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What Dissolves in Water?

Author(s): Nancy P. Moreno, PhD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.


This lesson can be extended by creating filters using cups with holes punched in the bottom and lined with coffee filters or other methods the students might design to filter the substance that were mixed together in the lesson.

Students may wish to investigate if the temperature of the water makes a difference in how quickly it will dissolve something.

Have students devise an experiment to find out if there is limit to how much sugar can dissolve in a given amount of water. They will discover that at some point, water will not dissolve any more sugar. The water molecules in the container have a limited number of negative and positive ends to pull apart the sugar molecules or to dissolve the sugar. Have students increase the amount of water in the container to see if they can dissolve more sugar. They may want to experiment with heat to see if that influences how much sugar the water can dissolve.

Have students create a strong salt solution. Leave the container in the open and allow the water to evaporate. Have students predict if the salt will evaporate or remain. 


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Numbers: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932

Houston Endowment Inc.

Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education