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Lian's Summer of Fun

Monday, June 18, 2012

Surface Tension Patterns

We spent the afternoon making cool patterns in milk using the principle of surface tension. 

You need milk, food coloring, cotton swabs and dish soap. It works very much like our magic soap experiment last summer. The liquid has a skin of surface tension and the food coloring sits on top of it for the most part. The dish soap breaks up the molecules and releases the tension sending the food coloring out in explosive rings. The patterns were so awesome! 

This is a really easy project. Little kids would enjoy making the colors explode and older kids would enjoy the science behind it.  In another post I will talk about making prints from the patterns in the milk.

Tip from Lian's Mom: I didn't want to waste expensive milk for this project which was actually done over a couple of hours with several batches of clean milk. I added 1/2 cup of powdered milk to 1/2 gallon of water. It worked just fine.


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