What Kids Learn From This STEAM Activity
In the STEAM activity of the Floating Dry Erase Marker experiment, kids learn about the fascinating science of surface tension and how it works by observing dry erase markers seemingly floating on the water’s surface. They discover that this effect occurs because the ink in dry erase markers repels water, creating a barrier that allows the marker to “float” without sinking. The ink dries and forms a hydrophobic (water-repelling) barrier that prevents it from dissolving in the water. Then, the surface tension of the water allows the dried marker ink to float on top of the water’s surface. This hands-on experiment not only sparks curiosity in science but also encourages critical thinking as kids explore why and how things happen, making it an engaging way to blend science and fun.
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What We Need For This STEAM Activity
How to Do the STEAM Activity Floating Dry Erase Marker Experiment
- Draw pictures on the surface of the bowl. Try using different colored dry erase markers to create vibrant and varied patterns.
- Fill the container with a small amount of water, just enough to cover the bottom.
- You’ll notice that the marker appears to “float” on the water’s surface.
- Take a moment to discuss what happened during the experiment. Talk about surface tension, the properties of dry erase markers, and why they seem to float on the water.
Variations & Challenges
- Ink Patterns: Challenge participants to create specific patterns or designs on the water’s surface using the dry erase markers. For example, they could try to draw a recognizable shape or a word.
- Different Surfaces: Experiment with surfaces other than water. Try using liquids like milk, oil, or rubbing alcohol to see how the markers react and create patterns.
- Floating Art Gallery: After creating several marker patterns, carefully transfer them onto paper by gently placing the paper on top of the water’s surface. This creates a unique piece of art and allows for a discussion on the transfer of ink.
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