Science For The Little Guys: Surface Tension

in science •  5 months ago

This little science experiment has the potential to send your students into a sneezing frenzy but is sure is an awesome way squeeze in some science fun! You can do this activity home to pass some time (get the kids away from those TV screens, if you know what I mean), or it can be taught as a lesson during a science class at school to accompany some theory. It even makes for a super cool party trick - I bet you most adults don't know the science behind this “magic” pepper trick!

Image Source

Learn About Surface Tension: The Pepper Trick

This is one of those science demonstrations that will boggle the minds of kids and adults alike, that's why I mentioned that it would be a hit as a party trick! It’s quite nifty in that you don't need to buy any expensive ingredients and materials, in fact, you probably have everything you need in your cupboards already!

For this experiment you will need the following:

  • Ground pepper
  • A bowl or beaker
  • Water at room temperature
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • One magic finger

Image Source

The Experiment:

  1. Half fill your beaker with water.
  2. Add about a teaspoon or two of pepper to your liquid. The pepper will gather and float on the top.
  3. Rub some dish soap on to the tip of your finger and then touch the water.
  4. Watch as the particles of pepper disperse and move to the side of this bowl!

The Science Bit

When the soap touches the water, the surface tension changes, and the pepper no longer floats on top. But the water molecules still want to keep the surface tension, so they pull back away from the soap, and carry the pepper along with them. After doing the experiment and talking about surface tension, let your kiddos take a turn using their magic finger. 

Source link:

While little learners might think you have the magic touch, this activity is all because of the wonderful world of science! It's quick and easy to prepare and is sure to keep young  minds fascinated -  especially if you let their little fingers have a turn! 

Don't forget to have those tissue on hand, pepper has the tendency to make one SNEEZE!

Much love - @sweetpea

(bringing you original content)

Join us @steemitbloggers

Animation By @zord189

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

You just received a Tier 0 upvote! Looking for bigger rewards? Click here and learn how to get them or visit us on Discord
If you would like to opt out of receiving comments reply with STOP



A cute little experiment, I am sure kids love it.

Very cool! I've done a similar experiment with milk and food coloring, so this would be a great extension activity! Thanks for sharing!


Ooooooh, will have to search that one and give it a try!

How fun! This is such a cool series that you're doing. :)


Thanks @uniwhisp, I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Hey @sweetpea

Science is so cool. My daughter feels the same way as me and we do her homework together! 😃

Thanks for sharing.



Well done on being an actively involved parent! :)


Thanks. Cheating a bit because we are teachers/parents. 😃