The book 1001 Ways to Explore Science and Nature contains hundreds of fun, educational, and crafty ways to explore science and nature after-school. The following project, Costly Leaks, was adapted from the book. Kids love it because it is an engaging real world problem. Teachers love it because it is a great way to explore environmental concepts while practicing multiplication.
Costly Leaks: It may be a drop in the bucket, but it certainly adds up!
Math and Science Skills
- Multiplying Decimals
- Scientific Inquiry / Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
- faucet, dishpan, clock, measuring cup, pencil and paper
To prepare for the project, simulate a leaky faucet so it produces a very slow drip. Place a dishpan and collect the water from the dripping faucet for 30-minutes. Then, pour the water into a measuring cup to see how much water was collected. Write this number down; this is the amount of water wasted in 30 minutes.
- How much water is wasted in one week by a leaky faucet?
- How much money would the leaking faucet cost your family after a year?
- Multiply the amount of water wasted in 30 minutes by 2 to find the amount of water wasted in one hour.
- Multiply this number by 24 to find the amount wasted in one day.
- Multiply this number by 7 to find the amount of water wasted in one week.
- Multiply this number by 52 to find the amount of water wasted in one year.
- Assuming that a gallon of water costs your family $0.05, how much would the leaking faucet cost your family after one year?
- Interpret your data and form a conclusion to answer the focus questions.
Do not give more advanced students the steps for solving the problem. Simply prepare and provide them with the focus questions. They may need to be reminded of the conversions.
- 24 hours/1 day
- 7 days/1 week
- 52 weeks/1 year