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Activity: Where is Water
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas
Table of Contents


  • Cobalt chloride paper
  • Water
  • Petri dishes or other small containers
  • Tape
  • Variety of liquids to test, for example
    • vinegar
    • oil
    • alcohol
    • cleaning solutions
  • Table 1.2


  1. Pour water and test liquids into Petri dishes.
  2. Dip cobalt chloride paper into water as a control. Tape the paper into Table 1.2 and record your observations.
  3. Predict which liquids contain water and which do not. Record your predictions in Table 1.2.
  4. Dip cobalt chloride paper into each liquid. Tape the paper into Table 1.2 and record your observations.


Activity Questions
  1. In this investigation, what indicates the presence of water in matter?
  2. Did your results match your predictions? Why or why not?
  3. What can you infer about the presence of water based on this investigation?
  4. What other substances would you like to test for the presence of water? Write down your predictions about whether they contain water. Carry out your experiment if possible.
  5. What are some liquids that may be difficult or impossible to test with cobalt chloride paper? Explain your answer.
Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.