Properties of Water

Water is essential for life, but how much do you know about how it works? In this simulation, you will build a water molecule, and figure out why it behaves the way it does. Are you ready to make a splash?

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Water is all around you, and you might not even know it! You have arrived at a clearing in the forest, take a closer look at some mysterious natural phenomena. Can they be explained by the properties of water?

Piece together the fundamentals of water's polarity 

Why does water behave the way it does? It’s all down to charge distribution and polarity! Build your own water molecule on the holotable, and see for yourself how the distribution of charge across the molecule isn’t quite equal. Play around with the molecules to work out how this makes them attracted to each other, and unearth how they form hydrogen bonding networks.

Find evidence of cohesion and adhesion 

Once you have understood the fundamentals, it’s time to explore the forest and see if you can put some science behind your observations. Explore a spider's web, and how droplets of water will form. With your understanding of polarity you will bring to light the mechanism behind cohesion and adhesion, relating back to hydrogen bonding. Looking deeper inside the tree it is attached to, finding out how hydrogen bonding is integral to the transport of water inside the trunk. 

See the impact of surface tension on insects

Have you ever noticed that small insects can walk on water without sinking? We’ll study a water strider, and try to figure out how surface tension allows it to do this. 

Unfold waters solubility and thermal capacity capabilities

The fundamentals of polarity don’t just stop there.  You’ll see why water is so good at making things dissolve, making it an excellent solvent. You will also discover how the sea stays so cool even when the sand is hot, due to water's high thermal capacity. So, what are you waiting for? We hope you have brought your swimming goggles.

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Water is essential for life, but how much do you know about how it works? In this simulation, you will build a water molecule, and figure out why it behaves the way it does. Are you ready to make a splash?

Techniques in lab
Learning objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to...

  • Describe the nature and properties of water using appropriate terminology
  • Relate observable phenomena of water to the molecular mechanisms that underpin them
Simulation features

Length: 15
Accessibility mode: Available
Languages: English (United States)

NGSS

ESS2.C-H1

IB

Biology 2.2

AP

Biology Unit 1.1