Sunday, June 4, 2017

Science Fair Kit Giveaway!

It's no students LOVE Science experiments! So when "Test Assured" wrote me and asked me to do a review on their Science Fair Water Testing Kits, of course I said, "Yes!" 

We're always looking for new Science experiments, so how can you go wrong! Well let me start by saying, we really enjoyed the water testing kits! They were simple enough for my students to use and we all learned a lot about the many things found in our water.   

This is the water testing kit I received from them in the mail. 

The kit included 4 individual test kits. I have 11 students, so I divided my students into 3 groups of 3 and one group of 2 to perform our water testing. 

 Each student kit includes the contents above. I gave each group a different water source to test.
Group 1 - School tap water
Group 2 - Spring Water
Group 3 - Bottled Water
Group 4 - Mrs. Bender's tap water from home 

Students got to test for Chlorine, Copper, Nitrite Nitrogen, Nitrate Nitrogen, Hardness, Alkalinity, PH, and Iron. Prior to testing our water, we discussed all of the above and why we did or didn't need these substances in our water, PLUS this handy little notebook included also explains each substance and has space for each group to record their findings. 

 My students had a lot of fun testing their water and matching their test strips up to the colors on the guide.

 The water testing kits were so easy to use, even for my special needs learners! Students just dipped the testing strip into their water vial.

Then they compare it to colors on the easy to use guide to find the levels of what they're testing.

Afterwards, we tested the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in our water sources using the TDS meter included, which was a bit shocking for all of us, and extended our experiment even further.
The water testing kit did not include detailed information on TDS levels other than they should be less than 500 according to the EPA recommended levels, so I printed this one out from the Internet. You can print it here. This would be a nice addition to the kit.

This is our findings:
School tap water - 546
Spring Water - 80
Bottled Water (Great Value Brand) - 70
Mrs. Bender's tap water - 533

When you compare this to the chart above, the tap water in our desert is near contamination level. Which confirms why most people in the desert DO NOT or at least SHOULD NOT drink water from the tap. 

Our results were so interesting and peaked such interest, that my aides and students wanted to test the water from their homes. I purchase my bottled water from a reverse osmosis machine, so I was interested in checking that too. So the next day the ones that remembered brought water from home and these were the results. 

Aide #1 tap water - 613
Aide #2 tap water - 535
Student #1 tap water - 546
Student #2 tap water - 518
My reverse osmosis & purchased water (from a dispenser) - 50
My filtered water from a Britta microfiltration filter on my faucet - 525

We learned from these results that not only is it not healthy to drink our tap water here in the desert, but that an expensive Britta brand water filter system is not worth the money. We also learned that the water you purchase for 25 cents from the reverse osmosis machines is the purest and cleanest water you can drink, with store bought bottle water being the second. 

My students really enjoyed these water testing kits and it was a great lesson on the harmful substances different water sources can contain and why people always say not to drink the tap water here in our desert. 

These kits also serve as a wonderful activity for learning to follow step-by-step directions, comparing colors, recording data, and working together in a group.

I know some of you have students that would have fun with these kits too, so "Test Assured" has agreed to let me give 2 water testing kits away! Each test kit is valued at $30 and would be perfect for a fun summer school project, summer camp, or for next year's Science Fair! To enter, just complete two simple tasks below. 

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