Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Logo
Lesson Overview
  • 60 Minutes
  • 1, 2, 4, 5, 9
  • 3rd - 12th Grade
  • State Standards:
    NGSS: 4-ESS2-1, Partially meets 5-ESS2-1, 5-ESS3-1, 5-PS1-3, MS-ESS2-4, CCSS: RI.3.7, RI.5.7, MP.2, W.3.7, 2.MD.D.10, RST.6-8.3, W.5.9, Social Sciences: 3.9, 3.11, 3.13, 4.12, 5.11, 6.15, 8.13, Math: MD.3

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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