What Makes Water Special?
The following materials, for groups of four, should be placed on a tray in a central location for collection by the each group’s Materials Manager.
- Bottle of food coloring (match marker color listed below to color selected)
- Mineral oil or baby oil
Materials per Student Group
- Small labeled portion cup containing Mystery Liquid 1 (water)
- Small labeled portion cup containing Mystery Liquid 2 (mineral oil or baby oil)
- 8 eye droppers or pipettes (one pipette each for four Liquid 1’s and four Liquid 2’s, so there is no cross-contamination)
- 8 wooden toothpicks (four for liquid 1 and four for liquid 2, so there is no cross-contamination)
- 4 hand lenses or magnifiers 4 sheets of cm graph paper
- 4 sheets of wax paper to cover graph paper (Do not substitute plastic wrap.)
- Small portion cup containing diluted food coloring (see Setup)
- Crayons, colored pencils, or markers (use the same color as food coloring)
- Paper towels
Materials per Student
- Copy of “Do Your Liquids Behave?” page
- Cut a sheet of centimeter graph paper into fourths and cut wax paper to cover the graph paper for each student.
- Label small portion cups number 1 (for Liquid 1—water), and number 2 (for Liquid 2—mineral or baby oil).
- Pour about 20 mL of Liquid 1 (water) into each of 6 cups (adjust number of cups as needed for students to share) and repeat for Liquid 2 (oil). Be sure to conceal the identity of both liquids before the investigation.
- Place 120 mL of water into a plastic drinking cup or beaker and add six drops of food coloring. Divide this water into 6 small portion cups (adjust for your number of students/groups).
- Use either wooden toothpicks that have been soaked in water, or stained wooden toothpicks (do not have to be soaked). Plastic toothpicks often will have a static charge and are not suitable for this activity.
- Place all materials on a tray (except Liquid 2) in a central location to be picked up by each group’s Materials Manager.
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Funded by the following grant(s)
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Numbers: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932
Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education