Material: small cork and glass (or beaker) of water.
1. Fill the beaker about half full of water and place the cork
on the water surface. Observe what happens.
2. Give the cork a small push in different directions and
watch each time where it comes to rest.
3. Fill the beaker full of water to the extent that it
overflows a little. Now place the cork on the water surface and
observe what happens.
4. What happens when you try to move the cork around now?
1. Where is the water the highest when the beaker is half
2. Why does the cork tend to go the side of the beaker and
stay there when the beaker is half full?
3. Where is the water level the highest when the beaker is
4. Where does the cork float in the full beaker? Why?
3) Floating Things
Material: several glasses or beakers, food coloring,
various liquids like water, vegetable oil, honey or syrup; various
items like plastic, pasta, metal objects, etc.
1. Fill glasses or beakers with the various liquids you have -
one per glass, do not mix liquids. Add food coloring and stir.
2. Try floating the various objects you have on each of the
liquids. Find which ones float and which don't.
3. Now pour honey or syrup into the glass (wide if possible)
about a quarter full. Then slowly pour the same amount of
vegetable oil over the syrup, and on top of that the water.
Observe what happens.
4. Now carefully place the objects on top of the water and
observe what happens.
1. What do you note about the items which float on the various
liquids? How do you distinguish the ones that only float on water?
2. What happens when the liquids are in the same container and
the objects are added?
3. How can you explain the phenomena you have observed?
5) Drops that Don't Move
Material: beaker, water, alcohol, vegetable oil,
1. Mix and stir 2/3 volume of alcohol and 1/3 volume water in
2. Fill a medicine dropper with vegetable oil and place a few
drops of oil down in the liquid. What happens to the oil drops?
1. What shapes do the oil drops have?
2. What happens to the oil drops? Do they move?
3. Explain what is happening to the oil drops. What could you
do to keep the drops suspended if they move up or down. Try it!
4. Why are the oil drops spherical?
6) Separating Objects by Physical Means
Material: various objects like sand, sugar, iron
filings, BBs and other requested objects like a magnet, beaker and
water, coffee filter, cheesecloth.
1. Mix together the objects in a beaker.
2. Figure out ways to separate the objects physically.
1. Which objects might you remove first? How would you do
2. How many ways can you think of to remove the BBs?
3. After the BBs and iron filings are removed, how would you
separate the sugar from the sand?
7) A Mixture or a Solution?
Material: BBs, sugar, water, two beakers or glasses,
paper clips, toothpicks, bits of paper.
1. Fill the two beakers about half full with water.
2. Put a spoonful of sugar in one beaker and the BBs, paper
clips, toothpicks, and bits of paper in the other beaker.
3. Stir both beakers. What do you observe?
4. One of these beakers is a mixture and the other beaker
contains a solution. Identify them.
1. Which beaker contains a mixture? Why?
2. Which beaker contains a solution? Why?
3. If you mix the following substances individually into a
beaker of water, would you have a mixture or a solution? Sand,
salt, chocolate powdered milk.
4. Give your best definition of a mixture and a solution.
8) The Liquid Disappears
Material: rubbing alcohol, medicine dropper.
1. Place 4 drops of alcohol on your open palm held
horizontally using a medicine dropper. Time how long it takes to
disappear. The teacher can also drop the alcohol on several
2. You can do this experiment with students by having each one
using a medicine dropper to place 4 drops on their own hand or by
having the teacher do it. Starting together let the students try
to get rid of the liquid as fast as possible. They can not rub it
off on absorbent material, but can rub it on their skin. Do not
tell the students what the liquid is. They can blow on it, spread
it on their palm, wave their hand in the air, etc.
1. What happened to the liquid?
2. Do you feel anything on your palm while the liquid was
3. How long did it take for the four drops to disappear?
4. What can you do to make the liquid disappear faster?
9) A Full Glass?
Material: Three glasses or clear plastic cups, water,
paper towels, eyedropper, food coloring, pennies, liquid
1. Place a glass on several layers of paper towels. Fill it
almost full with water and then place a few drops of food coloring
in the water and stir.
2. Using another glass or cup, pour some more water into the
glass until you think it is full. Do not let it overfill and spill
3. Now the fun begins. Place your bets. How much more water do
you think can be placed in the glass until it spills over the rim?
4. Using a medicine dropper, add water one drop at a time
until the water spills.
5. A variation of this is to add pennies, one at a time,
instead of adding drops from a medicine dropper. The pennies
should be dropped in vertically!
6. Now do the experiment again with a full glass of water in
which a few drops of liquid detergent has been added, but don't
tell anyone you added the liquid detergent!
1. How many drops of water could you add? Pennies?
2. Why does the water not overflow easily for the first glass?
3. Why does the water overflow so easily for the glass with
4. What shape does the meniscus have in the two cases?
10) A Molecular Model - Can The Beaker
Material: clear beaker or container, marbles, sand,
water, graduated cylinder or beaker.
1. Fill the beaker to the top with as marbles.
2. Now (using the graduated cylinder or beaker) carefully add
as much sand as you can to the beaker. Make sure you measure the
amount of sand that you put in. You should shake the beaker to
allow the sand to settle to the bottom and go among the marbles.
DRAW A DIAGRAM.
3. Now carefully add as much water as you can to the beaker.
Again measure the amount of water you use.
1. How can the already filled container hold sand and then
water when it was apparently full?
2. What would have happened if we had started with water, then
added sand, then the marbles?
3. What can you infer from this experiment about the sizes of
4. What relationship does this experiment have with the
11) Invisible Gas
Material: steam kettle for boiling water, candle or
1. Put water in the steam kettle and start it boiling.
2. Observe steam coming out of the kettle after the water is
3. Light the candle or heat source and place it under the path
of the steam, so the steam passes over the flame. What do you
observe? DRAW A DIAGRAM.
4. Move the candle around under the steam. What do you
1. Where did you observe and not observe steam?
2. How are we able to see steam?
3. Where else where we see water vapor?
4. What conditions are necessary for fog to form?
15) Solubility and Temperature
Material: Two 600 mL beakers, hot and cold water,
1. Put 200 mL of hot water in one beaker and 200 mL of cold
water in the other beaker. Carefully note exactly how much water
you have in each beaker. It does not need to be precisely 200 mL.
2. Place 5 mL of sugar into each beaker and stir well until
the water dissolves.
3. Place another 5 mL of sugar into each beaker and stir well
until the water dissolves.
4. Continue adding 5 mL of sugar into each beaker until the
sugar no longer dissolves in that beaker. Note the amount of sugar
that dissolved in both the hot and cold water.
1. Which beaker held the most sugar?
2. Why did the hot water hold more sugar?
3. Do you think a sugar cube would dissolve faster in hot or
cold water? If you are not sure, then do the experiment and time
4. Do you think salt would behave the same way as sugar?