You Can Do
As part of my Science Magic assemblies I demonstrate a few experiments that students can try at home or in the classroom. I was happy to hear from a teacher/parent whose daughter was doing a liquid density experiment that I explain in my show. Cool!
Hi Mr. Evans,
Thank you again for calling me back and for shedding some light about the science project. We tried it today and it worked! The wax paper was also very useful. Thank you! Here is a picture of my daughter with a big smile on her face. What a success!
-Joy Salle, teacher and parent
This experiment creates rainbow-like layers of liquid. From the bottom: sugar water (blue food coloring), regular water (red food coloring), cooking oil, and rubbing alcohol (green food coloring).
A few tips to make this work (and end up pretty):
- When making the sugar water, add sugar until the water is totally saturated and no more will dissolve in. (It takes a LOT of sugar, more than you might think.) Heating the water over the stove and stirring sugar in helps it dissolve.
- Alternately, you can substitute salt for the sugar. (Discuss why objects float easier in salt water than fresh water.)
- Using a tall and narrow glass shows off the different liquids the best.
- Use a piece of wax paper between the layers as you pour each new color in. This prevents the weight of the falling water to cause the layers to mix. Alternately, if you have a tall glass you can tip the container to one side and pour the next layer so it hits the side of the container first and then slides over the existing layer.
- Challenge: what other liquids can you add that might float at different levels?
- What solid items could you drop into the liquid, and where would it float? Samples include a nut, raisin, egg in the shell, marble, ping pong ball, etc.
Like to try science on your own? Download my Science Magic Class Activity Sheet at www.edumazement.com/science.html. (Scroll to the bottom for a link to the PDF document.) My favorite one is called “Chilly Rescue” and uses an ice cube, glass of cold water, a piece of string, and some salt. I’ve also created a few videos that show science experiments in action. Visit my youtube channel www.youtube.com/edumazement and scroll down to the Science Magic videos.
All of the ideas on the Activity Sheet and the videos came from books I checked out from the library. Youtube and online resources are also excellent places to learn more.
Connect with me on Pinterest for fun photos from my Science Magic visits to schools.