Lesson Overview

 60 Minutes


 3rd - 12th Grade

 State Standards:
Scientific Inquiry: 4.3-H.3 Engineering Design: 4.4-H.4

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Materials List

Each team needs:

  • 2 funnels (cone-shaped drink cup lids work well)
  • 2 two-Inch squares of coffee filter paper
  • ¼ cup clean, dry play sand (Both the sand and soil in this experiment must be completely dry. This can be done by drying it in an oven)
  • ¼ cup dry, finely ground, soil (may need to filter it to remove small pebbles) Do NOT use potting soil.
  • 4 clean, clear collection cups that can fit the funnels
  • 2 ½ cups of water
  • 2 ½ cups grape Kool aid drink mix (regular strength mixed without sugar)
  • worksheet – attached

Water Filtering and Soil

Categories: Science , Soils

This hands-on experiment demonstrates soil’s function as a water filter, as well as other physics concepts like hydrophobicity, soil absorption and adsorption, soil as a storage container for water, and the positive and negative charges of soil and contaminants.


For instructions, please download our PDF

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