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Environmental Chemistry

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    Mount Holyoke College

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Environmental Chemistry

In this activity with several mini experiments, learners explore the chemistry that helps scientists learn about the environment and how they can help save it. Learners will determine if pollutants that have entered the ground water can also enter plants. Then, learners examine fossils to see if any changes have occurred over time in a particular species of sea mollusks. Finally, learners act as chemists to recycle paper by making paper from toilet paper.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
4 to 24 hours

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

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 btl. food coloring
  • 1 plastic fork
  • 1 beaker
  • 1 mesh screen
  • 1 rolling pin
  • 1 tub play dough
  • 3 shells: A, B, C
  • 1 stencil: flower
  • 2 safety goggles
  • water
  • notebook
  • scissors
  • paper
  • towels
  • toilet paper


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth's History
      • Fossils
      • Ecology
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Human Impact
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemistry of Life
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and the Environment

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Shaw, Maisie; Gomez, Maria


  • All Rights Reserved, Passport to Chemistry Adventure Program, Mount Holyoke College, ©2010

Funding Source:

  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.


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