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Stream Water testing

Postby HopePressler1 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:20 am

My daughter has tested the water at 8 different places along a stream. She wanted to know if the water would be different at the different places. I’m trying to help her refine this question. She tested for alkalinity, pH, hardness, chlorine, copper, nitrates, nitrites, and iron. Would will the water chemistry be different at different locations be the right question? Some of the things tested are actually about chemistry, but others are not. She wasn’t making the leap to water quality yet. She is seven years old. I don’t think a question about water quality is the right question. Do you have a suggestion about the question that covers those tests? She is thinking of just writing will the water be different or asking a question about each test. I don’t think either of those are the best solution. Thank you for any suggestions.

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Re: Stream Water testing

Postby EmmaGriffiths » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:22 pm

Hey there,

I’m glad your daughter is interested in science at such a young age! I think this project is a great learning experience for her.

I think your idea about water chemistry would work well; all of the tests you mentioned have to do with chemistry in some way. Talk to your daughter to see if she understands the meaning of the question. At her age, asking “is all water made the same?” or “how is water different in different places?” would also be fitting questions.

Thank you so much for your patience. I hope this leads you in the right direction. Good luck!


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Re: Stream Water testing

Postby cnoonan180 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:01 am


It's great that your daughter has an interest in chemistry and the environment! It's a very important project considering the broader applications, such as how hydrologists use different data collection methods such as probes on the daily to perform these types of tests.

Water quality testing (based on looking a some city water quality reports) includes all types of element testing, so a question addressing water quality or water chemistry should both be acceptable.

Some questions you can use/find inspiration from are:
How does location affect water quality?
How does location affect water chemistry?
How does location affect element content of water? (pH and alkalinity are based on element/ion content so this question will work for this project)
How does location affect the characteristics of water?
Is the makeup of water different in different places?

Hope this helps and feel free to ask more questions!
Last edited by cnoonan180 on Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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