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Carbon Filters and Adsorbing Science

Explore the science behind a carbon filter with a fun hands-on family STEM activity. Now you see the color... and now you don't!

Carbon Filters and Adsorbing Science / Weekly family science STEM activity

Water filters that use activated carbon can help "clean" water. You might be able to see the difference the filter makes, but not always. In this week's family science activity, families can explore the way these filters work with a colorful hands-on project that makes stripping the color from a sports drink or colored soda seem almost like magic.

This kitchen science activity involves color-changing chemistry that you can see and taste. The carbon filter removes the color from a sports drink, but does it change how the drink tastes? Why? Find out with a STEM activity that will excite and maybe even surprise students. After testing with sports drinks, try the same activity with your tap water. Can you see or taste any difference after the filtering process?

The following Science Buddies activity on the Scientific American website has all the information you need to do this science activity with your students at home: Capable Carbon Filters.

To view a related independent student project at Science Buddies, see:


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