What’s in that H20? (Quality)

Test Tubes

The What’s in that H2O? (Quality) station addresses water quality and its importance for a healthy watershed. Students predict the outcome and then test the creek’s chemical properties to verify their conjectures.

NGSS: HS-LS2-6, HS-LS2-7, HS-LS4-6, HS-LS4-5, HS-ESS2-5, HS-ESS3-1

WA SCIENCE Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs): 1.1, 1.2, 1.3,2.1, 2. 3.1


Measuring water quality of samples



Students will be able to:

  • Describe the hydrologic cycle
  • List the effects of turbidity, pH, temperature, stream dynamics and dissolved oxygen (DO) on the aquatic ecosystem
  • Test the health of the local stream
  • Identify human activities and natural phenomena that impact water quality


  • The connection of water chemistry to stream health
  • Human actions that influence clean water
  • Point and non-point source pollution
  • Ecology

Classroom Materials

Classroom Pre-work Activities:

  • Let That Water Breathe and Chill (PDF)– Students identify properties of dissolved oxygen (DO) and temperature, understand the factors that can change a waterway’s DO and temperature, and apply their knowledge by testing the DO and temperature of a local stream to determine its health.
  • The pH7 Scale: Life’s Good Note (PDF)– Students understand the pH scale by testing the pH of common products, and find connections between pH and wildlife.
  • It’s a Dirty Water Thing (PDF)– Students identify potential sources of increased turbidity and predict results of an experiment on sediment levels of a nearby creek.

Magnifying Glass

Field Day Materials


“Rivers and rocks and trees have always been talking to us, but we’ve forgotten how to listen.”- Michael Roads

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