Fun Science: Melting Crayons

Have you ever wanted to make your own unique picture using crayons? Have you ever tried melting crayons to create a really colourful picture? With this exciting experiment you can create your own colourful pictures using the power of heat. Check out the post on how to conduct this artistic experiment.

This experiment will help children to understand how to turn a solid into a liquid with heat. For this experiment you will need a plain white canvas, a pack of different coloured crayons, super glue and a hair dryer.

You will need...

You will need…

 

First of all you will need to glue the all of the crayons on a straight line at the top of the canvas. You need to wait for them to thoroughly dry before moving onto the next step.

Why not try a different pattern/ array of colours once you have tried the experiment once.

 

 

 

 

glue crayons to the top of the canvas

Glue crayons to the top of the canvas

Next you will need to lean the canvas against something so that it is at an angle. If you are using a wall you may wish to place lots of newspaper around the canvas and on the wall to ensure any mess can be cleaned up easily. You could also try leaning it against cups or a box as long as it is at an angle you can then move onto the next step.

The fun part:

Then you will need to use the hair dryer to start melting the crayons- this may take several minutes.

Check out the video below on how to melt the crayons:

You will then have to wait a few minutes for the picture to dry- you will now have a beautiful colourful canvas!

Colourful melted crayons

Colourful melted crayons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Science Bit:

Crayola Crayons are made primarily from paraffin wax and color pigment. This process is the same for all Crayola Crayon colors. The paraffin wax is melted and mixed together with pre-measured amounts of color pigments.

Colour makes a big difference. The pigments, which give each crayon its colour, don’t react the same way to heat. Darker crayons will melt faster because it has dark pigments while yellow crayons melt slowly because of the light pigments.

The children will experience  the crayons in a solid state versus a liquid state. This means that they will be learning about solids and liquids.
To provide an example the chair you are sitting on is a solid and the water you drink is liquid.

Changing State

The atoms and molecules don’t change, but the way they move about does. Water, for example, is always made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. However, it can take the state of liquid, solid (ice), and gas (steam). Matter changes state when more energy gets added to it. Energy is often added in the form of heat or pressure. So for this example the crayons are getting energy from the heat and this makes the crayons melt. Liquid molecules are looser and can move about easily.

As the picture dries the crayons will become a solid again. When solid, the molecules are held tightly together they don’t move easily. Once it is dry and has cooled you may want to touch the picture? What does dried melted wax feel like?

Why not try cutting out an image with black paper to create your own unique picture that you can put on the wall. Check out some of the amazing examples below.

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