Schoolchildren around the world are being asked to take part in what organisers hope will be the biggest chemistry experiment of all time.
Budding scientists at primary and secondary school level will be asked to carry out four tests on water as part of the International Year of Chemistry, due to be launched in Paris on January 27.
"We are hoping that 10,000 schools will take part," said Fabienne Meyers, associate director of the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), which is teaming up with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for the project.
Investigations will include testing water for acidity and learning how to filter and distil it.
Small-scale chemistry kits are being distributed to schools in some developing countries to help them, Meyers said.
Once the experiments are complete, the children will be able to enter the results onto an interactive map on the International Chemistry Year website (www.chemistry2011.org/).
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