Resources for after school centres

We have a number of resources available for after school centres.

Currently we do not offer presentations and incursions to after school centres, however we do have free resources and activities appropriate for children of all ages.

Free resources

Check out free resources you can order for your centre. We also have a range of videos and music, as well as posters and maps you can download and print yourself.

You can also download our colouring-in sheets which can be used to encourage discussion of water and how we use it.

Four seasons

How water is used

Walter the water drop – set of 10

Activities

Why not try some of these fun interactive activities.

Background

Groundwater is water that is located underground in the space between soil or rock beneath the earth’s surface and is an important part of water supply in Perth and Western Australia. It is stored in aquifers which are underground layers of rock or sand that can absorb and hold water. The ability of the water to move around freely underground depends on the type of rock and whether the aquifer is unconfined or confined.

Groundwater is extracted through the use of bores and is also susceptible to pollutants that can permeate through the ground into the underground supply.  

This activity illustrate the structure of the groundwater, as well as how water and pollutants travels through the different layers of rock.

Important terms:

  • Aquifer: A body of permeable rock that can contain or transmit groundwater.
  • Saturated: Holding as much moisture or liquid that can be absorbed.
  • Groundwater: Water held underground in the soil or in pores and crevices in rock.
  • Contamination: the act of contaminating or polluting; including (either intentionally or accidentally) unwanted substances or factors.
  • Impermeable: Not allowing fluid to pass through.
  • Porous: Able to absorb water

What you will need

  • 35 x clear plastic cups
  • Brown sprinkles
  • 2 x teaspoons
  • 2 x big spoons
  • 2 litres vanilla ice-cream
  • Tub to carry ice
  • 1 straw per student
  • 2 litres of lemonade
  • Food colouring (4 x small bottles with eye droppers)
  • Bag of ice
  • Paper towels
  • Map of Western Australia

Experiment

NOTE: do not reference the materials as 'ice-cream', 'sprinkles' etc. as the children are acting as scientists and must use the appropriate scientific names.

  1. Hand out a cup to each child, explaining that it is their aquifer.
  2. Fill each cup halfway with 'limestone' (ice) as the first layer of their aquifer. Ask why they are using ice to represent the limestone.
  3. Add a few scoops of 'topsoil' (ice-cream). Ask what substances make up topsoil?
  4. Scatter a teaspoon of sprinkles over the topsoil which represents the organic components such as dead leaf litter and earthworms.
  5. Add a few drops of food colouring (pollutants) which may contaminate the groundwater. Ask what the pollutants might be.
  6. Ask the group to describe what the pollutants are doing (they should be leaching through the topsoil and infiltrating the limestone layers). Equate this to the contamination of our groundwater sources and why garden bores are not suitable for watering vegetable patches or drinking.
  7. Finally ask where groundwater originates (rain). Add lemonade to represent this.
  8. Ask the group how we extract groundwater and explain how a bore works then hand out a straw to each student.
  9. Discuss bore responsibilities, water conservation, issues with bore locations, pollutants and ways to reduce groundwater pollution. 
  10. The children can then sink their 'bores' and enjoy their 'groundwater'.

Watch the experiment in action!

Read a transcript of this video (new window)

Background

Desalination is the process of removing salt from salty water to make it suitable for drinking or for use by industries that require very pure water.

The Perth Seawater Desalination Plant supplements Perth’s water supplies. It is not dependent on changes in the climate and provides 45 gigalitres (million kilolitres) of water to the Integrated Water Supply Scheme. The plant uses the reverse osmosis desalination process. This experiment demonstrates a different desalination process: solar desalination.

What you will need

  • An ice-cream container (painted black inside)
  • A clear plastic sheet about 20 centimetres x 20 centimetres
  • Sticky tape
  • 2 cups of water (400 millilitres)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of salt (this will make the water as salty as sea water)
  • A small cup or container (much smaller than the ice-cream container) to catch the fresh water
  • A weight (for example, a small rock) to sit on the plastic sheet.

Experiment

  1. Pour the water into the ice-cream container.
  2. Stir 2 heaped teaspoons of salt into the water.
  3. Put the small container in the middle of the ice-cream container.
  4. Place the plastic sheet over the ice-cream container and fix it to the sides with sticky tape.
  5. Place the weight on top of the plastic sheet, in the middle.
  6. Place in the sun for 10 minutes and see what happens. Check again after 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours.    

Background

This water cycle has 4 key processes which help to move water and transform it into different forms: evaporation, condensation, transpiration and precipitation.

When the sun shines on the sea it causes water to evaporate and rise into the air to form water vapour. As this water vapour cools it may fall again, as rain, hail or snow. Some of this precipitation will evaporate once more and return to the sky, some will soak into the ground or be transpired by plants and eventually flow into rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands or the ocean.

What you will need

  • A large clear glass bowl or ice-cream container
  • A mug
  • Cling wrap
  • Small weight (rock or stone)
  • Water
  • Food colouring
  • The Water Cycle poster

Experiment

  • Put warm water into the bottom of a large glass bowl or ice-cream container. Food colouring can be added for extra effect.
  • Place a dry cup or mug in the centre of the bowl.
  • Cover the top of the bowl with cling wrap so there are no gaps, don’t pull it too tightly.
  • Place a small weight in the centre of the cling wrap so the film sags in the middle.
  • Place the bowl in direct sunlight and leave it for a few hours.

The sun will heat the water in the bowl causing it to evaporate into water vapour. This will then rise hitting the cling wrap and cool (condensing) forming water droplets. The droplets will continue to collect on the cling wrap until they become too heavy, when they will drip down and fall into the mug. The weight is to provide a sloping surface for the water to drip from and guide it into the mug.

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