Wetlands science experiment.

Here's a picture of our wetlands from above. Notice the large amount of dirt and mud floating in our "dirty" water. In a few hours, the water becomes clear.

Here’s a picture of our wetlands from above. Notice the large amount of dirt and mud floating in our “dirty” water. In a few hours, the water becomes clear.

We recently got the complete Magic School Bus series. The series is about a teacher who takes her class on a bunch of field trips to learn all about science. We’ve been watching one a day, followed by an experiment.

The one for today was about the wetlands. The movie went over what a wetlands is and does (clean water). In the show, there was even an explanation of how the water gets cleaned (the mud and dirty stuff sink, while the clean water rises and moves on).  First things first, we watched the movie. We also ate popcorn to make it a little fun.

We had been up to Lake Tahoe earlier in the week and saw a wetlands at the end of one of our hikes, so we had recently seen a wetlands. I asked the kids to remember seeing the wetlands and we talked about what we saw.

Next, we went outside and I gave each child a paper cup. They had to find some dirt. My kids are really efficient at finding dirt. Then, we poured the dirt into a glass casserole pan.

Why a glass pan? Because you will need to look at the side of the pan and see how the water and dirt separates at the end of the lesson. If you use a metal pan, you won’t be able to see the separation.

Next, we poured some water on top of the dirt and mixed it all up. This represents the dirty water that comes into the wetlands.

We let it sit for 4 hours. After we let it sit, we went back to look at the “wetlands” we had created. During the 4 hour wait we looked at our wetlands a lot. Somehow, my kids thought that if they kept watching it, it would go quicker (it didn’t). This was a good lesson in patience and waiting.

Sure enough, the clean water was on top and the mud and dirt was at the bottom.

This is just how a wetlands works – bringing the clean water to the top and the dirt to the bottom.

Since this is my children, we had to mix it up and do it again – letting it sit overnight this time.

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