Science fair projects are such a great way to spark curiosity in anyone. My daughter is gearing up for the science fair this year and we've been searching for the right project to tackle this year. She loves plants and water, so we thought it would be fun to find something that incorporates her two loves. What better than a project including a water testing kit?
Getting Our Feet Wet
As we headed out on our summer road trip, I grabbed the water testing kit I had just received in the mail to take with us. I thought we might encounter some interesting water sources that we might like to test. Although it wasn't a very scientific approach to utilizing the kit, it was a great way to start becoming familiar with what you can discover about the water around you.
We stopped by one of mine and my husband's favorite playa lakes in Lubbock, TX. Lubbock has a fascinating drainage system that funnels all of the rain water in the city into playa lakes scattered around the city. While it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, I definitely didn't want to be drinking that water.
Then we headed to California. I thought we might find some interesting fresh water along the way...I'm not sure what I was thinking! Possibly, I assumed we'd hike down the Grand Canyon to grab a sample from the Colorado River, but reality was that we didn't encounter any fresh water sources on our drive.
As I sat at my cousin's home, I saw a beautiful fountain in her yard that the kids and I thought would be fun to test. We found that we probably shouldn't be drinking the water there either; it was chlorinated!
Although our approach was lacking in scientific accuracy, it did spark an interest in finding a way to use this kit in a more formal way. Therefore we researched options for utilizing a water testing kit for her science fair project.
10 Ways to Utilize a Water Testing Kit
Here are some of our favorite options we found:
- How good is the water quality in your home? - test to see if the drinking water in your home is safe for drinking.
- Is tap water really worse than bottled water? - test the differences between impurities in water from your faucet and bottled water.
- How does fertilizer impact the life of a fish? - test the effects of liquid fertilizer on aquatic environments.
Which bottled water brand offers the purest water? - Compare the quality of different brands of bottled water.
Does Boiling Water Make it Better to Drink? - Test the quality of water before and after boiling water for various lengths of time.
- How Well Does Your Water Filter Work? - Test water before and after using a home water filtration system.
- How Effective is a Homemade Water Filter? - Construct a homemade water filter and test the water before and after to test the effectiveness of the filter.
- Which plant is the best natural water filter? - Try a couple of these natural plants to filter out which one is most effective. Test the water before and after each trial.
- Is rain water safe to drink? - Collect rain water and test to see if you should catch rain drops on your tongue or not!
- Does movement in water effect it's purity? - Collect water samples from different water sources that have various levels of motion.
With so many great options, I'm sure we'll find a great way to put a water testing kit to use! My daughter's favorite idea is #8...plants and water!
Finding the Right Water Testing Kit
The water testing kit that we received included 4 kits that tested for: Chlorine (Cl), Copper (Cu), Nitrates, Nitrites, Alkalinity, pH, Hardness, Iron (Fe).
There's also a more thorough home water testing kit that includes 10 tests and includes: Lead Test, Bacteria Test, Pesticide Test, Iron, Copper, Nitrates & Nitrites, Chlorine Level, pH Levels Check, Alkalinity, and Hardness.
With all of the trouble in Flint, MI with lead in the water, you might just be interested in checking out the lead levels in your own home with this kit.
As a city girl, I don't have this problem, but if your home uses well water, it's recommended that you test your water once a year for contamination. This well water test kit is a great solution.
Use the code BACKTOSCHOOL17 to get 10% off anything on the website (expires 10/1/17).
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.