Explore water on the move through the tiny spaces in fiber with this set of science experiments for kids. You'll learn a lot more about the capillary action of water, the name for that type of movement.
What You'll Need:
- Food coloring
- White carnation
- Small bowls
- Paper towel
Experiment 1: Celery
Step 1: To watch water move through plant material, stand a stalk of celery in a glass of water that has been colored with food coloring. (See Illustration 1.)
Step 2: Watch the celery stalk change color as the water travels up the stalk.
Experiment 2: Carnation
If you can get a white carnation, you can create a more dramatic demonstration of capillary action. (See Illustration 2.)
Step 1: Snip the stem of the white carnation to divide it in two.
Step 2: Set each stem section in a separate glass of water colored with a different color of food coloring.
Step 3: Watch the colored water travel up the halves of the carnation stem and mix at the top in the flower.
Experiment 3: String
Step 1: To watch water make its way through a piece of string (see Illustration 3), fill for bowls with water and add a different color of food coloring to each bowl.
Step 2: Cut a piece of string, and dip the end of the string into one of the bowls.
Step 3: Drape the string over the edge of that bowl and over the edge of the next bowl so that it dips slightly into the water in that bowl.
Step 4: Continue until the string touches the water in each bowl.
Step 5: Watch the colored water creep along the string out of the bowls.
Experiment 4: Wick and Bowl
Step 1: For another experiment to give you more experience with capillary action (Illustration 4), fill a glass with water and set it beside an empty bowl.
Step 2: Twist a paper towel around and around to form a wick.
Step 3: Set one end of the towel in the full glass of water and the other end in the empty bowl.
Step 4: Watch the water travel up the towel wick and then drip into the bowl.
Check the science experiment on the next page to learn more about mirrors and how they reflect light.