Advanced Environmental and Earth Sciences Teacher Guide


Teacher manual for Advanced Environmental and Earth Sciences labs. Has both the printed version and a flash drive with teacher tips, a PDF of teacher version and editable Word student version.

Properties of Water

Lab Summary

Use a stainless steel temperature sensor to explore how the properties of water can be explained by the molecular structure of water.


Students explore how the properties of water can be explained by the molecular structure of water. Through this investigation, students:

  • Explain that hydrogen bonding allows water, unlike other molecules, to change from one state of matter to another at the temperatures and pressures experienced on Earth.
  • Observe adhesion and cohesion of water molecules on polar and non-polar surfaces and explain these observations by describing the intermolecular attractions involved.
  • Design an experiment to determine how the volume of ice compares to the volume of liquid water. The students will base their predictions on their understanding of the molecular structure of water.
  • Describe how the unique properties of water are important to processes on Earth such as physical erosion and the hydrologic cycle.


Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Collecting temperature data as ice is melted and water is boiled.
  • Classifying substances as polar or non-polar based on their ability to absorb water.
  • Designing an experiment to determine the effect of freezing on the volume of water.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

Advanced Water Quality Sensor


MultiMeasure sensor that incorporates pH, conductivity, temperature, and the optical dissolved oxygen probe.

Materials Used:

Beaker, 100-mL 
Beaker, 600-mL 
Crushed ice - 300 mL
Eyedropper or disposable pipet 
Foam tray 
Hot pads or mittens 
Hot plate 
Other materials to test
Paper towel 
Ring stand - 2
Utility clamp 
Water - 50 mL
Waxed paper 

The Associated Bundle:

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.