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Chesapeake Bay

Activity 7 (Explore): How Do Gases Get Into Liquids?


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Activity Summary

For this activity, students use a variety of phenomena including weathered and eroded tombstones, dissolving salt, and carbonated soda to explore the concept of dissolved substances. This is designed to lead them to an understanding of how gases can be dissolved in liquids, which will be important for understanding how air pollution can get into the Chesapeake Bay.

A Note About Doing This Activity: The activity after this one (Activity 8), as well as some of the activities before this one refer to gases dissolved in water, especially dissolved oxygen, dissolved nitrate, and dissolved ammonia. This activity is designed to help provide student background knowledge about how this is possible. It is not entirely necessary for students to understand gases dissolved in liquids to proceed through the module, so if you are pressed for time, it is okay to skip this activity. Nonetheless, it does provide valuable background knowledge for students, so if you have time, it is recommended.

Activity Objectives & Materials

Approximate Time: 30-45 minutes​


  • Students will understand the concept of a gas dissolved in a liquid

  • Students will understand that “polluted rain” can have a significant effect on objects



  • Salt

  • Cups of water

  • Stirrer

  • Bottle of carbonated beverage (ex. soda)

  • Word wall words: dissolve


  • Disappearing Salt

Standards Connection




1. Frame the Activity


2. Dissolving a Solid in Water

3. Dissolving a Gas in Water


4. Return to the Tombstones

5. Formative Assessment


For more information about On the Air 2020, contact:

Rebecca Davis, Education Manager


For more information about Clean Air Partners, check out our website at:  www.cleanairpartners.net

© 2020 by Clean Air Partners.