Environmental Science Project at Pewabic Pottery

Last Friday, our 8th grade students constructed a water filtration system out of terracotta clay at Pewabic Pottery. Each strand of clay was hand-rolled by students, sprinkled with sawdust and molded into what looked like an upside down coil pot. The class learned that the sawdust would burn during the 1,700 degree firing process, creating pathways for the water to filter through. It takes 6 hours for the water to pass through and the mineral composition of the clay filters water far better than the average Britta and lasts up to 5 years! The water filtration container was built collectively by our students and can fit on a standard 5-gallon bucket. During their visit, students contemplated the chemistry behind what they were building, the community aspects of the project and the impact access to clean water has in third world nations and the global community. 

Charis Calender-Suemnick