Activity Introduction

Topic: Water

Year levels: 7 & 8

Quick summary:

In this activity students design and conduct an experiment to compare the difference in plant growth between plants grown using tap water and grey water. Upon completion of the experiment, students are asked to record the changes to the plants with a camera and to produce data showing these changes.

Activity Type: Experiment, Communication, Group Work

Australian Curriculum:

Year 7 Science – Content description – Water is an important resource that cycles through the environment (ACSSU222)

Elaborations – exploring how human management of water impacts on the water cycle

Time needed: One lesson to prepare and one week to collect data

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – Introduce new content, assist with data collection

Resources needed: Internet, camera, electronic scale, tap water, grey water, mung beans or what seeds, rulers

There’s an app for that… 

PlantsPlants helps you organise your plants and schedule your gardening activities.

 

 

 

 

 

Extension opportunities: Complete a simular experiment that varies soil pH

Key words: Water, evaporation, tap water, grey water, water cycle, plant, growth, data, experimental design.

Australian National Curriculum: 

Year 7 Science:

  • Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigationtypes, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS125)
  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions(ACSIS130)

Year 7 Mathematics:

  • Identify and investigate issues involving numerical data collected from primary and secondary sources (ACMSP169)

Year 8 Science:

  • Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS140)
  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions(ACSIS145)

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-5WS, SC4-6WS, SC4-7WS.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Overarching learning goals:

1. Identify how plants respond to grey water compared to fresh water.
2. Investigate, interpret and analyse data to create graphs.
3. Develop scientific explanations based on scientific knowledge, logic, and analysis. 
4. Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively to research and compile information on issues (extension/homework).

Teacher content information:

Australians are getting better and better at saving water. One way that we're saving water in our houses is by using the grey water that would normally just wash away down the drain. We're told that this grey water isn't fit for human consumption, but can be used in the garden (but only on the plants we're not going to eat). This is because it might contain some contaminants that could be harmful for human health.  

So does this mean that grey water is actually not that great for plants? Does it actually make them sick or does it slow their growth rate?

In this activity,

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Student Worksheet

Thought starters: What is the difference between tap water and grey water? What factors influence plant growth? Is a plant alive and if so, how do you know?

What you need

  • Access to the internet, a camera, an electronic scale
  • Tap water, grey water
  • Mung beans, or wheat seeds, cotton balls and a cup

What to do…

Step 1 – In this activity you will design and conduct an experiment to compare how well plants grow when watered with grey water and with tap water.

Step 2 – You will have access to a range of supplies with which to conduct this experiment; you may use as many of these items as you need.

Step 3 – Before you begin the experiment, decide exactly what your experiment will involve. Write down the steps you plan to take (the procedure/method) and the materials that you plan to use. Share your procedure and materials with the teacher and get your teachers approval BEFORE you begin your experiment. You may need to modify your procedure to get your teacher’s approval.

Things t

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