Activity Introduction

snappy-science-heroQuick summary: In this activity students investigate the effects of ocean pollution by submerging sea shells into water and vinegar.

mod logoThese Snappy Science resources have been created to boost science education in primary schools across Australia. Each lesson is designed to support teachers with the scientific knowledge, ideas and resources to stimulate a sense of wonder and curiosity in their students. Many of the big issues that Australian society will face in the future are around technology, energy, resources and climate change. All of these require students to engage with science – but most of all to enjoy science!

Science at Home: These Snappy Science resources can also be used to engage families in fun science and learning for life. You can download a student friendly version of this activity here and you can also check out the Snappy Science Digital Library.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Australian Curriculum content description: This activity is relevant to Science Inquiry Skills across all primary year levels of the Australian Curriculum.

Year 1 Science

  • Living things have a variety of external features (ACSSU017)

Year 4 Science

  • Natural and processed materials have a range of physical properties; These properties can influence their use (ACSSU074)

Year 6 Science

  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
  • Changes to materials can be reversible, such as melting, freezing, evaporating; or irreversible, such as burning and rusting (ACSSU095)

Syllabus OutcomesST1-10LW, ST2-13MW, ST3-11LW, ST3-12MW.

Time required: 15 minutes to set up experiment, 15 minutes observation time, several minutes for observation time over the next three days.

Resources required: 6 plastic cups, 2 clean mussel shells (or other sea shells), 2 clean oyster shells (or other sea shells), 2 clean scallop shells (or other sea shells), enough water to fill 3 of the cups, enough vinegar to fill 3 of the cups, pen, camera (optional).

Safety advice: None.

Keywords: Shells, pollution, acid, calcium carbonate, pollution.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

snappy-science-heroBrief summary:

In this activity students investigate the effects of ocean pollution by submerging sea shells into water and vinegar.

Students can use the Predict, Observe, Explain table on the Student Worksheet to describe and reflect upon this experiment.

You will need:

  • Pen
  • 6 plastic cups
  • 2 clean mussel shells (or other sea shells)
  • 2 clean oyster shells (or other sea shells)
  • 2 clean scallop shells (or other sea shells)
  • Enough water to fill 3 of the cups
  • Enough vinegar to fill 3 of the cups
  • Camera (optional)

What to do:

Step 1. Using the pen, label the cups as follows: “mussel + water”, “oyster + water”, “scallop + water”, “mussel + vinegar”, “oyster + vinegar” and “scallop + vinegar”.

Step 2. Look closely at each shell and record how each shell feels, in particular the shiny surface inside the shell. You can take photos if you like.

Step 3. Place the shells into the cups and add water to the water cups and vinegar to the vinegar cups, making sure that the shells are

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Student Worksheet

In this experiment you will cover sea shells with water and vinegar to see how pollution affects some marine life.

Predict

Explain what you think will happen:

Observe

Explain what happened:

Explain

Explain why you think this happened:

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