Friday, November 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Explorit Science Center: Defying gravity with water

By
From page A5 | May 30, 2014 |

exploritW

UC Davis chemistry professor Frank Osterloh dazzles a crowd at Explorit Science Center during last year's Final Blast Festival and Chemistry Show. Providing support is Analiese Franz, also a UCD chemistry professor. Save the date for this year's blow-out: Sunday, Sept. 7. Courtesy photo

Water is a pretty amazing substance. It freezes. It evaporates. And we can’t live without it. But can water defy gravity? Try this experiment and see what you can discover.

You will need: two glasses, a paper towel, some water, a ruler or measuring tape and a little patience. You can also add other materials to test like a paper napkin, a cloth rag, a coffee filter or a sheet of paper.

Start by adding some water to one of the glasses. It doesn’t matter how much, but you can use your ruler or measuring tape to record how many inches of water you have in your glass. Keep the other glass empty.

Now twist or fold the paper towel until it’s scrunched up tight and looks like a piece of rope. Put one end of the paper towel into the water glass so that it’s down in the water, then drape the other end of the paper towel into the empty glass.

Watch and see what happens. Here’s the part where you need your patience. This experiment takes a little while to show results. But you’re probably noticing right away that your paper towel is getting wet and that the water is moving up the paper towel away from the surface of the water.

This process is called capillary action. The water is moving through the tiny open spaces or air pockets in the paper towel because it sticks to the paper towel fibers better than the individual water molecules stick to each other.

This is like what happens in plants. The plant’s roots find water in the ground and use capillary action to move that water up through the stem and out to the leaves and all other parts of the plant. Capillary action moves water upward, defying gravity!

After a few minutes, take another look at your experiment. Is the whole paper towel wet? Use your ruler or measuring tape to measure the water level in the water glass. Is it the same as it was before you put in the paper towel? Why?

Now check your empty glass. Is it still empty? Why? What happened?

Or try repeating this experiment, but replace the paper towel with a paper napkin, cloth rag or one of the other suggestions above. Do you get the same results? Why? Which material is the best at carrying water? Which is the worst?

This experiment is just one way to have some wet science fun this summer. Check out Explorit’s Summer Science Camps for more.

Explorit’s coming events:

* Explorit’s “Beautiful World: Science and Art” exhibition is open to the public every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and every Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Admission is $5 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free.
* Interested in membership? Think your Explorit membership may have lapsed? Call 530-756-0191 to check or sign up.

Summer Science Camp registration is open now. Visit www.explorit.org for all the details or to register.
* Don’t miss Explorit’s summer field trip to the Discovery Museum’s Challenger Center on Aug. 6 for fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade students. Search “Explorit” on brownpapertickets.com.
* Save the date: On Sunday, Sept. 7, Explorit will host a Final Blast Festival and Chemistry Show to celebrate the end of the Summer Science Camp season and start the new school year.

— Explorit Science Center is at 3141 Fifth St. For more information, call 530-756-0191, visit www.explorit.org or “like” Explorit 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

    Shop-local focus highlights Small Business Saturday

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Looking for the gift of life

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    The artistic process of a neighborhood legend

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Davis MRAP didn’t go far: Woodland

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Explorit: Water expert will speak Dec. 15

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Ceremony Tuesday celebrates MU bus terminal

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Enterprise holiday decorating contest is back

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A4

    Free bike clinic, ride set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Locals come through for families in need

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Travel the world at Logos Books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Dormant-season pruning tips offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Junior high students set walkathon fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Horse owners needed for online survey

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Flyway Nights talk focuses on sea otters of Elkhorn Slough

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Chamber of Commerce lays out 5-year plan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Students come together for sustainability

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Workshop will answer financial aid questions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Holiday gifts galore available at crafts fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Shakespeare folio discovered in France

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Wolks share their unique perspective on Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Christmas Bird Count workshop planned Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Watch, then make, a holiday floral decoration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Many thanks for a great benefit

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    It all started at the bookstore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    What can we do to help?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    What if we really need it?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Elias: Utilities look to soak small users

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

    Cheers and Jeers: Thankfully, no jeers

    By Our View | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Seahawks shut down San Francisco

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Aggies out-Fox Utah State after dramatic Les shot to forces overtime

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Defense, depth lead Aggie women to home win

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
     
    Youth roundup: 10 titles for the Diamonds Level 3 gymnastics squad

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Mumbo Gumbo plays for post-Thanksgiving dance party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Horrible Bosses 2′: Fire ‘em all!

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Sonata evolves into more sophisticated car

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    John Walter Neves Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B3

     
    Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A10