Dissolving Wastes
Explorations with 2nd Grade



Our dirty water goes down the drain.  

Guiding Question:

What happens to our dirty water after it goes down the drain?

Lesson Description

Everybody uses a sink, not everybody thinks about what happens to all the “stuff” we pour down it. Dissolving Wastes helps teach students all about what happens to their dirty water after it goes down the drain.

The Dissolving Wastes pilot is a 1 hour classroom lesson, including hands-on materials and science notebooks designed especially for young students to explore what happens to the wastes we pour down the drain. The program will leave everyone with a deeper understanding of how we all contribute to our collective wastewater system.


Aligned with 2nd Grade NGSS standards. As you can see from the photo gallery, appropriate for all ages.

2nd Grade Matter and Its Interactions

What Students Will Do:

Students will make their own simulated wastewater using food packets and other common materials we see go down the drain. Students will closely observe and sketch how wastes behave when submerged underwater. Students will then formulate ideas about how this “stuff” might behave throughout our wastewater system.

What Students Will Figure Out:

  • That different forms of matter (stuff) behave differently when submerged underwater.
  • That some stuff floats and other stuff sinks.
  • That some stuff breaks apart and other stuff holds it shape.
  • That close observation of wastewater can show us just how interesting and beautiful the stuff we put down the drain really is!

Want to learn more?

Please contact Ben Lavender at 925-335-7723 or blavender@centralsan.org to bring this exciting pilot program to your classroom!