Science Shorts: Comparing Liquids by: Barbara Adams

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Children experience the physical properties of liquids as they watch raindrops run down a window, observe how insects can walk on water, and notice how the “shape” of a liquid matches the container in which it is held. Thinking about similarities and differences among liquids helps to build foundational ideas of matter and molecular structure. In the following lesson, students explore the cohesiveness and surface tension of two liquids. Through observations and interactions, students develop an understanding about how liquids are similar and different.

  • Elementary
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  • on Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:55 PM

This activity deals with surface tension and cohesion of two different liquids – baby oil and water. Students in grades 2-4 compare and contrast the properties of these two substances to understand how liquids are the same and different. These two liquids have very different chemical bonding and this causes their surface tensions to be different. An assessment is provided as well as an adaptation for older students.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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