In this two-day inquiry lab, students investigate the properties of water through three different activities. Students will answer the following questions:
❶ How do bugs walk on water?
❷ Why can you overfill a cup?
❸ How does water travel up through the stem of a plant?
Students begin by determining how to float a paperclip on water, which illustrates the concepts of cohesion and surface tension. Next, students add pennies to a cup of water to see how cohesion enables them to overfill the cup. Finally, they observe the separation of black ink into many colors (chromatography) to better understand the property of capillary action.
This is a simple yet effective lab that challenges students to solve the mysteries behind real-world questions involving water.
Terms used in this lab include: adhesion, cohesion, surface tension
and capillary action.
☑ Student Lab with Instructions/Visuals
☑ Teacher Answer Key with Instructions
☑ Possible Lab Extensions
☑ Tips for Success
☑ Alignment to PA Keystone Standards
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