“problem-based learning at its best!”
Teacher & program Participant
Free program participants will need a coagulator kit. You can purchase them in our store. Or you can sign up on the waiting list to receive a free kit via sponsors, donors, and crowdfunding. They can follow along programming via our youtube channel and live video Q&A session.
Sponsored participants will get a coagulator kit and will receive a reward of a bonus robotics kit to turn the coagulator hardware into an automated moving car. Sponsored participants will be paired with a mentor during the program and have access to a one-on-one meeting. The mentor will help pick suitable challenges for the team based upon their availability and curiosity. They can also follow along programming via our youtube channel and live video Q&A session.
We designed an ever evolving STEM/STEAM water program that develops as students and educators participate. The Make Water program operates in two seasons every year. September through April is our regular season in which we challenge students to take the coagulator kit and elevate it in some way or put it to the test with different types of water.
Electrodes are submerged in a container of ‘dirty’ water. Electricity flows through an electrode and through the water to the other electrode. This completes the electrical circuit. As electricity passes through the electrodes, metal ions are released into the water. On the surface of the electrode, water is split into hydrogen gas (H2) and hydroxyl groups (OH-). When electricity flows through the water towards the other electrode, surface charges on suspended solids are destabilized. This reaction causes suspended solids, metals, emulsified oils, and other contaminants to clump together, forming what is called flocculent. As electricity flows metal ions (Me+) are released from the electrode and attach to the flocculent. Because the electrode is slowly losing metal ions, it is also called the sacrificial electrode. The flocculent may either float to the surface or sink to the bottom depending on the density and structure of the contaminants.
Electro-coagulation can change other chemical properties of water (such as pH, alkalinity, and hardness) and make it taste better. Contaminants such as bacteria and viruses may also be immobilized or killed, which then can be filtered out of the water with the coagulated solids. However, electro-coagulation is considered a pre-treatment process only. To ensure the water is free from bacteria and viruses, additional treatment is required. While the concept of using electricity to treat water is not new, recent technology in electronics is making electro-coagulation less expensive, more accessible, and more efficient in filtering water. This makes it possible for a greater number of people to have cleaner drinking water.
In 2017 we began a partnership with A&M to collaborate on classroom curriculum revolving around building and learning about the electro-coagulation process with the Make Water coagulator kits.
The Texas 4-H Explore series allows 4-H volunteers, educators, members, and youth who may be interested in learning more about 4-H to try some fun and hands on learning experiences in a particular project or activity area. Each guide features information about important aspects of the 4-H program, and its goal of teaching young people life skills through hands on experiences. Additionally, each guide contains at least six learning experiences, which can be used as a project guide, or as activities for six different 4-H meetings.