Saturday Science: Surface Tension

I am so excited, this is my first week co-hosting Saturday Science. My fellow hosts are some wonderful bloggers and all-around great people (you can find links to their sites at the bottom of this post and I encourage you to stop by to say hi).

We’re starting things off with an experiment so simple, you could do it at a restaurant table while you wait for your meal!
All you need is a bowl or cup of water, some ground pepper, and soap. We tried 3 different types of soap (bar, foam, and gel) with the same results each time.
Surface Tension1
Then you’re going to take the pepper and shake a hefty amount of it over the water.
Surface Tension2
Get your finger good and soapy. Like I said before, it shouldn’t matter what king of soap you use, we tried several types and it worked everytime.
Surface Tension3
Then you can go ahead and stick that soapy finger into the water, see what happens.
Surface Tension4
The pepper will move away from your soapy finger. You can do this over and over and pepper will just keep on moving.
Surface Tension5
The science behind it:
Surface tension is a property of liquids that allows them to resist an external force, this is how insects can walk on water without falling through. Surface tension is caused by water molecules bonding to one another. Soap on the other hand is not attracted to water the way water is attracted to water. Part of the soap wants to bond with the water while the other part of the soap wants to push the water away. This is what causes the pepper to scatter when you stick a soapy finger into the water.


Be sure to check out what my fantastic co-hosts are doing this week!
What Can the Wind Do? from Stir the Wonder
Easter Egg Races: Exploring Angles of Ramps, Gravity & Motion from Little Bins for Little Hands
What is Science? from Lemon Lime Adventures
Rainbow Milk from The Joys of Boys



Follow our board on Pinterest for plenty of hands-on science fun!
Follow Sarah McClelland’s board Science Experiments for Kids on Pinterest.

Link up your science experiments below!

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3 Comments to Saturday Science: Surface Tension

  1. […] Surface Tension from Suzy Homeschooler […]

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