Fill a clear glass with water all the way to the brim. One using a penny and the other using dish soap to propel a cardboard boat! Next try the classic surface tension experiment of floating a sewing needle on top of the water. You’ll notice that the water hangs slightly over the top of the glass but doesn’t spill out just yet. Water molecules like to stick together. Set up a row of coins and add different colors of water drops to each, forming surface tension. Magic Milk Surface Tension Experiment . This means you need to reduce the surface tension of water. by: Ron Perkins. ... We could not get the coins to float. There are two properties at work in this experiment: cohesion and surface tension. Variables to test. In this case, the like molecules are the H20 molecules in the water drops. MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – In today’s Science Corner experiment, see how surface tension works in two different experiments! What's Going On? The surface tension was not strong enough. Things that reduce surface tension are called surfactants. Frugal Fun for Boys has a great surface tension investigation using a coin and different liquids! Use a toothpick to pull water from the first coin to the second coin. When we fill the glass with water, we notice right away that it can go over the brim of the glass without spilling. Some preschoolers may want to understand the magic behind this simple science with coins. The higher the surface tension of the water, the bigger a droplet you can make before it breaks and flows over the edges of the penny. Surface tension and cohesion is the reason you can get so many drops of water on a penny. Cohesion is the “stickiness” of like molecules to one another. They are attracted to one another, and the force of attraction creates surface tension. Surface tension is the result of all the water molecules sticking together. Can a surface tension experiment result in some cool action art? You can use washing up liquid’s power of disrupting the surface tension of water to race lolly sticks. Surface tension is a special term we use to describe the cohesion between water molecules. You can demonstrate concepts such as surface tension, buoyancy, and even eddy currents with Japanese yen coins! Surface tension experiments can be a fun way to learn about the unique properties of water. Fill the dish with milk. Because of surface tension, liquid surfaces act like a kind of ‘skin’, able to support small insects and materials on their surface. To make it easier, place a small piece of the paper towel on the water first, and then place the needle on the paper towel. Water molecules love to stick together! (*Whole milk works best due to its higher fat content. Who knew that a single coin could be used for so many classroom science activities! Surface Tension: Even though aluminum has a density of 2.7 gm/cm 3, and the density of water is 1 g/cm 3, aluminum yen coins can float on the surface … In this project, you will put droplets of water on a penny, like in Figure 1. Guess how many coins you can add to the glass before the water starts to overflow! Drop food coloring onto the milk in various spots. Can you pull the water all the way to the end of the row of coins without breaking the tension? More on variables here 10-12 coins of the same size Method: 1. Now, add the coins one at a time to the glass of water, dropping them in rim-first (not face down). However, 1% or 2% milk will work in a pinch.) Squeeze or pour a small amount of dish soap into a small bowl. Cohesion is the attraction of like molecules to one another. Add water around a coin on a plate. These experiments can be performed easily anywhere with simple materials. That magic is the surface tension of water. 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