Surface tension is one of water's most important properties. It is the reason that water collects in drops, but it is also why water can travel up a plant stem, or get to your cells through the smallest blood vessels. Help your child understand surface tension by showing her how she can create a "skin" on top of water. Test this theory by trying this experiment.
Balloons are rather fragile things. You know that they must be kept away from sharp objects. The also need to be kept away from flames. A fire can weaken the rubber and cause it to burst. However, in this experiment you will find out how you can hold a balloon directly in a flame without breaking the balloon.
Humans and other animals are very complex creatures. So let's first consider plants. Plants seem to be simple examples of the way life works. You plant them in the ground, water them, and let the sun shine on them. Pretty soon, they grow, they bloom, and then they die. But inside a plant, there are processes happening that we don't see — processes unlike anything else we encounter. Let's begin to understand these processes with what everyone knows is the most important resource a plant can get: water.
Some things just don't get along well with each other. Take oil and water as an example, you can mix them together and shake as hard as you like but they'll never become friends.....or will they? Take this fun experiment a step further and find out how bringing oil and water together can help you do your dishes.
Anyone can stack blocks, boxes, or books, but only those with a steady hand and a little understanding of chemistry can stack liquids. What if you could stack seven different liquids in seven different layers? Think of it as a science burrito!
Tap water in many parts of the country contains minerals that can interfere with the cleaning ability of detergents. That's why water softeners are popular in these locations. Water softeners remove these minerals. In this experiment, you will make "hard" water from distilled water, which contains no minerals, and is therefore "soft." You can then compare the sudsing ability of a detergent in soft and hard water.
Water molecules are constantly on the move in what is called the water cycle (or hydrologic cycle). Heat from the sun causes the water to evaporate and become a vapor. As the water vapor cools, it condenses, forming tiny droplets which gather to form clouds. As the droplets get larger, they become heavier causing them to fall to the ground as precipitation (like rain, sleet, or snow). Some of this precipitation joins lakes and streams (called surface water), and some of it soaks into the ground where it becomes groundwater. The process of water soaking into the ground is called infiltration, or recharge.
Have you ever seen a mosquito or other small bug sitting on the surface of a body of water. The surface of the water acts as “skin.” It tends to hold together because the water molecules are attracted to each other. This is called surface tension. You are going to conduct an experiment that demonstrates how water molecules stick together to create surface tension.