Water Basics, Challenge 1:
How Fair Are the Water Properties?
Scientific Articles, News Stories and Web Sites | Graphics and Diagrams, Visualizations, Movies
Explore the following resources to find information that will help you answer the “Generate Ideas” questions.
Scientific Articles, News Stories, and Web Sites
- The water molecule is unique, present in three physical states at Earth’s surface. The physical and chemical properties of water that make it unique and essential for living organisms are described by Dr. Anthony Carpi on the Visionlearning Web site.
- The United States Geological Survey (USGS) on the Water Science for Schools provides a brief review of water’s chemical and physical properties.
- The Secret Nature of Hydrogen Bonds, published in ScienceDaily, January 21, 1999, illustrates how current scientific research can help explain the unique properties of water in terms of quantum mechanics.
- An essay from Nova Online by Peter Tyson entitled Life’s Little Essential — Liquid Water, explores why liquid water is considered the essential ingredient for life as we know it.
- The American Museum of Natural History on water and life shows how water is essential to life as we know it, and gives examples of organisms that have adapted to living in extreme environments around water. Only in the driest parts of Chile’s Atacama Desert, where water has not fallen in decades, is life nearly absent.
- As part of their Watershed Academy Web, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Web site offers an Introduction to the Clean Water Act.
Graphics and Diagrams, Visualizations, Movies
- R. Chang's (2000) Molecular View of Solution Formation, Essential Chemistry simulation shows how solutions form at the molecular level. As you zoom in, see how the polar nature of water dissolves sodium chloride at the microscopic scale.
- Water is the world's most important chemical and the basis of life itself. Visit the HowStuffWorks Web site (http://science.howstuffworks.com/h2o.htm) to watch a Discovery Education video clip entitled How Water Works.
- Explore how water rages in rivers, generates electricity, and does so much more. The Discovery Education program emphasizes how water's dipole molecular structure creates its unique properties and explains how water can generate electricity. NOTE: Teachers/schools must be subscribers to Discovery Education to use their resources.
Now that you are more knowledgeable about the special properties of water and why it is essential to life on Earth, it is time to share your ideas with the class.