Unit Overview

Students use their understanding of water and pollution to engineer water filters.

  • Grades 1–5 (Designed for grades 3–5; includes modifications for grades 1–2.)
  • Setting: In school
  • Science connection: Hydrosphere, human impact on the environment
  • 5 lessons (7–8 class sessions)

Standards alignment

We’ve developed each EiE unit with careful attention to educational standards in both science and technology/engineering. View Standards Alignments.

Unit Map

Students are introduced to the concepts of engineering and technology. (30–40 min.)
The class reads a storybook in which a girl named Salila living in India explores ideas from the field of Environmental Engineering in order to save a turtle from its polluted environment. (90–120 min., 2–3 sessions)
Students investigate potential air, water, and soil pollution sources. (40–50 min.)
Students test different materials and evaluate how well each one filters contaminants from water. (50–60 min.)
Students follow the steps of the Engineering Design Process to imagine, plan, create, test, and then improve their own water filter designs. (100–120 min., 2 sessions)

Sample How-to Video

Sample Classroom Video

What's Included?

  • Teacher Guide (PDF)
  • Illustrated Story (PDF)
  • Print Materials (PDF)
  • Additional Resources