Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity, students participate in a test comparing the taste of tap water and bottled water. After students have participated in the test, they can then conduct the test with a willing volunteer at their school.

We’ve taken elements of this lesson and adapted them for remote learning. You can find this activity here.

Learning goals:

  • Students set up an experiment that collects data comparing taste preferences between tap water and bottled water.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 5 Mathematics

  • Pose questions and collect categorical or numerical data by observation or survey (ACMSP118)

Year 5 Science

  • Decide which variable should be changed and measured in fair tests and accurately observe, measure and record data, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS087)

Year 6 Mathematics

  • Solve problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions with the same or related denominators (ACMNA126)

Year 6 Science

  • Decide which variable should be changed and measured in fair tests and accurately observe, measure and record data, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS104)

Syllabus OutcomesST3-4WSMA3-18SP, MA3‑1WM, MA3‑2WM, MA3‑3WM, MA3‑7NA

Topic: Water

Year levels: 5 and 6

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Time required: 45 mins

Learning areas addressed: Science, Health and physical education, Civics and citizenship.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Lead class in experiment.

Resources required: 2 brands of bottled water, tap water, glasses or plastic cups, blindfold, a place to wash and dry glasses between students, tea towels, coloured stickers for each type of water, Student Worksheet Page 1.

Additional/optional resources: Washing up container, washing up liquid and tea towel to wash and dry cups used in taste test.

Homework and extension opportunities: This activity has opportunities for extension.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation


We’re all told that we need to drink plenty of clean, fresh water to keep us healthy. Bottled water companies tell us that the water that comes from their bottles is the healthiest and that we should be drinking their water if we want to be full of energy and look radiant. What they don’t tell us is that the water that comes out of the tap (in most parts of the country) is just as good for us and will give us the energy and radiance that bottled water can (apparently) give us.

But what about the taste? Many people claim it’s the taste of tap water that drives them to drink bottled water. But can you really taste the difference? In fact, there have been several studies where people have participated in a blind taste test of tap and bottled water and in most cases no one could tell them apart, and in some cases chose the tap water as the ‘superior’ bottled version.

In this activity your students will conduct a taste test experiment using volunteers

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Student Worksheet

Rank water according to taste (1 = favourite, 3 = least favourite)


Taster's name   Water A - sticker
colour =

Water B - sticker
colour =

Water C - sticker
colour =


Who tops the taste test? - Analysis

1.    Which type of water was the most favourite?

2.    Which type was the least favourite?

3.    Was the winning sample bottled or tap water?

4.    Based on your experiment, do you think people chose bottled water over tap water because of the taste?

5.    What are some of the advantages of using bottled water?

6.    What are some of the disadvantages of using bottled water?

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