Experiment for Kids: Surface Tension

One of my favorite things is science.  I have found that even the simplest science experiments with my kids leads to unexpected discovery.

The funny thing about kids and science is that I THINK I am teaching one thing.

And then they go off on a tangent of curiosity and we end up somewhere completely unplanned.

Which is the point of experimentation!

Over the next few weeks, I am going to be writing about a series of science experiments from Workman Publishing.  Each is a simple experiment for kids that uses household items.

Water Surface Tension Experiment

Materials

  • Bowl of water
  • Black pepper
  • Bar of soap

Instructions

1.  Sprinkle black pepper on the water.

2.  Place finger in the water and watch what happens.

surface tension experiment pepper on water

3.  Is your finger covered with pepper?

4.  Clean finger!

5.  Rub clean finger with soap.

surface tension experiment soap and finger

6.  Place finger back in water to see what happens.

surface tension experiemtn pepper flees from finger

7.  Does the pepper FLEE from your finger?

WHY?

The soap didn’t change the pepper.  The soap changed the water’s surface tension.  This is why soap works!  Soap causes the water molecules to relax and not hold on to each other so tightly.  That is why soap cleans you and can get stains out of your clothes.

There is a printable version of this Surface Tension Experiment for Kids from Pop Bottle Science by Lynn Brunelle here.

Happy Experimenting!




Holly About Holly

Kids Activities Blog is Holly's blogging home.

She is the mom of three boys ages 7, 10 and 12 who partially homeschools. She believes that you shouldn't have to buy stuff to have fun when there is a kitchen junk drawer full of possibilities.

She can also be found at Business 2 Blogger, on Twitter as @QuirkyMommaSite or @Texasholly, but her favorite place to hang out is on Google +.