International Year of Chemistry, 2011

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International Year of Chemistry 2011

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Determining the pH of water at locations in Western part of the Isle of Wight

Activity by Roger Lacey   |   added on Jul 21, 2011   |   United Kingdom Official_iyc_logo


Sampling two small watercourses which run through the West Wight. Sampling the water from the beach at Compton Bay and two small streams which run across the beach. Testing each of the samples for pH. Making a still and collecting distilled seawater and comparing the pH of the distilled water with the original seawater.

12 hardworking year 9 students were rewarded for their attitude in science when they were taken to Compton Bay to carry out analytical tests on water.  On their way they collected samples of water from the Caul Bourne and the Eastern Yar near Afton Marsh so that comparisons could be made.

The river water and seawater were sampled and compared on the basis of pH as a primary comparison. Students were also required to build a solar still to distil seawater and compare the resulting pH with the original seawater.

As a secondary activity the students built a simple filter to 'clean' the sample of river water and compare with the original. This followed the IYC guidelines in the Water activities pack.

Finally a simple hydrometer was used to compare the water from each location and used to determine the source of an unknown sample.

Topic: hands-on activities Audience: students, general public, teachers, secondary school students
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