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Mr. M. from San Jose CA is requesting Instructional Technology through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Is this Water Sample Pure? Probe It!

Help me give my students a pair of calcium ion selective probes to test different water samples, a Vernier interface to interpret their data and a projector to report and share their findings to the class.

  • $1,695 goal

This project expired on January 17, 2019.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

PHHS is one of top schools in the East Side District in San Jose, California. It has a population of around 2200 students, a little over a third of which are economically disadvantaged, enrolled in the district's free or reduced lunch program. In spite of this, a lot of these students are self-motivated, enrolling or taking as much as four or five advanced placement (AP) classes yearly. Because of this, funding for supplies and equipment are limited. Whereas Title One funds are available for the low-achieving students to perform better, the students in our school are basically left to tend to their own.

Our annual budget (of about $8000 to $10,000) for our science supplies and equipment is shared among 16 chemistry classes, 16 biology classes, 3 physics classes, 7 advanced placement (AP) classes, and 10 elective classes (physiology and forensics).

This amount is barely enough for consumable chemicals and replacement glassware for breakages, let alone consumable safety gear that are very important. The AP classes alone take up a huge chunk of this budget, which require more chemicals and more advanced science equipment. This is the reason why teachers in our school look for outside funding.

My Project

In any science class, it is always best for the students if they can apply concepts that they learn to analyze real-world situations. The concept of solutions focus on the fact that water, being the universal solvent, can dissolve a lot of substances that make them impure. Although some of the substances can contribute in a positive way, there are those that make water not safe to drink or use.

This project will focus on having my students analyze different water samples for their hardness, looking specifically for the concentration of calcium ions.

Hard water simply means that it has a relatively high concentration of dissolved minerals (calcium and magnesium specifically). And even though it does not pose as a huge health risk, it is often a nuisance, as hard water can cause mineral buildup in faucets, showers, water pipes and heating systems. It also contributes to lower or a poor detergent performance in washing clothes. Obtaining the equipment in this project would allow our students to investigate the hardness of different water samples, starting with water from their own homes and from the data, determine if water softeners are needed or recommended.

Specifically, the two Vernier Go Direct® Calcium Ion-Selective Electrodes will be used by the students to test the water samples that they are going to obtain. The data from the electrodes will be obtained thru the Vernier LabQuest 2 interface. It is one of the most versatile data-collection devices and very portable as well. The data that the students obtain will then be projected in front of the class through the use of the Epson LCD projector. The students can present their findings and conclusions and then provide recommendations and additional insights about the water samples that were tested.

Mr. M.
Grades 9-12
Half of students from low‑income households

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4 donors4 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 105 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Epson - EX5260 XGA Wireless 3LCD Projector - Black/white • Best Buy Education $516.12 1 $516.12
VERNIER LABQUEST 2. • Ward's Science $329.99 1 $329.99
LABQUEST 2 LAB ARMOR. • Ward's Science $16.99 1 $16.99
LABQUEST 2 STYLUS (5). • Ward's Science $5.49 1 $5.49

Materials cost


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Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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4 Donors


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Project Activity

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