Sunday, March 17, 2013

Science Behind the Shamrock Green

Science Experiment with water and colors
Here is an experiment that takes minutes to set up in your kitchen. In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we are going with the green theme!

We are going to learn some science, along with colors. 
Get three cups. Fill two of them with water, about 2/3rd.
Get your scientist to put in a few drops of yellow food coloring in one, and a few drops of blue in the other one. The two cups should have the same amount of water.

Set the two cups, with the empty one in between the two. Roll two paper towels (or cut a big one in half). Place of the first towel in the blue cup, and the other end in the empty cup. One end of the second towel goes in the yellow cup, and the other in the empty cup. The towels should be just long enough to make a bridge between the cups, otherwise, the magic takes longer.

While you wait for the magic, get your scientists to predict what might happen. What will happen to the paper towel dipped in the water? What will happen to the empty cup? What will happen to the cups full of water?

In about 6-10 minutes, hey presto!!

Blue + Yellow = Green

The  scientists just saw "capillary action" in action! The water gets absorbed through the fiber of the paper towel, and makes its way to the empty cup across the paper towel bridge!!
The water level in all 3 cups is the same.
That might be enough for younger kids. Or you could take it further. I talked to Batman about the similar process by which water makes its way from the roots to the rest of the plant. We are going to do same experiment with white carnations and some colored water next to demonstrate this principle in action. 

More variations on this theme are here.

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