H2 OH NO!

This workshop explores the effect of acidification on marine and freshwater systems.

This workshop was designed to be delivered virtually to youth that are provided with materials in advance to partake in the activities.

This virtual outreach activity is split into a pre-activity document - i.e., workshop overview and list of materials with preparation instructions for both the volunteer and educator, a post-activity document - i.e., extra information and resources for the educator after the activity, and a PowerPoint presentation with presenter notes to help lead the workshop virtually. 

What You Need

Activity 1: Ocean Acidification

  • Water (1/4 cup)
  • Calcium Carbonate (1 tbsp) - Can use Baking soda as well
  • 2 Alka Seltzer Tabs
  • 4 wide pH strips
  • OPTIONAL: Phenolphthalein (5-10 drops, for the instructor only) and 4 narrow pH strips

Activity 2: Acid Rain and Calcium Carbonate

  • Vinegar (2 tbsp)
  • Coral sand (1 tbsp)
  • Regular sand (1 tbsp)
  • 2 small bowls/containers - Can use a petri dish as well
  • OPTIONAL: Plastic dropper/pipette

Activity 3: Water Filtration 

  • Cup filled with water (1/4 cup)
  • Soil or sand (1 tbsp)
  • Vinegar (1 tsp)
  • Plastic Water Bottle
  • Calcium carbonate (1 tbsp) - Can use baking soda as well
  • Filter Materials: Cotton balls, gravel, sand, activated carbon, cheese cloth, coffee filter
  • 2 pH strips
  • Scissors
  • OPTIONAL: food colouring

Pre-Activity Document:

PowerPoint:

 

Safety Notes

Ensure you are familiar with Let's Talk Science's precautions with respect to safe delivery of virtual outreach to youth. These precautions can be found in the manual for this activity. 

We will be using a lot of liquids and different substances for this session, please keep them away from your electronics/devices. Keep some paper towel nearby to clean up any spills in your workstation. 
 

What To Do

Pre-Workshop Prep

Students must complete the following PRIOR to the workshop.

  • Fill two cups or containers with approximately 1/4 cup of tap water.
    • Tap water will be used in activity 1 and 3.
  • Optional: Have two small dishes on hand.
    • The coral sand can be put in one dish and regular sand in the other for activity 2.
    • The activity can also be done with the sand in their original plastic vials.
  • Cut plastic water bottle in half horizontally.
    • This will be used as the filter in activity 3.
  • Have paper towels or cloths on hand to clean up any spills. 

Activity 1: Ocean Acidification

  1. Take your 1/4 cup of water and measure the pH using one wide and one narrow range pH strip.
  2. Add your calcium carbonate or baking soda into the water and stir. Measure the pH again using another wide and narrow range strip.
  3. Add one alka seltzer tablet. Once the reaction is complete, stir. Measure the pH again using another wide and narrow range strip.

Activity 2: Acid Rain and Calcium Carbonate

  1. Place a small spoonful of calcium carbonate sand in dish 1 and a small spoonful of basalt sand in dish 2.
  2. Use your plastic droppers to drop ~5 drops of vinegar ('acidic' solution) onto each of the sand samples. What do you observe?

Activity 3: Water Filtration

  1. Create a dirty water sample in a cup by mixing vinegar and soil with 1/4 cup of tap water. Test the pH using a new test strip.
  2. Cut the 500 mL water bottle in half horizontally.
  3. Secure the piece of cheese cloth with an elastic around the bottle opening (where you would normally drink from).
  4. Invert the top half of the bottle and fill with filtering materials in an order you think will give the cleanest water.
  5. Set the inverted top half of the water bottle into the bottom half of the bottle.
  6. Pour the dirty water through the filter. Add a bit of calcium carbonate to the water that has gone through the filter to see if the pH has changed with a new pH strip.

Discovery

What's Happening?

Global Warming vs. Climate Change

Global warming is a natural process, the Earth is meant to slowly heat up over centuries. However, due to human activities, Earth is heating up a lot faster. 
Climate change is when we see changes in weather patterns, such as an increase in natural disasters overtime and this is in large part due to human activities. 

For example, in certain urban areas, it used start snowing a lot earlier, like in November/December. Now, those areas don’t see snow until January at times!

What are some human activities that contribute to these changes?

  • burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) → electricity,  transportation
  • deforestation → Carbon stored in trees is released as CO2 when trees are burnt
  • agriculture → Sheep and cattle release methane gas. Fertilizers can also release CO2
  • landfills → waste decomposing
     

What's Happening?

Global Warming vs. Climate Change

Global warming is a natural process, the Earth is meant to slowly heat up over centuries. However, due to human activities, Earth is heating up a lot faster. 
Climate change is when we see changes in weather patterns, such as an increase in natural disasters overtime and this is in large part due to human activities. 

For example, in certain urban areas, it used start snowing a lot earlier, like in November/December. Now, those areas don’t see snow until January at times!

What are some human activities that contribute to these changes?

  • burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) → electricity,  transportation
  • deforestation → Carbon stored in trees is released as CO2 when trees are burnt
  • agriculture → Sheep and cattle release methane gas. Fertilizers can also release CO2
  • landfills → waste decomposing
     

Resources

Pre-Activity Document:

Post-Activity Document:

PowerPoint:

 

Resources

Pre-Activity Document:

Post-Activity Document:

PowerPoint:

 

Check out additional resources (articles, career profiles and more) on these topics from Let’s Talk Science: