Thursday, January 29, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Explorit: Floating and sinking — water’s wonderful properties

By
From page A5 | March 28, 2014 |

Can a paper clip float on water? If you think so, why? Is it light enough, or is there another reason? If not, why not? What would cause it to sink? Let’s try an experiment to find out what happens when paperclip meets water.

You will need: some paperclips, a cup or bowl of water, a piece of paper and some dish soap. Use a shallow cup or bowl so that in case a paperclip sinks, you can easily fish it out. Fill the cup or bowl about half way with water and let’s get started!

Try dropping a paperclip or two into the bowl. What happens? You’re probably noticing them sink right to the bottom. But does that mean that a paperclip can never float on the water? Let’s explore further!

Instead of dropping them into the bowl, try gently setting them on the surface of the water. Can you get one to float? If not, try placing a piece of paper under the paperclip and setting both on the surface of the water.

The paper and paperclip together should be floating, which tells us that the paperclip on its own isn’t too heavy to float. Now try gently nudging the paper so that it gets wet and sinks to the bottom leaving the paperclip floating on the surface of the water.

Why doesn’t the paperclip sink this time? The answer has to do with how water molecules behave.

Water molecules like to stick together. And when you put a bunch of them into a bowl all together like we did for this experiment they get sticky. Think about what would happen if you put your finger into the water. The water molecules would stick to your skin and you’d have to dry them off.

When water is in a cup or a bowl like this its “stickiness” creates a kind of skin on the top of the water. That’s called surface tension, and it allows light things to stay on the surface without sinking because they don’t break the surface tension. Some animals like the water strider insect use that surface tension to glide around on top of the water in ponds.

But we can change that surface tension by adding a little dish soap to our bowl. Squirt a little soap into the bowl and watch what happens to the paperclip. Does it stay floating for long?

The dish soap broke the surface tension and you can watch it sink to the bottom of the bowl. Now that the water’s skin is broken, the paperclip too will sink.

But why did our first paperclips that we dropped in sink? One reason has to do with force. Dropping them in allowed them hit the surface of the water hard enough to break the surface tension and sink to the bottom.

Water, the many ways it can change and how we interact with it will be one of the fun explorations Explorit’s summer science campers will embark on. They’ll explore the chemistry and physics of water as well as differences between fresh and salt water habitats for plants and animals while learning about conservation.

Registration for this and all of Explorit’s camps is open now at www.explorit.org. And stay tuned for more information about Explorit’s new exhibition on water coming Fall 2014!

————

Explorit’s coming events:

Explorit’s Beautiful World: Science and Art exhibition is open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and every Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.  Admission is $5 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free.

Summer Science Camp is coming!  Registration is open now.  Visit www.explorit.org for more information or to register.

— Explorit Science Center is at 3141 Fifth St. For more information call 530-756-0191, visit http://www.explorit.org or “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/explorit.fb.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    ‘Huck’ and ‘Tom’ float old Arboretum dock to removal

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Work continues to modernize Davis Healthcare Center

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

    Holman continues to educate and inspire

    By Daniella Tutino | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Teens arrested after midnight joyride

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Biologists: Raising California dam would harm salmon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Overweight video game avatars ‘play’ worse than fit ones

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Meet the mayor for coffee at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Author joins radio show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Make your own SoulCollage on Sunday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Walk through Quail Ridge Reserve on Feb. 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Calling all chicken owners: Apply for coop crawl, share information

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Hopmans named associate vice provost for global affairs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Review motivation to refresh your healthy-habits plan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Tips to protect skin this winter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    For health and healthy appearance, there’s just one quick fix

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Measles outbreak grows

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    NAMI-Yolo examines inpatient services at potluck

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Basement living, with attitude to match

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    50 years since Ash Hall

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Can climate change bring us together?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Paso Fino coming to a vote

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Aggies still looking for record hoops win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Blue Devil Hammond has a huge day at home

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Pent up? Join Davis’ latest athletic event

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Two in a row for Devil boys

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggie football players crack the books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Youth roundup: Harper hoopsters off to hot start

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Treys send Toronto past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

     
    College Corner: Have wanderlust? Go overseas for college

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: A8

    District learns from bomb threat incident

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: A8

     
    It’s Girl Scout Cookie time!

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Feenstra-Fisher wedding

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Arts

    Show explores the evolution of dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    A rose by any other name — if there is one

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A11

     
    Acclaimed guitarist Adrian Legg to play at The Palms on Saturday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    James George Tingus

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, January 29, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B6