Around the beginning of February my class and I began reading the book, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.
The book was split into two different stories. One story was in 1985 and it was about a boy named Salva. The other story was in 2008 and it was about a girl named Nya. In Nya’s household water was scarce so everyday she had to walk back and forth from sunrise to sundown just to get water. Even though she walked so long to get the water, the water was still very dirty and probably not the safest to drink either. We also read the book, Salila’s Turtle by Engineering is Elementary Team. Salila was working hard on trying to filter water. This inspired my class to start looking into pollution and how pollution forms. We realized most and/or all the pollution is caused by humans. Since lots of people don’t have a water system in there home they use ponds, lakes and oceans to “tidy” themselves. This causes water to have lots of contaminants.
My class was split into groups. My group was Max and Jessica. Our goal was to find a way to make a useful filter but we had to move in small steps. First, we brainstormed the criteria for determining the quality. These are the ones we came up with,
- Number of particles left behind
After, it was our first time filtering water. We were only allowed to use each filter by itself. We did this to see what each filter could do by itself. We were given paper filters (coffee filters), sand and gravel and a screen (mosquito net). We were looking at how many particles the filter could remove, how much color the filter removed, and how long it took. We also were assigned to a bottle full of a contaminant. My group got assigned to soil water. Then, we filtered the water with the three filters we had. We found that the sand and gravel worked the best. It didn’t take that long but it could have been faster. It took about 2 minutes. I think it took so long because the holes that water seeped through were so small but that’s also why I think the water was filtered so well. Finally it was time to really start thinking about the criteria we needed to make a good filter. Our class thought of these.
- Easy to use
- Safe for environment and kids
- Long lasting
- Easy use for kids
- Good quality
Before we started,
2 groups got paired together. (I think we did this to make things easier.) Our teacher asked us to find the top 4 criteria that we wanted our filter to be based off of. We chose safe for all ages, reusable, efficient, and good quality. Then, we started thinking about materials to use. Our teacher said every single idea should be written down no matter how weird it is. Here is the a list.
- Elephants trunk
- Pink fluffy unicorn
- Layered paper filter
- Soybean powder
- Self contained tank
- Cheap thin fabric
- Dried and washed non toxic baby wipes, stretched out
In the end our materials for our first filter were,
- Non toxic baby wipes
- Paper filter
- Folded screen
We made the filter like this, we put the folded screen in the bottom of the bottle then, we put 5 paper filters right on top, and lastly we taped the baby wipe to the top of the bottle. We also had a rating system. 5 meant super bad and dirty water, 4 meant a little bit lighter and still a lot of particles, 3 meant pretty clear and just a couple particles, 2 meant almost completely clear and very little particles, and 1 meant completely clear water.
Before we started to filter our water we had to answer some question in our note book. Here is a picture of what it looked like.
Then, finally we were ready to filter our polluted water. Our first attempt took about two minutes which isn’t bad. It was a 2 ½ because there were not many particles but the color was in between the two. We thought it was really good for our first try.
Our 2nd attempt went the exact same but we went with a different design. This design was a little bit more sophisticated. Here are the materials we used.
- Folded screen
- 5 Paper filters
- Non toxic baby wipe (we put the baby wipe inside the paper filter)
- Sand and gravel
Our 2nd try we also think it got a 2 ½ because the color was in between and there was a little amount of particles left. Since our end product turned out being the same we wanted to see what would happen if we filtered it again. (we double filtered it). The color didn’t change but there were no particles at all. We came to a conclusion and said that the rating was a 2. I think if we filtered the water 5 times it would be a one but we didn’t have time.
Our last attempt was the the worst and the best in different ways. These are the materials we used for our last design.
- Folded screen
- 5 paper filters
- Flattened out cotton balls
- Sand and gravel
- Non toxic wipe
Our last filter was weird because after we filtered the water there were absolutely no particles in it that were visible but yet the color was still very dark. This is confusing to me because i thought that the cotton balls would take most of the color out but it didn’t. But i do think that the cotton balls helped with making the water have no particles.
Overall, I would definitely do this again at home because it is a fun project but it can also help stop pollution.