The pH Factor

Authentic or Project Assessment

Are students capable of using the Internet to collect pH data from various schools around the country and analyze the data with respect to geographical location and acid rain? Try the assessment below, or find out more about authentic/project assessment




pH paper
rain gauge

chart paper


What To Do


DIVIDE the class into groups of four students with the following roles:

  • Contact Coordinator: Coordinates correspondence with other schools.
  • Equipment Handler: Distributes and manipulates materials.
  • Recorder: Records results.
  • Speaker: Shares results with the class and with the other schools participating.


ASSIGN a geographic region to each group. Each Contact Coordinators SELECTS one school on the Internet from their region and, via e-mail, INVITES a representative from that school to participate in a data collection experiment.


NOTE: The Contact Coordinators can write e-mail to a schools from the following hotlists:

Equipment Handlers COLLECT rain water samples. USE pH testing strips to TEST the samples of water. The Recorders RECORD the results of each water sample test on the lab sheets.




Contact Coordinators SHARE test methods and results with each school. Recorders RECORD the data. Is there evidence of acid rain? Schools can share other information, too. Is their community urban or rural? Would this make a difference? What other questions might be relevant?



Speakers PRESENT results to the class. Students GRAPH the information from all groups. Students MAKE conclusions about acid rain. What statements can be made? What evidence supports their statements?




Portfolio Assessment 


Using Your Tongue

Magic Liquids

Secret Messages

Exciting Students

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