Water in Extreme Environments: Activity – Engineering A1

Water in Extreme Environments - Engineering A1 Front

Activity Timing

Introduction: 5 min
Modeling: 20 min
Water Quality: 25 min
Reflect: 10 min

60 min. Total

Prep Corner

  • Post EDP Poster
  • Cut and distribute Water Sample Recipes to groups
  • Copy and cut Secchi disks on p. 27
  • Review how to test water quality in guide
  • Set up materials table: measuring spoons & scissors
  • Optional: copy acidity chart on p. 29

Key Terms

Grey water: Water that has been used at least once and can be used again.

Waste water: Water that is too dirty to be used again.

Water in Extreme Environments FAQ's

Water in Extreme Environments Vocab List

EDP Steps Used In This Activity



Youth test the quality of and categorize model water samples using real tools.

Quick Tips

  • Have paper towels & a sink handy for clean-up
  • Set pH strips on paper towels
  • Higher water quality scores= higher quality
  • Use the Water Categories Cheat Sheet. See additional A1 card

Videos Related to This Activity

Science Snippet: Build your content knowledge to help answer youth's questions.

Replay the Special Report video from 0:50 to 1:42 to review the problem of water scarcity in extreme environments.

Science Reflection

Today we investigated common household water contaminants and categorized model sample qualities as pure water, waste water, or grey water based on the contaminants we found.

Key Take Away

We can test water quality and categorize it as pure, grey, or waste water.

Did you know?

Rain is slightly acidic. Most rain has a pH of S.6 to S.8. This occurs because carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere dissolves into rain water. Rain is likely to get more acidic as CO2 levels rise.