Hands-on Activity: Faucet Flow Rate
Educational Standards :
Learning Objectives (Return to Contents)
After completing this activity, students should be able to:
Materials List (Return to Contents)
Each group needs:
Introduction/Motivation (Return to Contents)
To take full advantage of today's activity, we need to able to relate a flow rate from a river to something they are familiar with. By experimentally determining the flow rate of a faucet, we will develop a frame of reference for gauging the magnitude of flow rates in rivers.
Procedure (Return to Contents)
One important aspect of good experiments is repeating the experiment and averaging the data from numerous trials. Averaging the data from repeated trials reduces data error, which is why it is suggested that students perform three trials at each faucet level. If time is limited, have each group do one trial for each faucet level.
Attachments (Return to Contents)
Assessment (Return to Contents)
At activity end, convene the class to share and compare results. Point out how these are the sorts of calculations engineers make when analyzing natural resources for the amount of water flow they could provide to a community. Use this forum to make sure students have gained familiarity with the units and the flow rates at the different faucet flow levels, which prepares them for the next step (conducting the associated River Flow Rate activity), to relate this sense of scale to the movement of water in a local river.
Activity Extensions (Return to Contents)
Have students determine flow rate of faucets, shower heads and garden hoses they use in their homes, yards and school.
Have students compare data across different teams. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. If the room faucets are similar, then the various group data should fall on the same line on a graph. You could provide the data from all groups to every team, and have them prepare graphs of all the data. If the faucets are different, then students could hypothesize why the flow rate vs. time plots are different, for example, cross sectional area of faucet is bigger/smaller, water pressure is different from faucet to faucet, etc.
ContributorsBobby Rinehart, Karen Johnson, Mike Mooney
Copyright© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2005 Colorado School of Mines
Supporting Program (Return to Contents)Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Colorado School of Mines
Acknowledgements (Return to Contents)
This curriculum was created with support from the National Science Foundation. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.