A strainer also is a good tool for scooping out trash. Your STEMists will learn a significant lesson when they realize that not all the pollution could be removed from the water. You can discuss how land and water animals are affected by the pollutants in lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans.
These STEMist activities are sure to keep curious young minds busy. Check out our water-themed “Keep On Turning” box for tons of groovy STEM Fun!