Water “Stick-to-It-Ness”: A Penny for Your Thoughtsby: Thomas O'Brien

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Water (in contrast to other clear, household liquids) assumes and maintains a very distinct semispherical shape when placed on a piece of waxed paper. For related reasons, a discrepantly large number of drops of water can be placed on top of a penny without spilling off. Also, a cork can be made to float either in the middle or along the perimeter of a cup of water, and water can be poured down a long string without spilling. Extension activities contrast the pseudoscience hoax of DHMO (dihydrogenmonoxide) to the “strange but true” properties of water, explore a water-cornstarch mixture (“Oobleck”), and consider related biological adaptations.

Grades
  • Elementary
  • Middle
  • High
Publication Date
4/15/2011

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