Mix It Up

Activity Language
Time Needed for Activity
Students explore why some things dissolve but not others by learning about particle interactions.

What You Need

Materials:

  • A white coffee filter (Alternatively: a piece of white paper towel)
  • A water based marker (ex. Crayola)
  • 1 cup with a small amount of water (approx. ½ inch)
  • Paper towel/dish rag/towel (for the coffee filter to dry on)
  • 1 pipe cleaner/ piece of paper (optional)
  • 1 clear cup/jar half full of water
  • Liquid food colouring
  • Vegetable oil (approx. ¼ cup)
  • A small dry cup (for the vegetable oil)
  • A fork

Guide

Slideshow

What To Do

Chromatography Flowers:

  • Fill a small amount of water (½ inch) into a short glass or cup
  • Take a coffee filter and draw a thick hollow circle with your water based marker in the middle of the coffee filter
  • Fold the coffee filter in half twice to create a triangular shape
  • Open the coffee filter such that there is one (1) layer on a side and three (3) layers on the other, this will create a cone
  • Balance the cone into the glass so the tip of the cone touches the water but the coloured circle does not touch the water
  • Let sit for a minute or so to allow the dyes to separate
  • Remove the coffee filter from the glass and set the filter onto a towel/paper to dry
  • While drying, you may start Fireworks in a Jar and the filter paper should be dry once the second activity is completed
  • Once dry, trim off any white edges
  • Fold the coffee filter in half four times and cut the edge so that it is round like a petal
  • Open the coffee filter and bunch it up with the center pressed together to firm a mini stem
  • Wrap the mini stem with a pipe cleaner or use clear tape to attach your flower to an end of a pencil/pen

Fireworks in a Jar:

  • Fill a jar or clear cup with cold water about half way
  • Add a few drops of liquid food colouring into your ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • Break up the droplets of food colouring in your oil by tapping them with a fork
  • Slowly pour the oil into the water such that there is a layer of oil covering the water before the food colouring droplets pour into the jar
  • Observe!

Discovery

What's Happening?

Chromatography Flowers uses the principles of chromatography, solubility and molecule size, to separate out the dyes in a marker. Fireworks in a Jar uses the principles of density and polarity to create a colourful explosion.

What's Happening?

Chromatography Flowers uses the principles of chromatography, solubility and molecule size, to separate out the dyes in a marker. Fireworks in a Jar uses the principles of density and polarity to create a colourful explosion.

Why Does It Matter?

There are many real-life applications pertaining to density, polarity, and solubility.

Why Does It Matter?

There are many real-life applications pertaining to density, polarity, and solubility.

Investigate Further

Chromatography flowers can be made into any shape.

Investigate Further

Chromatography flowers can be made into any shape.

Resources

Guide

Slideshow

Resources

Guide

Slideshow

Check out additional resources (articles, career profiles and more) on these topics from Let’s Talk Science: