Wrapper Worm – Sick Science! #175

You can have a ton of science fun with a straw. You can make it into a blow gun, using the properties of air, or it can double as a pipette when your lab has run out. But did you know you can perform some awesome hands-on science with the straw’s wrapper, too? It’s true. With the Wrapper Worm, we’ll reveal how to turn an ordinary straw wrapper into a growing worm!

SICK SCIENCE APPAREL NOW AVAILABLE! Click here: http://spanglersci.com/SickScienceApp…

Find out why this works here: http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/l…

Want more experiments like this? Check out http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/p…

The Toilet-Education Connection: What’s a toilet worth in Kenya?

Sanitation is a critical, yet often overlooked fundamental human right. This documentary, first in a series, broadly describes the worth of the sanitation-education connection in one area of Kenya, by defining its challenges and presenting solutions. Continue reading

Teacher Demo/Student Activity: Bending Water

bending waterIn this demo, a polyethylene rod is charged by rubbing with wool. The charged rod is then used to bend a stream of water flowing from a tap.

Different substances have different attractions for electrons. When two materials are rubbed together, electrons will leave the substance with the lower attractive force and enter the substance with the higher attractive force. This will result in each substance having a slight positive or negative charge. Water is made up of polar molecules, each containing a negatively charged oxygen end and a positively charged hydrogen end. When a charged rod of material is brought near a thin stream of water, the water will be attracted to the charged rod and the stream of water will bend towards the rod.

Click here to download the complete demo…

The Truth About Toilet Swirl – Southern Hemisphere

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Some notes:
We each repeated the experiment 3 times, and got the same results every time. For those of you who might be skeptical, great! A right circular prismatic kiddie pool is only $10 and you can do the experiment for yourself at your latitude. There’s really no reason you shouldn’t do it for yourself.

Watershed Workout

By Megan Joyner

Grade 8: Understanding Earth and Space Systems Water Systems (watersheds)

Lesson Focus (Overall Expectations)

Big Idea: Water is crucial to life on earth and water systems influence climate and weather patterns. More specifically, after being introduced to the idea that water is a finite resource, the big idea of the day is, if the earth is known as the water planet, where does our water come from? Continue reading

The Urban Water System

water challenge


Turn on the tap and out comes water. Unused water goes down the drain. In this activity, students gain an understanding of where the water comes from, how it gets into the tap, and where it goes when it flows down the drain.

Students will need to be able to access dictionaries or books that explain the New Words in order to gain a more complete understanding of a typical urban water system, or cycle, as we call it here.

Three steps occur in the drinking water treatment plant. These include chlorination, flocculation, and sedimentation/filtration. The chlorination step is necessary to kill any bacteria in the water, particularly those responsible for cholera and typhoid fever. In the next step, chemical coagulants, such as polyhydroxyaluminumchloride, are added to the water. These chemicals cause dirt particles to “stick together” as larger, heavier “floc particles” that fall to the bottom of settling tanks where they can be removed. The very fine particles that remain after this step are removed from the water by sand filtration. This step is very similar to Activity 4 Purifying Water included in the Grade 7 Unit on Pure Substances and Mixtures. The filters have light, black pebbles on top, with sand and gravel arranged in layers, with the largest particle sizes on top. As the water passes through, fine particles are removed. The filtered water is then treated with sulphur dioxide to remove all but a trace of chlorine. In some urban water systems, fluoride is added for the benefit of your teeth.

The sewage treatment plant carries out a number of processes to remove waste from the water before returning it to the environment. In this plant, raw sewage is passed through coarse screens to remove large material. Then a settling tank is used to precipitate most of the inorganic matter from the water. Any remaining organic matter is then removed through additional settling and aeration tanks. In the aeration process, micro-organisms, aided by air pumped through the water in the tanks, oxidize the organic matter. The sludge left after these processes is precipitated in a final settling tank and the water is chlorinated and returned to lakes or streams. The waste sludge from all the steps is collected in digesters where anaerobic bacteria further oxidize it. The gas given off in this process is either burned off or used to produce heat. The non-organic sludge that remains is piped away from the plant for disposal.

Continue reading