Therma-Tron-X was invited to participate in two different STEAM Night family events, Sunrise Elementary School and Southern Door Elementary School. We chose to replicate the reverse osmosis systems we build in house by using 2L soda bottles, swamp water and an assortment of sand and pebbles.
We prepared the swamp water by pouring it into a bottle, shaking it for about 30 seconds and then pouring the water back and forth between two bottles, this is called aeration, which adds air to the water. Aeration allows gasses that are trapped in the water to escape and also adds oxygen. Once the water was aerated, we poured some alum into the water, which allowed the dirt and other solid particles to coagulate and “chemically stick together”. After letting the alum sit in the water for 20 minutes, all the particles that were sticking together formed a sediment, which sunk and collected on the bottom of the bottle. The next step is where the kids come into play!
The students took the 2L bottles that we had cut in half for them, layered the top half of the bottle with pebbles, coarse and fine sand, replicating a water filter. Then they poured the treated swamp water into the bottle. As the swamp water filtered through the sand and pebble mixture, the remaining solid particles and floc were separated and removed from the water. Once all the water was passed through the filter, the water was clean and clear! We didn’t have the materials to disinfect the water and chemically treat it to remove any remaining bacteria and micro-organisms, so no one was able to drink it, but it was still a blast and the kids loved it!!
We look forward to another round of STEAM Nights next year, getting elementary aged kids excited about science, technology, engineering, arts and math! And also, of course, teaching them about Therma-Tron-X and our environmental division.