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How Did That Get There?: Water Pollution

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How Did That Get There?: Water Pollution

As a group, learners consider sources of water pollution to understand where pollution starts and where it ends up. Also explored are the natural and human-made options for cleaning up our water supply. This activity encourages learners to use their powers of observation, imagination, and public speaking skills as they describe possible pollution stories and scenarios, and brainstorm pollution prevention efforts.

Quick Guide

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Large basket or bag to hold materials
  • Fast food container
  • Motor oil (empty container)
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Battery
  • Fertilizer (empty container)
  • Pesticide (empty container)
  • Car washing fluids
  • Household cleaning products (empty containers)
  • Crumpled piece of paper
  • Examples of other common pollutants


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Human Impact
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
      • Technology and the Environment
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Office for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (MSTE), University of Illinois


  • All Rights Reserved, National 4-H Council, ©2009

Funding Source:



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