Introduction:

In this activity, students will be analyzing a soil sample taken from a mining site and testing if for its acidity and dissolved metal contaminants.   They will design a filtration system to remove the Fe3+ ion and acid contaminants, as well as any solid debris, out of the soil sample.  The filtered soil sample will also be tested for its purity.

 

 Throughout the lab, students will be videotaping or taking pictures of their journey, in place of a written procedure.  Following the lab, students will be required to analyze their observations and make conclusions.

 

General Outline:

Initial Sample Testing

  • Rate the clarity of the sample with a turbidity disc/light app
  • On a small sample of contaminated material:
    • identify the presence of dissolved ions with a conductivity test
    • identify the presence of Fe3+ ions using precipitation analysis
    • determine the pH level

Soil Purification

  • Design a water filter to purify the  contaminants out of the soil sample
  • Carry out the filtration

Filtered Sample Purity

  • Rate the clarity of the sample with a turbidity disc/light app
  • On a small sample of filtrate:
    • identify the presence of dissolved ions with a conductivity test
    • identify the presence of  Fe3+  ions using precipitation analysis
    • determine the pH level

Overall Expectations:

  • B2.1 use appropriate terminology related to qualitative analysis of matter, including, but not limited to: double displacement, precipitate, etc.
  • B2.2 use a table of solubility rules to write chemical equations for double displacement reactions and to write balanced net ionic equations for chemical reactions
  • B2.3 investigate precipitation reactions and flame tests, using qualitative analysis instruments, equipment, and techniques
  • F1.2 evaluate the importance of quantitative chemical analysis in assessing air and water quality (e.g., the use of Environment Canada’s Air Quality Index to determine when advisories need to be issued; systems to monitor the quality of drinking water), and explain how these analyses contribute to environmental awareness and responsibility
  • F2.1 use appropriate terminology related to chemical analysis and chemistry in the environment, including, but not limited to: ozone, hard water, titration, pH, ppm, and ppb
  • F2.2 write balanced chemical equations to represent the chemical reactions involved in the neutralization of acids and bases
  • F2.4 conduct an inquiry, using available technology (e.g., probewear) or chemical tests, to detect the presence of inorganic substances in various samples of water
  • F3.7 identify inorganic substances that can be found dissolved in water as a result of natural processes and human activities (e.g., hard water contains metal ions)

 

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