Biology: Lab 4
Water, Water, Everywhere!
Directions: In this activity, you will observe some of the
amazing properties of water by visiting 8 stations. Follow
the directions on this sheet for each station and answer the
questions that go along with the activities.
Station 1: Walking on Water Properties of Water
1. Fill a beaker about ¾ full of water.
2. Carefully sprinkle pepper on the surface of the water. Leave the
beaker on the table during this step and do not disturb it. Does the
pepper float or sink?
3. Carefully add a couple of drops of liquid detergent to the water. Look
through the side of the beaker at eye level. What does the pepper do
4. What kinds of consequences might detergents have on natural bodies
5. Dump the water and wash out the beaker. Be sure to get all the
detergent out of it.
Station 2: Water Delivery Properties of Water
1. Fill one beaker about ¾ full of water.
2. Dip a piece of string into the beaker so it is completely soaked with
3. Have one person hold one end of the string over an empty beaker.
Stretch the string tight at approximately a 30-degree angle.
4. Carefully pour the water from the first beaker down the string. Try to
make the water follow the string into the second beaker.
Station 3: On Pins & Needles Properties of Water
1. Fill a petri dish with water.
2. Attempt to float a steel pin on top of the water.
3. How many pins can you float on the water?
4. Remove the pins from the water and place them back on the plate.
Station 4: Power of Water Properties of Water
1. Place a few drops of water on the glass slide with the string taped to
the bottom of it.
2. Place the second slide on top of the first one.
3. Carefully hold the top slide by its edges. Make sure you are not
touching the bottom slide. The bottom slide should stick to the top
one because of the water.
4. See how may paperclips you can attach to the string before the slides
pull apart. Do not make a chain of paperclips. Simply attach one to
the string and hang the others from it. Be careful! The slides will
break if you do not use caution!
5. How many paperclips could you attach to the string before the slides
6. Remove the paperclips from the string when you finish.
Station 5: Thy Cup Does Not Runneth Over Properties of Water
1. Use the pipet to carefully add drops of water to the penny. See how
many drops of water you can fit on the penny before it overflows.
2. How many drops of water did you place on the penny before the
Station 6: Reach for the Top Properties of Water
1. Place one end of an unused piece of capillary tubing into the colored
water. Hold the tubing straight up and down. There is only enough
tubing for each group to have one piece.
2. What do you observe happening in the tube?
3. Place your used piece of tubing in the correct location.
Station 7: Sponging It Up Properties of Water
1. Submerge one piece of synthetic (manmade) sponge and one piece
of cellulose (natural) sponge into the container of water. Hold the
sponges under the water for 1 minute.
2. Remove the synthetic sponge and squeeze the water through a
funnel into a graduated cylinder. Repeat with the cellulose sponge
into the second graduated cylinder.
3. How much water did the synthetic sponge hold?
How much water did the cellulose sponge hold?
4. Which type of sponge absorbed more water in one minute?
5. Make sure all the water is squeezed out of your sponges and place
them back in the correct container. Empty the water from the
graduated cylinders back into the container of water.
Station 8: Bending Water Properties of Water
1. Rub a balloon on your hair to provide static charge (negatively
charging one side of the balloon).
2. Hold the balloon near a small stream of water.
3. What happens to the water?
Compose a response to the following BCR as a
conclusion to this laboratory investigation.
List and describe 4 properties of water. Use specific
observations that you made during the lab as examples
to support your descriptions.
Be sure to include the following in your response
Name of each property
Identify one part of the lab where you observed the property
Describe each property
Explain how the structure of a water molecule causes it to have these unique properties