Dry Erase Marker Experiment: Watch Your Drawings Dance on Water!

Hey there, science adventurers!

Today, we’re diving into a magical and straightforward science experiment that will not only wow the kids but also ignite their curiosity about the fascinating world of chemistry and physics.

Get ready to bring your drawings to life with nothing more than a glass plate, a dry erase marker, and a little water!

Materials Needed

  • Glass plate
  • Dry erase marker
  • Water (about a cup)

Steps to Magic

  1. Create Your Masterpiece: Grab your glass plate and dry erase marker. Draw a simple figure on the plate—perhaps a smiling stick figure or a little boat. Your artwork should be bold and simple.
  2. The Magic Pour: Slowly start to pour water onto the glass plate. Pour just enough to cover the drawing gently. Watch as your drawing magically begins to lift off the glass!
  3. Let’s Dance: Now, here’s where the fun really starts. Gently swirl the water on the plate with your finger or tilt the plate back and forth. Your drawing will start to move as if it’s dancing on water!

What’s Happening?

  • The Science Behind the Magic: When you draw with a dry erase marker, you’re actually laying down a mixture of color pigments and a type of alcohol that evaporates quickly. The slick, non-porous surface of the glass doesn’t absorb the ink, which allows it to remain moveable. When you add water, it undercuts the ink from the glass because the pigments are insoluble in water but less dense than the water, causing them to float and move freely.

Variations to Try

  • Colorful Creations: Use multiple colors to make your drawings even more vibrant. Observe how different colors interact with each other on the water’s surface.
  • Racing Figures: Draw two or more figures on different parts of the plate and have a race by tilting the plate to make the figures “run” to a finish line.
  • Obstacle Course: Place small objects like pebbles or paper clips on the plate before adding water to create an obstacle course for your drawing to navigate around.

Learning Extensions

  • Explore Solubility: Experiment with different liquids (like vinegar or oil) to see how your drawing reacts. Discuss why some liquids might cause different effects based on their chemical properties.
  • Surface Tension Play: Before adding water, sprinkle some pepper or other fine spice on the plate. Watch how the addition of water and your drawing interacts with these particles, demonstrating surface tension.

This experiment is not only fun but it’s a great way to discuss scientific concepts like solubility, density, and surface tension in an engaging and memorable way.

Whether at home or in a classroom, this easy and entertaining experiment is sure to be a hit!

Happy experimenting, everyone! 🌟🔬

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