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Science Rocks!

Water on a String


your results

Sent in by:
Alicia of Sheffield, AL

Water highway: sticky when wet.

Materials Needed

  • plastic cups
  • white cloth string
  • pitcher of water
  • measuring tape
  • scissors
  • large measuring cups
  • fishing line
  • thick clothesline
  • twine
  • thread
  • yarn



  1. Check with a grown-up before you begin. Things can get pretty wet with this activity.
  2. Try to pour one cup of water into another cup while keeping the cups two feet apart. The only materials you can use are two cups and a length of string. Use the measuring tape to make sure your cups stay two feet apart.
  3. Race with a friend to see who can be the first to pour all the water from one cup to the other.
  4. Try using two strings instead of one to make a water bridge.
  5. Once you figure out how to transport water across a two-foot gap, try transporting water across the room using only string.
  6. Race with a friend to see which type of string transports water more quickly.

Ready for the Science Scoop? Water molecules have a very strong attraction to other water molecules, so they stick together really well. This is called cohesion. Water molecules can also stick to other materials, like string. This is called adhesion. This is why when you pour water down the string it sticks both to the string and to the water that's already sticking to the string.
What else could you do using string to transport water? Could you water the plants on your patio while you're inside your house? What about catching the rain and sending it somewhere useful, like your dog's water dish? Let us know what you come up with by sending your ideas to ZOOM!

Some of your Results

Kate, age 15 of Harrisburg, PA wrote:
the water went to the bottom.

Emily, age 8 of Tucson, AZ wrote:
the water spilled down.

Shaun & Carsen of Ellington, MO wrote:
The results were okay. We got a half of a centimeter in. Carsen said the results were BAD!!!

David, age 10 of Ellington, MO wrote:
all the water went to the ground

Brooklynn, age 11 of Ellington, NJ wrote:
we did it for a summer school project. my partner and I tried it. it worked ok but, not what I thought.

Alexis, age 10 of Ellington, MO wrote:
It only work a little for me and my friend

Heidi, age 8 of Bangor wrote:
It did not work at first, but then it did!

Jp, age 12 of St. Catharines, ON wrote:
I loved it. it went down fast

Chris, age 16 of Tappahannock, VA wrote:
When I did this experiment it worked because I wet my string first and it went all the way down and at first it fell to the side because the string was dry

Sofia, age 7 of Lawrenceville, GA wrote:
The string got wet!!

Jazmine, age 11 of Rahway, NJ wrote:
Most of the water didn't drip when I was pouring it onto the string. Other than that all of the water slid down the string successfully.

Alex, age 12 of Jeffersonville, IN wrote:
A little bit of water stayed on the string, butafter while it was all off. Ps Keep a towel under the string(The water splatters up)

Calicia, age 12 of Atlanta, GA wrote:

Chariety, age 12 of St. Helens, OR wrote:
When I did this the water stayed on top of the string but if I put a magnet below it the water will go throughthe string and to the magnet.

Atecia, age 10 of Macon, GA wrote:
It did not work.

Kayla, age 9 of Pleseant Prairie, WI wrote:
What happened was I put a little drop of water on a string and I held it and the water never dripped off until my brother touched the drop of water.

Shaylene, age 11 of Hubley, NS wrote:
It slide right down the string and into the cup when I tied the string to the water container and tied the other end to a cup!

D'Aaron, age 11 of Achorage, AK wrote:
When I did water on a string it did not work, but I just had to keep trying and it worked.

Gerardo, age 12 of Gardena, CA wrote:
Wow it actually was cool it did travel!

Fayssoux of Spartanburg, SC wrote:
I thought of this independently when a drip from the faucet kept me awake. I tied a string to the faucet, and the drops ran down the string into the sink without a sound. I also tried this with a rainy night dripping skylight, by attaching a string and putting the other end into a bucket. A magical quiet night.

Katherine, age 8 of Manhasset, NY wrote:
The water was driping down the string fast.

Laurena, age 13 of Paterson, NH wrote:
At first, the water went everywhere and it wasnt sliding on the string. It was much harder than I had expected. But, after a couple of tries iked easier than when I started. I found out that the clothesline worked better that yarn, twine, or dental floss! It was really cool to see the water drip down like that!!

Mercedes, age 8 of Oshawa, ON wrote:
What happend when I was done that there were little drops hanging and so I shook the string and none of them fell of I thout it was a cool thing to find out.

Jaelyn, age 11 of Bolivar, MO wrote:
Well, I first did I t not thinking that it would work. But it did. Here is how I did it. I took a whole bunch of yarn and taped each piece side by side on a minnie grill that someone had thrown away. But any metal surface will do. You need to make some strings in the middle longer and tape some popsicle sticke to the back to hold them up. Those strings are what the water will fall down. Then, you need to find a container that will hold the water on the waterfall. After that, you need to find something that will hold the grill up. I used some kleenex boxes. After that you can put it to the test!!!

Nicole, age 11 of Seymore, CT wrote:
Water stayed on a string wich was moving.

Anjanay, age 12 of Detroit, MI wrote:
The water slid down the string kind of slow, but it dripped fast.

Tina, age 10 of Cincinnati wrote:
The project is so cool it looked like a waterfall on a string.

Amanda, age 11 of Ridgeway, VA wrote:
I used a little thin and smooth string and it was having a little trouble at first but soon as I got the hang of it it was easy.

Max, age 7 of Armonk, NY wrote:
If you pour it slowly, it works better. It helps to have two people to do the experiment.

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