Properties of Water – Experiment at Home

Experimenting at home can be tricky if you don’t have the right equipment. Luckily water is one thing that most people should have access to. Water is fascinating, and we have two easy experiments to show you why, whilst also learning the science behind the properties of water. A glass of water has never been so interesting!

Experiment 1 – The Coin Test

You will need:

  • A coin
  • A pipette (if you don’t have a pipette, you could use a straw, or your finger. We also sell them on our shop)
  • Washing up liquid
  • A cup

Method:

  • properties of waterFill your cup with water.
  • Place your coin on a flat surface.
  • Fill your pipette with water.
  • Drip the water from the pipette onto the coin. Count each drop!
  • Keep dripping the water until it falls off the coin.
  • How many drops did you fit on your coin?
  • This time, add some washing up liquid to your water, stir it round.
  • Try dripping the water onto the coin now.
  • Did you manage more drops or less?

The Science Bit: 

Water is COHESIVE. This means that it sticks to itself. When your drops fell onto the coin they joined together and created something called SURFACE TENSION which allowed it to hold together on the top of the coin.

When you added the washing up liquid, it weakened the surface tension of the water, which meant that the water couldn’t hold together as well. So you should find that you could fit less drops on the coin!

Experiment 2 – Magic Flower

You will need:

  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scissors (ask a grown-up to help)
  • A bowl or tray
  • Water

Method:

  • properties of waterDraw a flower on your paper, a bit like this one –
  • Cut out your flower (ask a grown-up to help).
  • Fold the petals into the middle of the flower.
  • Fill your bowl or tray with water.
  • Place the folded flower on the water.
  • Watch the petals unfold!

The Science Bit:

As well as being COHESIVE, water is also ADHESIVE. This means that it can stick to other surfaces. A bit like how you get rain drops on your windows. In this experiment, the adhesive property of water meant that it could absorb into the paper. This made the paper swell (not really enough for us to see) and make the petals unfold!