Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Drop of Water: Experiments


We finished the book, A Drop of Water by Walter Wick as our Science for AO Year 3, Terms 1 and 2. Each topic in this book consists of short lessons (no information overload) which aren't difficult to grasp. There's a corresponding experiment for you to be able to see and experience it for yourself. So, I'm sharing here the collection of the experiments we did.

Surface Tension


This pin seems to float magically on water. In fact, the pin is not really floating; it is held by the water's surface tension.

Capillary Attraction

Water molecules cling to materials with an attractive force called adhesion. This behavior is called capillary attraction.

Soap Bubbles

Making fun of Soap Bubbles

Beautiful colors can be observed in soap films. The colors are caused by the way light interacts with the very thin film. This phenomenon is called interference.

Molecules in Motion

The molecules of coloring separate as they move among the molecules of water.


When water freezes, the molecules lock together, forming a rigid structure - ICE.

Condensation and Evaporation

Outside the glass, the water evaporates and spread throughout the room as vapor. In time, the drops disappear. Inside the glass, water also evaporates, but the vapor is trapped. The air inside the glass becomes humid, which means that the air is full of water vapor. And that vapor condenses back onto the water drops as quickly as water molecules can evaporate. Therefore, the drops remain. 
 Condensation Nuclei

This experiment shows how cloud droplets form. Salt is placed on a jar lid above dish of water. A glass cover traps the water vapor. In minutes, the vapor condenses on the salt and coats each grain with water. Hours later, the salt dissolves in the water drops.

As the light enters the water, molecules bend the light or refract it. The bent rays of white light are transformed into all the colors of the rainbow.

I thought we knew all about water but there's more to it than what we can see. This book enabled us to find the reason for the "hows" and "whys" of some of the properties of water. It helped us also to understand some of the behavior of water and give names to it.

We love that the experiments presented in this book were not too tedious and the materials are easily available. Although we were not able to do all (like the dew and snowflakes), I must say, we had fun!

"An experiment is a question which we ask of nature, who is always ready to give a correct answer provided we ask properly, that is, provided we arrange a proper experiment." ~ Charles Vernon Boys

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