Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Graph paper, 100-square grids for each participant
- Waxed paper
- New (sterile) eyedroppers for all participants
- Bowls of water for each work area
- Clean cloth towels or paper towels
Preparation for Activity
- Cover each grid completely with a sheet of waxed paper.
- Set bowls of water in the center of each work area for easy access by all participants.
- Lay out towels near the work areas.
Description of Activity
Invite participants to place 100 drops of water on their waxed paper grids. Tell them to put one drop in each square to make counting easy.
As they work, ask participants:
If your 100 drops represent all of Earth's water, how many drops do you think would be drinkable?
Tell them the answer is one drop. Ninety-nine percent of the world's water is salt water or contaminated fresh water. If the eyedroppers were new or cleaned when you started, invite participants to drop one drop into their mouths. How satisfying do they find that?
If you have time, ask participants to experiment with moving their 100 drops into one very large drop. How far can away can they set a drop and still have it merge into the one next to it? The attractive force between water molecules (or drops) is called cohesion. Cohesion helps explain why water gathers together from rivulets to streams to rivers, mentioned in Workshop 1.
Including All Participants
Participants with fine-motor difficulties can be allowed to try as they wish; they will still absorb the message by watching.