Environmental Science Students Diving into the Deep End with Filters

A look into the water filter project assigned by Mrs. Wolfer


Lexi Scales , Author

Students are getting a first-hand taste of the application of environmental science in Mrs. Wolfer’s class. The biology teacher recently assigned a new project in her Honors Environmental Science class involving water purification filters. For the project, kids partner up to design and set up a filter using a plastic or glass bottle transform dirty water into clear, clean, fresh water.

Students were given a “factor list” – a series of restrictions and criteria – of environmental disadvantages that they have to work with in order to have the water be clear and pure. Max Nicolaus, a senior in 6th period, shared his perspective on how the project went. “So, we were given this super dirty water that has like yeast, dye, soap, oil and all this just disgusting stuff in it,” Nicolaus said. He describes the assignment, which asks that students make a filter out of household materials that could filter out odor, smell, and change the Ph, as very difficult. “We had to do trials and test it,” Max explained, “and most of the time my water would come out clearer than it was and wouldn’t smell as bad. We’re still having problems with the bacteria and fixing the Ph, so we’re still trying to work on that.”

In many ways, Environmental Science is a self-taught class which asks students to take an active part in teaching themselves in ways that can really benefit them in real life scenarios. This focus on creating their own learning is fun, but can also result in projects, like the water filter, that are stressful and challenging. This particular lab allows students to consider how clean water can impact the human population and find ways that might make a difference.