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Kids doing experiments

Virtual Water Monitoring Lab

TVA Kids Water Monitoring Lab has gone virtual! Our free “hands-on” lab is now available to targeted classrooms across the Tennessee Valley. Students in grades 4-6 take on the role of scientists—testing conditions of a local source of water, including pH, dissolved oxygen, water temperature, and turbidity.

This virtual program includes eight short videos, demonstrating how to use the program. The goal of this lab is to use water from a local source to make students aware of the impact we can have on our water resources and the connections we have within a community to the environment around us.

Educators will also receive a lab prep guide, directions, lesson guides, and other resources.

Contact us at with questions or to find out more about this free, hands-on lab for 4th through 6th graders in the TVA service area.


Step 1: What is TVA?

TVA has a really big job! Can you guess what it is? Learn more about how TVA uses water from the Tennessee River and other energy sources to make electricity for more than 10 million people.

Step 2: What is Aquatic Life?

Healthy water is important for humans, plants, animals and many other organisms. Learn which elements are important for water quality and for supporting aquatic life.

Step 3: How to Start an Experiment

Here we learn the importance of planning experiments and checking our equipment before we conduct fieldwork or begin experiments. We will go through the test kit and familiarize ourselves with our new science equipment!

Step 4: Water Temperature

Temperature impacts many factors in a body of water. Learn how to take a sample without contaminating your water and how to begin the testing process.

Step 5: Dissolved Oxygen

The oxygen in water that’s available for aquatic life is important to healthy habitats. Fish, mussels and plants require dissolved oxygen to live in aquatic environments.

Step 6: pH

A healthy pH level supports a healthy watershed for all aquatic life. It’s important to test our water sample for a normal range and discuss possible pollution sources that could affect the pH level.

Step 7: Turbidity

It’s a fun word to say and a fun measurement to test how far you can see in a body of water. Aquatic life has adapted to different levels of turbidity but too much suspended matter can negatively affect aquatic habitats.

Step 8: Analyze and Interpret Results

Taking everything we’ve learned, let’s determine the full health of our water sample and what we can do to support healthy aquatic life in our area.