Basic Water Chemistry

Contents List


(in the order that they appear in the folder)

My Stream’s Temperatures
– temperature is tested at a variety of places within a field site

Temperature: Air vs. Water vs. More Water
– air vs. water temperature and how the volume of water affects temperature

pH People
– activity illustrating pH concept with people as atoms

pH Test #1 – Scaling Common Liquids
– make a pH scale by testing the pH of some common substances

pH Test #2 – Manipulating the pH of a Liquid
– use household substances to create an acidic solution and then change it back to its
original pH

pH Test #3 – Rain vs. Surface Water
– measure the pH of the rain in your area to determine if it is acidic; compare the rain
pH to that of a local body of water

pH Test #4 – Acidic Snow Melt
– use ice cubes to simulate acid snow and determine what happens when it melts

pH Test #5 – pH Affects Living Things
– grow seeds and water some with acidic water to determine its effects on life

Acid Buffering Capacity 
– an experiment illustrating acid buffering

Plants, Fish and pH 
– illustrates how pH is affected by respiration and photosynthesis

Parts Per Million
– ppm (parts per million) concept illustrated
Click here for sheet of 1,000
Click here for sheet of 50,000

Nutrients: Nutrition or Nuisance
– a game of musical chairs that shows how phosphorus and nitrogen move through a system

Nitrates in Our Water
– measure nitrate levels from different places

Turbid Vision
– an activity illustrating what it is like to be in turbid surroundings
Make your very own set of glasses by printing out this file on card stock and adding yellow cellophane!

Measuring Turbidity with Filters 
– measure turbidity

Dirty Water 
– activity that covers soil erosion and how it clouds water and adds nutrients

Hardness Testing 
– test water for differences in hardness to better understand regional geology

Water Chemistry Bingo 
– review basic water chemical parameters

Module Resource Guide Information Sections:

General Sampling Information
Instructions on how to collect water samples, what equipment is needed, how to distribute jobs to various students, what tests can be done in the field, which in a laboratory, safety information, and scientific protocols.

Data Sheets
Easy to use data sheets specific for the chemical kits in the modules.

Instructions Sheets
Clear instructions are enclosed for each piece of equipment found in the watershed activity module (from the bailer to the test kits). If used, testing results have a better chance of being accurate.

Information Sheets
For each chemical parameter that can be tested using module equipment, a background information sheet can be found about it. Great to use as student preparation or for research background.

Fact Sheets
In outline form and more visual than the information sheets, these highlight key concepts for each of the chemical parameters. Great to use with the test kits – have students read them over during breaks in the test kit procedures. Great for handouts in the classroom or visual aids.

Articles of Interest
About water parameters or chemical testing of waterways in general.

Data Analysis Information
For teachers that want their students to graph, interpret, analyze data, this section is helpful. It outlines parameter relationships and the effects on water quality that can be investigated.

General Activity Information
A list of module activities and an explanation of the activity format (layout).

Specific to the water chemistry theme, these are activities that can be used in the classroom and/or field. Some address specific water parameters, some are more general.

Sources from which module information was obtained. Resources that you can find for further investigations.


Water Chemistry Websites

Creek Connections Water Chemistry Fact Sheets
City of Boulder Water Quality Monitoring
Beginner FAQ: Water Chemistry 

To Use This Equipment:

Step 1: Check Module Availability – Northwest PA

             Check Module Availability – Southwest PA

Step 2: Complete Our On-line Request Form