Knowledge Nugget–September 23

Today is KidzWorld Watermark so try doing this cool water experiment that teaches capillary action. You need 3 simple items you have in your kitchen.

Escaping Water

What you need
a glass of water
an empty glass
paper towels

1. Twist a couple of pieces of paper towels together until it forms something that looks like a piece of rope, this will be the ‘wick’ that will absorb and transfer the water.
2. Place one end of the paper towels into the glass filled with water and the other into the empty glass.
3. Watch what happens (this experiment takes a little bit of patience).

What’s happening?
Your paper towel rope (wick) starts getting wet, after a few minutes you will notice that the empty glass is starting to fill the water, it keeps filling until there is an even amount of water in each glass, how does that happen?

This process is called ‘capillary action’, the water uses this process to move along the tiny gaps in the fiber of the paper towels. It occurs due to the adhesive force between the water and the paper towel being stronger than the cohesive forces inside the water itself. This process can also be seen in plants where moisture travels from root to the rest of the plant.

We would love to hear what you discovered from this experiment by leaving a comment.


Experiment credits

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