Dayton Regional STEM Center
(937) 225-4598
200 S. Keowee St. Dayton, OH 45402

H2 Oh No! A City Pb Astray

Using Flint’s water emergency as the back story, student teams will design, build, test, and evaluate a two-stage filter to remove lead from contaminated water. The 1st stage precipitates out the lead; the 2nd stage removes the precipitate from the water. Understanding and applying chemistry principles of molecular polarity of cell membranes, solubility, and precipitates to the filter design is critical for success. Designs will be evaluated on multiple parameters, including performance and cost. Students will connect filter performance to how well they interpreted the underlying chemistry principles. Students will also take away the understanding that designs must balance performance and cost.

Engineering Design Challenge

In this lesson, students will work in teams to design, build, test and evaluate a two-stage filter system to remove lead from contaminated water. In the two-stage filter system, the 1st filter will be a chemical filter that will precipitate the lead out of the water and the 2nd filter will be a physical filter that will remove the precipitate from the water. Filter design goals, including filtering performance goals (quality of post-filtered water; flow rate of water through the system; overall water loss/spillage), overall weight and cost will be provided to the teams. The system design will be evaluated using a weighted scorecard based on the design goals. Using the Engineering Design Process, the teams will design their filter system to maximize their overall score. The teams will build and test their design and calculate their overall score. The teams will redesign the filter to increase their evaluation score.