Water Wows

Here are two fun ways to sneak in some STEM learning about states of matter and water, one project involving water in the frozen state and one liquid!

First up was Catching Ice Cubes, a classic trick based on the fact that salt melts ice. I placed a few ice cubes on a tray and challenged Travis: Could he pick one up with a string? He gamely tried looping string around the slippery ice, but to no avail.

Next, we placed the pieces of string across the ice cubes, and then sprinkled each with a small mound of salt.

Count – slowly! – to thirty, then gently lift the string. The ice lifts up!

Now it was time to play Pinching Water with water in its liquid state. Ahead of time, I used a hammer and nail to make two small holes near the bottom of an empty and clean soup can. The holes should be about 1/2 an inch apart.

Tape over the holes with masking tape and fill the can with water. I removed the tape and Travis put his fingers near the two sprays of water. They pinch together into one!

This is a neat way to show the “magnetic” or sticky property of water molecules. which then split back apart if you move your finger further away. Travis also thought it was fun to plug up one hole and watch how the flow changed.

For even more fun ways to play with “sticky” water, check out some of our old favorites.


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