How Do You Make a Science Experiment on Density Using Liquids?


Quick Answer

Creating a density column can be a quick way to introduce students to the different densities in different liquid substances. To make your own density column, you need a clear glass and liquid substances such as honey, syrup, dish soap, water and vegetable oil. Add food coloring to the water to make it stand out.

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Full Answer

  1. Demonstrate sinking and floating

    Pour some water in a glass. Select some nonsoluble objects, such as coins, buttons or corks. Ask students which ones they think sink and float. Test at least one object that sinks and at least one object that floats. Ask the students if they know why the objects sink or float. Let the students discuss how, for example, a penny might be heavier than a cork according to the water.

  2. Add a second liquid to the water

    Select a couple liquids that are significantly more and less dense than the water, or let students select among such options. Add these liquids into the water. For example, start by pouring some vegetable oil. When the students notice that the oil floats, explain that the reason is because the oil is less dense than water.

  3. Test multiple substances

    Use between three and seven different kinds of liquids with different densities. Consider having students predict how dense each substance is compared to the others. Have students slowly pour the substances into a glass one at a time. Let them examine which liquids sink and float. The liquids on the top are the least dense, and the liquids on the bottom are the most dense.

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