Sunday, February 20, 2011

Science Sunday – Water’s Surface Tension & Exploding Colors

Science Sunday 

colors "exploding" on milk as surface tension is broken

We talked about water’s “skin” this week – the stuff that holds water together – also known as surface tension.

We used the following supplies:supplies for experimenta bowl of water, food coloring, a small container of dish soap, two pipettes, wax paper, a sponge, a saucer, and some milk.

First to see surface tension, M chose to make the water in our bowl yellow, then he used one of the pipettes to drop the colored water onto the wax paper.  We watched how the water rolled up into little balls:water drops on wax paper let us see surface tension 

Then M used the other pipette to place one drop of dish soap onto the balls of water:a drop of soap breaks surface tension The soap broke the surface tension, causing the water to run.  This is how water washes laundry, dishes, dirty little boys, etc. ;)  The soap breaks down the water tension so the water can flow freely into all the crevices where dirt is. (We used the sponge to wipe up after this part.)

Then came the very cool part. :)  Exploding colors!  We poured a small amount of milk onto a saucer, then added one drop of each food color into it.  See how the drops of colored water just sit in the milk?food coloring drops on saucer of milk 

Then we dripped soap into the saucer, and wow did the colors “explode” – really!  It was pretty neat to watch, and both M and I were amazed at how quickly the color ran through the milk.  It was lots of fun and M did this over and over again (that jug of milk was getting old anyway ;) ).drop of soap breaks surface tension, and the colors explode

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. What a colorful experiment! I have been meaning to do that one!

  2. I just might have to borrow this idea soon...I think my daughters would have a lot of fun with it! Thanks for sharing :0)

  3. I always think that looks SO COOL!

  4. We did this experiment too and it really did look so cool!

  5. Wow... you've got the coolest science experiment ideas! I am following you now!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment; I love reading them! If you ask a question and don't receive a personal reply, check back here for the answer. Often I reply via comment to something that might be of interest to others.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...