Water World


Ours is a water world. And thank heavens it is because if it were not a water world, we would not be able to survive here. The hydrosphere interacts with and influences all the other spheres in many, many ways

You have just completed demonstrations that explored many of the unique characteristics of water. Now your task is to design and conduct an experiment
that investigates the interaction between water and an aspect of any other sphere. WOW! How exciting is that! You get to choose. And the world is your laboratory.

The options are limitless. All you have to do is choose something from another sphere (biosphere, atmosphere, or geosphere) and design an experiment that explores how water interacts with something from that sphere.

I will give you an example of an experiment that explores the relationship between water and plants (a part of the biosphere). THIS IS ONLY AN EXAMPLE. You may NOT use this experiment for this assignment. [Most of you did this experiment in elementary school!]

The question might be “What is the effect of water on bean plants?”

The hypothesis might be “If I do not water bean plants then they will die.”

The experimental plan could be:

1. Get six bean plants that are the same species and as close to the same size as possible.

2. Put all the bean plants on the windowsill in the sunlight.

3. Give three bean plants a cup of water every other day. Do give any water to the other three bean plants.

4. Visually inspect the plants once a day for 14 days.

5. Record observations on a data sheet.

See how easy it is! Remember, you cannotdo an experiment with water and plants for two reasons. One, you already know what the result will be. You probably did this already in second grade! Two, I have already outlined the experiment. Part of what you need to learn in this class is how to design your own experiment. You cannot learn that by doing an experiment that I have already designed! So, off you go. Be creative. Design your own experiment. But wait! Be sure to read the directions below before you do anything!!!!!


· Whatever you decide


1. Determine what you want to find out when you do your experiment. Write down the QUESTION that you are trying to answer.

If you are having trouble coming up with a question, think of the various characteristics of water that you read about it Assignment 2.3 or explored in Assignment 2.4.

· Surface tension

· Solubility

· Density

· Capillary attraction

· Evaporation/transpiration

· Condensation

· Melting point

· Boiling point

Once you have decided on which characteristic of water that you would like to investigate, then start brainstorming about things that would influence that characteristic. For example, you could explore how the adding various substances (from other spheres) to water affects solubility, evaporation rates, or boiling point. Or ask if air temperatures affect transpiration rates, which types of soils hold the most water, or which types of fabric experience the greatest capillary attraction. Try to think of your own question. The possibilities are limitless.

2. Predict what you think the outcome of your experiment will be. (Hypothesis)

3. Design an experiment to test your prediction. Remember to include a control. Be very specific. Tell me exactly what you plan to do. Tell me how much of everything you plan on using. Tell me how long you plan on running the experiment and how often you will check it. Tell me how you will record your data. I want details!!!


Submit your experimental design to me via email before going any further. I promise to give you feedback on your design within three days. If the design is scientifically sound, you may go ahead and conduct your experiment. If it has flaws, we will work together until you have designed a valid, reliable experiment---then you may go ahead and conduct your experiment.

5. AFTER you have received my go-ahead, conduct your experiment. Be sure to keep detailed lab notes. Your lab notes should contain a record of everything you did as well as all the data you collected. Each entry should have a date on it (month/day/year).

6. Follow the directions below to submit your assignment.


A. Re-send me your original question, your hypothesis, and your experimental plan.

B. Send me your lab notes. I want to the observations that you recorded. Do not simply send me a summary of your results. I want to see a record of your observations.

C. Based on your observations, write a conclusion. What does your data tell you? What did you learn from your experimental results?

D. What kind of relationships did you find between water and the aspect of the sphere you studied?

E. Do your findings support your hypothesis? Why or why not?

F. If you were to do this again, what would you change? Why?

G. What additional experiments could be performed?

Please, send me the information requested in analysis questions A-G.


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