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The water factory. Tinkering space

You have just entered the water factory! A space packed with activities that challenge you to capture water, make it sound and make it fly. A space through which you will discover new ways of painting and measuring time. In short, a space in which to explore the complexity of the properties of water and your own imagination.

In this activity, you will have to solve challenges related to the different properties of water, climate action and sustainability.

“The water factory” is the tinkering space at the Museu de les Aigües, where we address the challenges of the future connected with water. Tinkering is an active learning methodology of a playful nature based on the motto “think with your hands” and trial and error.




Challenge 1: CAPTURING WATER Can you capture the water in the air?
Challenge hashtag: #atrapalaigua

There are places in the world that are very dry, such as the island of El Hierro in the Canary Islands, but even in these places, fog or dew often forms in the morning. Can we capture these micro-droplets of water and turn them into reserves for irrigation, for example? Nature has always done this, using the droplets that form on leaves or spider webs.

People have invented ways to obtain water by imitating nature, using methods that are much more sustainable than transporting it from other places. Could you do the same at home? Can you capture the water in the air?

If you live in an area where mist often forms or there is dew in the mornings, you can try your water trap in the street! If not, we encourage you to use it in areas of the house with high humidity, such as the bathroom (after a shower) or the kitchen (after boiling food).

How will you do it? Materials you could use include mesh fabric with holes of different sizes, wooden sticks, clamps, a stapler, drawing pins, thread and scissors.



Challenge 2: WATER CLOCKS Can you measure time with water?
Challenge hashtag: #rellotgesdaigua

To live, humans have always needed to measure time, and we have used the moon, sun and sand to do so. But… water? Can we build a clock with water?

We challenge you to build a water clock. How will you do it? These are some of the materials you will need: tubes made from PVC, cardboard or any other material you have to hand, a saw, a cutter, different sizes of wood, paper cups, weighted materials, nails or glue to join the parts together, different size containers to hold the water…


Challenge 3: WATER PAINTINGS Can you paint without paint?
Challenge hashtag: #quadresdaigua

To paint, we normally use synthetic elements such as paint or markers, which may contain plastics and non-biodegradable inks. Could you make a painting using only natural elements? Give new creative uses to things like coffee? How might you use a stone to paint? Can water be turned into paint?

In this challenge, we invite you to paint a picture using only natural elements in the most original way possible. You can make a workshop at home or take your paper or pieces of white linen to a river or the sea to paint there.

Need some inspiration? Here are some ideas!
Use turmeric, paprika, cumin or other spices, sand, stones of different sizes and textures, coloured feathers…



Challenge 4: LET’S FLY! Can you make a rocket fly with water?
Challenge hashtag: #avolar

Have you ever wondered why there are so many factories and industrial estates next to rivers? Why there are windmills? Before we had power from steam engines or electricity, rivers and running water were one of our main sources of energy. The movement of water was used to power machines for weaving or grinding grain.
In this challenge, we propose that you use the energy of water… to make a rocket fly! Here’s a hint: you’ll need air as well as water. And another hint: here’s a list of all the materials and instruments you’ll need:

– Large pop or juice bottle.
– Cork stopper that fits the opening in the bottle.
– Drill to make a long, thin hole in the cork stopper.
– Pump with needle adapter (for inflating balloons).
– Support for the rocket to stand on before launching (you can make legs for the rocket so that it can stand on its own).
How are you going to build it? In addition to the materials, you will find the key construction stages in the video.


Challenge 5: AQUATIC SONGS Can you make water sing?
Challenge hashtag: #cantsaquatics

Did you know that cetaceans communicate underwater? Sound can also be transmitted through this element. But climate change has caused alterations in the temperature and composition of sea water, resulting in changes in the communication between cetaceans, and this has led to a decrease in the intensity of their song.

But water is not only a medium for transmitting sound… it can also generate sound! In this challenge, we propose that you use water as an instrument and record a song using only water instruments.

You can use:

– Glass jars with lids.
– Wooden sticks or drumsticks.
– Metal container.
– Ice cubes.
– Bamboo or metal straw.
– Cellophane paper of different colours.
– Drinking glasses.
– Food colouring or water dye.


Challenge 6: AQUATIC ART
Challenge hashtag: #artaquàtic #lafactoriadelaigua

Fancy trying to create a work of art with water? Water is an element that allows us to see the world around us from a different perspective, in which objects and light behave differently. How can we use this characteristic to create a work of art?

You have probably seen glass balls with water and other elements inside being used as decorations. We challenge you to build your own decorative water balls and investigate how different elements behave in water. You can test some of the following phenomena:

– What makes a material float or sink?

– How does temperature influence the speed at which a dye makes water change colour?

– What happens to light when we pass it through water?


Experiment by stirring and soaking all kinds of materials. You may discover some behaviours of water that you weren’t aware of before, and you will be able to decorate your room with an object made by your own hands!

Suggested materials that you can use to solve the challenge:

– Glass container
– Water
– Salt
– Food colouring
– Laser beam
– Cork balls
– Rice
– Small stones

¡Visualizad el vídeo del reto!


Challenge 7: WATER TOYS
Challenge hashtag: #joguinesdaigua #lafactoriadelaigua

What water toys can you invent? To make things move we need a source of energy, and water is a very good and widely used source of energy. Have you ever thought about creating objects that move with the help of water? And what if those objects were toys? In this challenge, we give you some clues about how we can use the power of water to generate circular movement… What toys will you be able to invent?

Explore the materials you have at home, use your creativity to build original toys and look for different ways to obtain water with enough force to make them spin.


Suggested materials that you can use to solve the challenge:

– Wooden toothpicks
– Foam support
– Teaspoons
– Cork stoppers
– Skewer sticks
– Syringes

Check out the challenge video!


Challenge 8: REUSING WATER
Challenge hashtag:  #reutilitzemlaigua #lafactoriadelaigua

Would you like to build a drip irrigation system? Water is a scarce commodity and a very good way to save it is to reuse as much as possible. Shower water that we allow to run while it heats up, for example, can easily be used to water plants. If we can find a way to do this through drip irrigation, we can save lots of water!

You don’t need big constructions or a lot of materials to build a home-made drip irrigation system. In this challenge, we give you ideas on how to make one with materials you may have at home, and to build your own design, from the simplest to the most complex. Experiment, explore and have fun as a family while helping to save water. What other ways of reusing water can you think of?


Suggested materials that you can use to solve the challenge:

– Reused containers
– Piece of cloth
– Drill
– Container for collecting shower water
– Funnel

Check out the challenge video!


Challenge hashtag: #circuitsdaigua #lafactoriadelaigua

Do you think you could construct a large water circuit? Where do rivers start and where do they end? Is it always the same? Do you think that somewhere on the planet a river could start at the sea and end at the top of a mountain?

The flow of water has a natural tendency and direction, but sometimes it can be modified, either by geographical features or by human interaction. The construction of buildings and roads can significantly alter the natural course of the planet’s water resources. Understanding the natural characteristics and behaviour of water is essential to minimise the risk of flooding.

In this challenge, we propose that you investigate ways to change the direction of water. How many different materials can you use to modify its trajectory? Which structures allow water to move and which do not? Explore, investigate and create the biggest circuit you can!

You can work together or separately, and then join your different circuits together to create a very large one. You can take ideas from the other challenges and bring them into your circuit. You can take inspiration from the elements around you… Use your creativity and share the result on our social media!


Suggested materials that you can use to solve the challenge:

– Reused containers
– Funnels
– Kitchen roll cardboard cylinders
– Old tubes
– Balloons

Check out the challenge video!


Challenge hashtag: #escalfaraigua #lafactoriadelaigua

Can you create a water heater? Saving energy is one of the main measures to combat climate change. Heating water is an energy-intensive activity, but creativity and design can help us find ways to do it using renewable energy sources such as sunlight. In this challenge, we encourage you to investigate which materials and structures heat water the most when it is in the sun. Experiment with containers of different colours, sizes and shapes; with tubes of different lengths, diameters and colours; measure how the temperature changes, and draw your own conclusions!

What colour do you think the components of a water heater should be? What type of structures would you use? Tell us about it on social media!


Suggested materials that you can use to solve the challenge:

– Containers of different colours
– Old hoses or tubes of different colours and sizes
– Thermometer
– Pallets or support structures
– Rubber bands

Check out the challenge video!