{Kid Science} Water Experiment: Displacement

Kid science experiments are a way to use fun hands-on activities to demonstrate a complex principle.  This great water experiment uses basic everyday items but your kids will be amazed at the results as they learn about displacement and surface tension (without really realizing they are learning about science!).  You know we love sneaking in a little learning now and then at Kids Activities Blog.

Everything in the world takes up space. Somethings like a grain of sand take up a little space and other things like an elephant can take up a lot of space.  When we add objects to a space, things have to move. The act of pushing or moving something out of the way is called displacement

My son and I decided to see if we could displace water.  We would use pennies to try to push water right out of cup and onto a plate. To do that we gathered as many pennies as we could. I even had to dig to the bottom of my purse to find a few.  My son gathered some for his coin collection.

kid science

Kid Science

When we had enough pennies, my son filled a plastic cup with water all the way to the brim. It was tricky to fill it to the top without the water flowing over the edge of the cup.

Very slowly one penny at a time was dropped into the water. My son worked at not throwing them in with great force. The goal was to disturb as little of the water as possible.

displacement Displacement

As he added pennies to the cup, we both watched the water start to rise. It look adding about thirteen pennies to see the water inch the brim of the cup.

Water Experiment

Just when we expected the cup to overfull something amazing started happening to the water. The water started to form a dome in the center. We had to look at the top of the cup at eye level to fully see what was happening.  We were both surprised. It looked like water was trying to make just a little more room at the top of the cup.  We were both afraid to see what would happen if we touched it so, we just looked at it for a moment more before adding the last two pennies.

Here is what the dome looked like just after we added the final two pennies. Just after I took this picture the water overflowed and filled the plate beneath it.

We learned an amazing lesson about water in this experiment. Water expands past the container it is in. How cool!

More Kids Activities

Kid science can be easy and fun while also teaching about daily science principles.  Water experiments seem to be especially fun for young children who like to splash and get a little wet.  For more fun water friendly kids activities, check out some of these ideas:

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About Deirdre

Deirdre Smith writes/owns JDaniel4’s Mom. After twenty years as a elementary school and technology resource teacher in Northern Virginia, she became a stay at home mom in upstate South Carolina. Her blog features ways she and her 5 year old are exploring learning, crafting, creating healthy meals and living life to its fullest. Deirdre can also be found on twitter as @jdaniel4smom and on her blog's FB page. You can also check her out on Google+.