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This experiment introduces students to the concept of porosity, the idea that solid rock is often not so solid, but contains spaces (pores) between particles where water, oil, or gas may be found. The experiment, which can be performed as a demonstration or by the students themselves, involves adding measured volumes of water to known volumes of sand, silt, or gravel in beakers. A materials list, instructions, an equation for calculating porosity, and a worksheet for recording results are included. Links to additional information and to a downloadable, printable version of the experiment are provided.
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