Let's Look at Water & the Scientific Method

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This activity has learners observe water and compare it to other liquids. They stir and scoop the liquids, drip them onto various materials, drop various objects into the liquids, and record what they see using the provided worksheets. While the materials list is quite long, many of the items can either be omitted or substituted with other things, since the investigations themselves are fairly open-ended. There is also a "Science @ Home!" activity on page 7 of the Student Journal for students to investigate their home water usage.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Ten 9 oz clear plastic tumblers
  • 200 ml measuring cup or beaker
  • Masking tape
  • Pen
  • 1/2 liter bottle with tap water
  • Paper towels
  • Sponges for cleanup
  • 1/2 liter white vinegar
  • 1/2 liter baby oil
  • 1/2 liter seltzer
  • 1/2 liter salt water (3/4 cup of salt mixed with 1/2 liter of water)
  • 1/2 liter soapy water (1/2 liter of water mixed with liquid soap)
  • Karo syrup
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Plastic spoons
  • Straws or eyedroppers
  • Waxed paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Brown coffee filters
  • Dry sponges (no scrubber side)
  • Toothpicks
  • Rulers
  • Raisins
  • Biodegradable starch packing peanuts
  • Styrofoam packing peanuts
  • Beads
  • Corks
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking soda


  • Physical Sciences
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All rights reserved, State of New Jersey, 2006

Funding Source:

  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001