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Vermilion Parish Schools

Activity 3:  Evaporation And Solutions (GLEs: 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 19)

Materials List: kosher salt, water, mixing containers, Petri dishes, hand lenses, goggles or safety glasses, science learning log

This activity may take several days to complete.

The students will work in small groups to observe, describe, and discuss kosher salt. Have students draw pictures of the kosher salt in their learning logs prior to mixing with water. Have students attempt to illustrate the approximate size and shape of the salt crystals.  Ask students to identify safety issues that they should consider when working with solutions. The students will record observations in their science learning logs (view literacy strategy descriptions). Small groups of students will prepare mixtures of approximately 50% kosher salt and 50% water in mixing containers. Fill the Petri dishes until approximately half full. Place the Petri dishes near a window, if possible. Guide students to question what will happen over the next several days through a group discussion. Have students discuss what happens to the salt in the solution. Encourage students to predict what will happen to the solution over a period of time. The students will document the changes over time in their solution in their science learning logs.  They will use hand lenses to observe the residue that remains after the evaporation process is complete. Have students record what the salt crystals looks like after the water has evaporated.  The class can then create a Venn diagram comparing the salt crystals before and after evaporation. Students should use recorded observations to gather data for the Venn diagram. Discussion questions could include the following:

     Where did the water go?

     What was left behind?

     Can you think of other times when you have seen evaporation occur?

This mixture could be compared with others easily made in the classroom using harmless household or food substances, such as sugar

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