Does It Soak Right In? Session 1
Perform this preparation prior to the activity.
- Select four areas in the schoolyard, each with a different land surface (e.g., concrete, grass, soil, and mulch). Rope off the areas, or simply label them with letters. (You may choose to recruit parent volunteers to help monitor students at each station.)
- Open the coffee cans at both ends, and discard the cuttings. Use duct tape to cover any sharp edges.
Conduct this portion in the classroom.
- Define and discuss percolation with the class. Ask students to speculate about the relationship between percolation and runoff. Ask students to share examples of surfaces with slow percolation, fast percolation, and no percolation.
- Divide students into groups of 4–5, and give each group a copy of the Student Data Sheet PDF • Word
- Read aloud the percolation test directions from the Student Data Sheet, and ensure the students understand the procedure. Help the groups determine which of their members will be responsible for each of the five "Group Jobs."
- Write the surfaces of the four testing areas on the board, and direct the groups to complete the "Predictions" portion of the Student Data Sheet.
Conduct this portion in the schoolyard.
- Take the class into the schoolyard and show students the four testing areas. Direct each group to begin at a different area.
- Instruct students to complete their tests by following the directions given on the Student Data Sheet. Remind them to record their results in the Data Chart on the back of the Student Data Sheet.