Kitchen Science Curriculum

Edible Aquifers

Grade: 5-9

Duration: 30 minutes

Materials:

Per Group:
· Clear plastic cup
· Ice cream
· Clear soda
· Chocolate chips
· Crushed Oreos
· Crushed chocolate chip cookies
· Cake sprinkles
· Reisen Carmel Candies
· Spoons

Background Information:

An aquifer is an underground layer of permeable rock that stores groundwater. Permeable materials allow water to pass through them, whereas, impermeable materials do not allow the passage of water. Three things are necessary for a layer of rock to be considered an aquifer:
  1. A layer of permeable rock to hold the water.
  2. A layer of impermeable rock surrounding the permeable layer to contain the water.
  3. A supply of water to replenish the aquifer.

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to construct a model of an aquifer using the given supplies.
  • Students will be able to describe the parts of an aquifer.
  • Students will be able to analyze the importance of an aquifer.
Science Assessment Anchors:

  • S8.A.1.1
  • S8.A.1.2
  • S8.A.2.1
  • S8.A.3.1
  • S8.A.3.2
  • S8.B.3.3
  • S8.C.2.2
  • S8.D.1.1
  • S8.D.1.3

Procedure:

  1. Discuss what an aquifer is and all necessary parts of an aquifer.
  2. Pass out all supplies to each group.
  3. Instruct students to construct a model of an aquifer in the clear plastic cup that meets the necessary parts.
  4. When construction is complete, students pour the clear soda into the clear plastic cup to test if their aquifer works.
  5. Students sketch their model in the cup given on the “Edible Aquifers” worksheet.
  6. Students label the diagram on the right side with all of the food ingredients.
  7. Students label the diagram on the left side with rock layers that the food represents.
  8. Class discussion on successful and unsuccessful models and why they did or did not work.

What Should Happen:

Students should create an aquifer that will hold the water (clear soda) supply. A layer of ice cream must be present to help contain the water in the permeable layers. All other materials given were permeable and thus should hold water.

Why it Should Happen:

Ice cream is impermeable and will not allow water to pass through it. All other supplies given were porous and have many open spaces between each individual piece to store water. Due to this, all materials other than the ice cream will hold the clear soda and act as an aquifer. The materials used were all chosen to act as a layer in the Earth as follows:
· Ice cream (impermeable rock)
· Clear soda (water)
· Chocolate chips (gravel)
· Crushed Oreos (soil)
· Crushed chocolate chip cookies (sand)
· Cake sprinkles (course sand)
· Reisen Carmel Candies (bedrock)
Adaptations:

· Students use straws to illustrate wells and their effects on the water table.
· Students drop food coloring along the surface of their model to simulate pollution and examine its effects on an aquifer.

Assessment:

  • Students draw and label their model on the “Edible Aquifers” worksheet and have a discussion as a class.
  • Students research where their water supply comes from and how it relates to their model.

Resources:

http://www.groundwater.org/kc/activity4.html