|Age Range||3-5 (PreK-K), 5-8 (grades 1-2), 8-11 (grades 3-5)|
|Group Size||medium (6-20)|
|Setup Time||medium (6-30 min)|
|Duration||medium (11-30 min)|
|Key terms||water tension, water displacement|
|Materials||paper clips, film canisters, pennies, eye droppers, plastic sandwich bags, sharpened pencils|
|Presentation Style||demonstration, interactive, student led|
Students will participate in water experiments that demonstrate water tension and water displacement.
This Is How You Play
Water on pennies
- Each student gets a penny. Due to the amount of supplies I have, there were enough droppers so that students could work in pairs.
- Ask students to hypothesize (a scientific guess) how many drops of water can stay on top of a penny before it flows over the side.
Water displacement in film canisters
- Due to the amount of paper clips (or any other small metal object) needed for this experiment, I recommend making this a demo.
- Fill one film canister to the brim
- Ask students to hypothesize how many paper clips they think can fit in the film canister without the water overflowing.
Surface tension with paper clips
- Demo this activity before letting students work on their own
- Ask them if they think certain objects can float on the water
- Remind them how many paper clips fell to the bottom of the film canister in the previous experiment
- Slowly and gently place a paper clip on the surface of the water. Water tension prevents the paper clip from falling to the bottom enough though it is solid metal.
- Give students an opportunity to also try to place a paperclip on the surface of the water.
Popping plastic bags full of water
- Demo this activity before letting students work in pairs
- Fill a plastic lunch bag with water
- Forcefully stab a sharpened pencil through the entirety of the bag. If done fast enough, the pencil will still through both sides of the bag without popping the bag or causing making leaks.
- Many pencils can be stuck through one bag.
- There should be enough pencils and bags for students to work in pairs.
Using a positively charged balloon to attract water
- Water has a net zero charge (because water is pressing on all sides of each other).
- Charge a balloon by rubbing it vigorously on your head. You have positively charged the balloon and it will now attract the zero charged water.
- Hold the balloon up to a small, solid stream of water from the sink.
- The balloon should bend the water because it attracts the water!
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