I went on to get my Masters in Science and learned to love science.
And I vowed to raise my children in a scientifically literate household. Maybe science won’t come easily to them either – but by providing constant exposure I hope they realize how much fun science can be.
I was compensated for my time in reviewing the Water Testing Kits. The opinions in this post are my own (and my kids).
So I was excited to try out this Water Testing Kit and show the boys how to set up an easy experiment.
I wanted to make sure to cover 4 premises.
- Eliminate confounding factors
- Ensure you are actually testing what you think you are testing
- Making hypotheses
- Results are useful no matter what they say.
Setting up the Water Testing Kit Experiment
The first step to any experiment is to determine what to test. The Science Fair water kit tests so many different parts and I wanted to utilize them all. The kit contains 4 complete tests that test for:
So we decided to test 2-4 samples against each other. We debated testing water from the top of the mountain to water at the bottom of the mountain. But we couldn’t access water at the top of bottom of the same mountain. So we couldn’t eliminate confounding factors.
We decided instead to test the differences between inexpensive and expensive brands of water. We’ve always just bought the least expensive brands of water but I’ve always been curious if there were any major differences.
Step 2 was coming up with our hypothesis. We overwhelmingly decided there would not be a significant difference between the inexpensive and expensive waters.
Using the Water Testing Kits
We went out and found 3 bottles of water at varying price points. I also noticed that some of the expensive brands have extra claims about being specially purified, low/high mineral content, alkaline based, etc. I’d love to do another test in the future specifically to target those differences.
We decided to also pit out tap water against the bottled waters. After all, it has the lowest price point.
For the actual test, we again reviewed that it is important to use the same method for each water sample. If we performed the test in a different way, it could alter the results.
Reading the Results of the Water Testing Kits
While there were quite a few differences between the waters on individual tests, there wasn’t a great difference overall. Not even our tap water was very different!
In fact, the cheapest bottled water scored the best all the way across the board but all of the water was within drinkable range on all tests.
They were a little surprised that our tap water scored as well as bottled water. So we doubled checked out work to make sure we have eliminated all confounding elements. I really wanted to impress on them that setting up an experiment required responsibility to make sure you are actually testing what you think you are testing.
(The circled parts are the results. I was amazed at how different some of them were!)
Other Experiments to Try
It’s always a good idea to end an experiment with inspiration for the next experiment. Furthering research is how we make progress!
- Test all the water in your house with the Complete Water Analysis Kit and see what you find
- Test the difference between well-water and other water with the well-water kit
- Test water from multiple sources for lead with the lead test. What happens if you soak water with a lead pipe?
Win your Own Water Testing Kit
Do you want to run your own water testing experiment? Perhaps you can tell me if those fancy waters are actually different!
You can win your own kit right here!
Prizes only available to U.S. Addresses
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