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What Makes Water Special?

Author(s): Nancy P. Moreno, PhD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

Let's Get Started

Students will investigate the appearance and feel of the two mystery liquids. Do not tell the students what the liquids are until the end of the activity. 

Before beginning this activity, demonstrate the proper user of an eyedropper. This can be accomplished by using an overhead projector. Begin by placing drops of Liquid 1 on the glass surface of the overhead projector to demonstrate proper use of the eye dropper. Ask students to describe the drops. They might say that the drops are round, clear, shiny, etc. 

1. Explain to students that they will be observing several physical properties of two liquids. Physical properties include how the liquid looks, feels, smells, tastes, sounds or acts, as well as the boiling point, melting point, and more. 

2. Instruct students to prepare their working areas by removing anything that could be damaged by liquids. 

3. Have Material Managers collect supplies for each group from a central location.

4. Tell students that they are to use a clean dropper and toothpick for investigation of each liquid. 

5. Ask each student to place the graph paper beneath a piece of wax paper before they begin to make practice drops from Liquid 1 and Liquid 2. 

6. Have students explore the properties of each liquid by following the directions outlined on the student worksheet. 


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Numbers: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932

Houston Endowment Inc.

Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education