Before using these tasks, consider reviewing the Guidance for Use document, which provides suggestions for the most effective ways the TDSciN Task Library can be used to support high-quality science teaching and learning.


uninhabited island

Driving Phenomenon: Students are told they are stranded on an island and the only water available is salt water. There’s a solar still, though, and while the water going into the still is salty, the water coming out is fresh and drinkable. Students try to figure out how the solar still works.

Download All Task Documents (.ZIP – 4MB)
Task Overview (.PDF – 383KB)
Student Version (.DOC – 738KB)
Teacher Guide (.PPT – 3MB)
Part E Infographic (.PDF – 194KB)

Tennessee Academic Standards for Science and Next Generation Science Standards Learning Targets

Tennessee Academic Standards for Science

  • 5.PS1.1: Analyze and interpret data from observations and measurements of the physical properties of matter to explain phase changes between a solid, liquid, or gas.
  • 5.PS1.2: Analyze and interpret data to show that the amount of matter is conserved even when it changes form, including transitions where matter seems to vanish.

Next Generation Science Standards

  • Science and Engineering Practices
    Developing and Using Models

    • Grade 3–5 Element: Develop and/or revise a model based on evidence that shows the relationship among variables for frequent and regular occurring events.
    • Grade 3–5 Element: Develop and/or use models to describe and/or predict phenomena.
  • Crosscutting Concepts
    Systems and System Models

    • Grade 3-5 Element: A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions.
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas
    PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter

    • Grade 3–5 Element: Matter of any type can be subdivided into particles that are too small to see, but even then the matter still exists and can be detected by other means. A model shows that gases are made from matter particles that are too small to see and are moving freely around in space can explain many observations, including the inflation and shape of a balloon; the effects of air on larger particles or objects.
    • Grade 3–5 Element: The amount (weight) of matter is conserved when it changes form, even in transitions in which it seems to vanish.
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The Tennessee District Science Network was funded by Arconic Foundation.

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