Porosity and Permeability Lab Activity

Item # 20-0101

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Fresh water is important to every individual on the planet. Most of this water exists underground in substrates such as sand or rock. This lab activity will guide students to a greater understanding of aquifers and the factors that impact the water below us.

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How much water is in any place is determined by the porosity and permeability of subterranean material. Students will examine three different materials to determine the porosity and permeability of each.
Coupled with this activity is the creation of both confined and unconfined aquifers. Substrates are added to a cup and students will create a barrier out of clay to serve as the material shielding a confined aquifer. This will simulate deep underground water that is less impacted by modern pollution.
This lab activity can be linked to real world concerns. Chemical intrusion into the local water supply is common in many places. Students can take what they learn and apply the information to groundwater issues locally. The Gelman Plume is such a concern located near Arbor Scientific.

Products being sold are not toys. They are for Educational / Laboratory use only. They are not for use by children 12 and under.

What’s Included

  • 1500 g Marble chips
  • 1500 g Medium gravel
  • 1500 g Coarse sand
  • 60 Plastic cups
  • 15 Nails
  • Modeling clay
  • 25mL Food coloring


Disciplinary Core Ideas: ESS3.A; ESS2.A

Performance Expectations: MS- ESS3-1; HS-ESS2-2; HS- ESS3-1

Cross Cutting Concepts: Influence of Science, Engineering and Technology on Society and the Natural World; Stability and Change, Cause and Effect

Engineering Practices: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Developing and Using Models