SEED Science

Physics and Chemistry of Liquids Experiments

Investigate physics and chemistry activities for teachers and students

Get your hands wet with these hands-on and online science experiments that explore the chemistry and properties of water and other liquids. Students age 10 and up can check which solids float and which ones sink, learn what affects the flowing of liquids, and play with “strange” liquids to see what makes them different. These activities can be arranged at home with parents or other mentors, or in the classroom with teachers.

  • Water Quality and Water Treatment

    Water Quality and Water Treatment

    Make a model to demonstrate how water treatment plants remove unwanted substances from water.

  • The Densities of Water

    The Densities of Water

    Learn why water and ice have different densities. How does this affect life on Earth?

  • Water and Solubility

    Water and Solubility

    Why does water dissolve some substances but not others? How does temperature affect this ability? This activity answers these questions and more.

  • Oil and Coffee

    Oil and Coffee

    Watch  a sprinkling of nutmeg break up the foamy milk topping on a cappucino, and discover why the powdered spice defoams the drink. Can this ability be applied to other situations?

  • Sea Ice and Glaciers

    Sea Ice and Glaciers

    What happens to the level of the ocean when sea ice melts? Use this simulation to discover how melting sea ice and glaciers can affect the whole world.

  • Water Ladder

    Water Ladder 8

    Watch water move up a paper towel and into another cup in this demonstration of capillary attraction at work.

  • Cargo Overboard

    Cargo Overboard

    Simulate what happens to the water level of a small pond when large weights fall off a boat and into the water. Does the water level rise or fall?

  • Cork in Ice

    Cork in Ice

    Predict what will happen to the water level in a bowl when a floating ice cube containing an embedded cork melts. Does the water level rise or fall?

  • Flipping the Bottle

    earth_flip_bottle.jpg

    Flip a plastic bottle filled with water, sand, or marbles to discover how different substances affect the rotation and balance of the bottle as it moves through the air.

  • Buoyancy Explorer

    Buoyancy Explorer

    Play with hundreds of combinations of liquids and solids as you predict what floats and what sinks in this online game.

  • Removing Cuttings from the Borehole

    Removal of Cuttings

    Simulate the circulation of drilling mud and investigate the importance of viscosity in bringing cuttings to the surface when an oil well is being drilled.

  • Cool Clay

    Food pH

    Learn why clay tile roofs, popular in hot climates, help cool buildings.

  • Viscosity Explorer

    Viscosity Explorer

    Experiment with temperature and different liquids to develop an understanding of viscosity in this online game.

  • Viscosity and Temperature

    viscositytemp

    Test the effects of cold and warm temperatures on viscosity as you time the speed at which a pebble drops through corn syrup at various temperatures.

  • Viscosity and Temperature II

    Viscosity & temperature

    Observe the effects of cold and warm temperatures on viscosity as you time the speed at which a marble falls through a bottle of shampoo at different temperatures.

  • Viscosity of Liquids

    viscosityliquid

    Time the speed at which a pebble drops through corn syrup to gain a basic understanding of viscosity.

  • Viscosity of Liquids II

    Viscosity of liquids

    Compare the speeds of a pebble dropping through different liquids to gain a deeper understanding of how viscosity varies in these liquids.

  • Viscosity of Liquids Presentation   
    By Youth, For Youth

    Viscosity

    Watch online presentations of viscosity experiments.

  • Cartesian Diver

    Cartesian diver

    Learn how scuba divers control their movement up and down in the water with this simulation using modeling clay and a pen cap.

  • Buoyancy

    Buoyancy

    Discover how to measure the buoyancy of an object by comparing its weight in air with its weight in water.

  • Ketchup: Thick or Thin?

    Ketchup

    Wondering why ketchup flows sometimes and gets stuck at others? Solve the mystery behind ketchup's strange behavior as you discover the properties of thixotropic liquids.

  • Is It Liquid or Solid?

    Solid or liquid?

    Experiment with a corn starch–and-water mixture to learn more about non-Newtonian liquids, which appear solid when they are still but liquify when mixed.

  • Yellow Money

    Yellow  money

    Try to steady a coin on a floating lemon or lime in this tricky challenge. Why do you get the results you see?

  • Food pH Indicators

    Food pH

    Use red cabbage as a pH indicator for your food.

  • Floating and Stability

    Floating & stability

    Tape coins in various locations on a floating block of wood to experiment with floating stability.

  • Clay Boats

    Boat afloat

    Challenge your students to use clay and build a boat that can hold the most weight.

  • Make Your Own Rain Gauge

    Rain gauge

    Learn to build a rain gauge for measuring local rainfall.