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Science Rocks!


Color Splash

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Sent in by:
Sara of NB

Make beautiful colored designs!
Materials

Materials Needed


  • 3 clear plastic cups
  • water
  • cooking oil
  • liquid food coloring
  • pencil

Instructions

Instructions


  1. Check with a grown-up before you begin.
  2. Fill one cup about 2/3 full of water and another about 2/3 full of oil.
  3. Add a few drops of food coloring to each cup. Leave space between the drops so they don't touch. What happens?
  4. Now fill the third cup about 2/3 full of water. Pour in enough cooking oil so it forms a thin layer on top of the water.
  5. What do you think will happen if you add food coloring to this last cup? Make a prediction and then test it out.
  6. Touch one of the drops of food coloring in the last cup with the tip of a pencil. What happens?
  7. Here's why this works. When you add food coloring to water, it mixes in. When you add food coloring to oil, it stays in a little ball and does not mix in. Why? Food coloring is mostly made of water, and water and oil don't mix. Even if you stir them, the oil separates and forms a layer on top of the water. So when you add food coloring to the cup that has water and oil, each drop is coated with oil. That is why the drops sit in the oil layer. The oil is like a raft that helps the food coloring float. If you poke a drop with a pencil, the oil layer is broken. Then the food coloring mixes with the water and makes a cool design.


Now it's time for you to experiment. What happens if you use vinegar instead of food coloring? What happens if you use a different kind of cooking oil? Choose one thing to change (that's the variable), and predict what you think will happen. Then test it and send us your results.

Some of your Results

Jaelyn, age 8 of San Antonio wrote:
when I put food coloring in the water it changed the color of the water then the food coloring and oil stayed in little drops then with the oil and water and food coloring I waited three mineutes. it fell in the water

Ana, age 9 of Port Moody, BC wrote:
when the food colour mixed with water it blended in but when I did it with oil it satyed like a ball when I did it with oil and water it was amazing but I mixed all three together even tho it doesnt say to do it and there were food colour bubbles on the side and food colour mixed all together in the middle it was the coolest thing I ever saw!! thanx!

Alison, age 9 of Claremont, NH wrote:
Water: The drops of food coloring spread right out and made some pretty swirls. Oil: The drops of food coloring stayed in little beads and sank to the bottom of the container. Oil + Water: The drops of food coloring stayed in little beads, but wehen I got them to sink below the oil they made some gorgeous swirls!

Jolie, age 6 of Texas City, TX wrote:
The food coloring mixed in with the water. The oil was on the top of the water. When we put food coloring in the cup with water and oil, it was just little balls. And when we poked the balls with a pencil, the food coloring mixed with the water. When we put vinegar in the cup with water, it mixed with the water.

Stephanie, age 10 wrote:
The first one mixed and the second one didn't mix the third one mixed.

Lol, age 14 of IL wrote:
it worked really good. And it was beautiful.

Kanijya, age 10 of Harvey, IL wrote:
the colors was so pretty! I like them me teacher love it and I got 5 A it was cool!

Nallelie, age 10 of Houston, TX wrote:
wen I added the coloring colors on the water the coloring colors spread out. Wen I added the coloring colors to the oil the coloring colors did not spread out. It was amazing and fun

Sejal wrote:
wow! it was so amazing! and my classmates loved it when I showed it to the class

Makayla, age 11 of Beulah, AL wrote:
It turned different colors! It looked so cool iam so glad I did this project!

Theart, age 13 of Staten Island, NY wrote:
it was so cool when the oil turn the food coloring to little ball sooo cool

Baneen, age 10 of Brooklyn wrote:
i put it in water it desolve I put it in oil it went down like a dot becase the food coloring is mostly made up of water so it went down when I put it in the third cup it formed a nice layer on the top then when I poke it with a pencil it desolved this is what happened when I did the project

Jazmine, age 8 of San Antonio, TX wrote:
What happen was that when I smash the color it turned that color.

Leslie, age 11 of California wrote:
i thought I did it wrog but I went to hear music and I came back it was so colorful.

Katiana, age 11 of Bronx, NY wrote:
what happened was instead of the food coloring staying in a ball in the cup with water and oil, the food coloring stood in a ball and sank into the bottom of the glass and then spread out in the water.

Emily, age 10 of Houston, TX wrote:
the reason it spattered when you poke it with a pencil is because at first its on the layer of oil but when you push it down as soon as it hits the water it explodes

Destiny, age 13 of Brooklyn, NY wrote:
The 1st cup with water, the food colorinq just mixed in. The 2nd cup with all oil the colorinq sank to the bottom nothing happened, And the last cup with water, n oil the colorinq went threw some layers, and when it hit the water layer the ball popped and formed and abstract design.

Hannah, age 9 of Worcester, MA wrote:
When I put the food coloring in the water it just faded into the water, but when I put food coloring into the viniger it stayed together. When I was done I put all the food coloring togather in the cup then took a pencil and poked it and it platered!

Jane of Brown Deer, WI wrote:
We loved how the water with food color mixed it right away and the oil one the food color stayed in balls. When we add the oil with the water, the oil stayed on top but it turned started to make bubbles, like a lava lamp! It was so cool!

Cardajea, age 13 of Chicago, IL wrote:
When I dia color splash it was a fun expriment and when I added the food coloring with the oil and water the food coloring stayed in the thin layer of oil.

Zenita, age 13 of Coushatta, LA wrote:
it made all different colers and the oil had sunk into the bowl. and the one with the water all mixed and made a green coler.

Abigail, age 8 of Irving, TX wrote:
when I put the oil in the water the oil did not sink.

Felipe, age 10 of Irving, TX wrote:
When I try this it was fun. When our class put water and oil and food color we mixed it and made a gliter.

J'Len, age 9 of Irving, TX wrote:
color splash was fun. the oil sat on top the water. when you stir the water and oil it look like glitter.

Rene, age 11 of Irving, TX wrote:
i think it was nice. its fun trying science. that project was fun. the oil stayed on top the of the water and when you put the coloring water it stays like a bubble.

Yibrehu, age 10 of Irving, TX wrote:
the oil, the food coloring, and the water went into layers. it was very cool.

Benny, age 7 of Irving, TX wrote:
When I put the dots it changed colors in the water.

Diarmando, age 8 of Irving, TX wrote:
the water changes color.

Emmanuei, age 7 of Irving, TX wrote:
i tried this experiement. I like it. It was fun.

Angel, age 6 of Irving, TX wrote:
the water is more heavier than the oil. the oil is lighter than the water.


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