STEAM Activity: Rainbow Water

What Kids Learn From This STEAM Activity

In a STEAM activity, Rainbow Water, kids learn how liquids can stay separate because of their different weights. Through this fun activity, they discover basic science ideas, like how liquids can act in different ways based on their densities. They can also get to be creative by making their own colorful patterns with the arrangement and design of the layers, as well as from the overall visual effect that the layered colors create.

What is Density?

Density is how much stuff (matter) is packed into a certain amount of space. If something is heavy for its size, it has high density. If it’s light for its size, it has low density.

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What We Need For This STEAM Activity

 

STEAM Activity Rainbow Water Materials
STEAM Activity Rainbow Water Materials

 

How to Do the STEAM Activity, Rainbow Water Experiment

 

  1. Fill 6 cups with water, each about a quarter full.
  2. Add a different color of food coloring to each cup to create rainbow colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) and stir.

    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water - Add Food Coloring
    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water – Add Food Coloring
  3. Add 1 tsp of sugar to the red-colored one, then 2 tsp of sugar to the orange-colored one, 3 tsp to the yellow-colored one, 4 tsp to the green-colored one, 5 tsp to the blue-colored one, and 6 tsp to the purple-colored one.

    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water - Add Sugar
    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water – Add Sugar
  4. Stir the sugar until it completely dissolves in the water.

    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water - Stir Until the Sugar Dissolves
    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water – Stir Until the Sugar Dissolves
  5. Using a dropper, carefully place the solutions into an empty tall glass by placing the dropper close to the wall of the glass.  Gently layering them from highest to lowest sugar concentration.  (Purple to Red)
    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water - Add Food Coloring
    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water – Place Food Colored Water to the Empty Glass

     

    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water - Place The Dropper Close To the Inner Wall Of the Glass
    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water – Place The Dropper Close To the Inner Wall Of the Glass

     

    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water - Add Food Coloring - Layer the Colors
    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water – Add Food Coloring – Layer the Colors

     

  6. Observe as the solutions separate into distinct layers due to differences in density.

    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water - Observe the Layers and the Colors
    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water – Observe the Layers and the Colors
  7. You’ve created a sugar water rainbow! Take a moment to admire the colorful layers.

    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water - Observe the Beautiful Colors
    STEAM Activity Rainbow Water – Observe the Beautiful Colors
  8. Discuss with kids why the layers don’t mix and how the sugar affects the density of the solutions.

Variations & Challenges

  • Have kids predict the order in which the liquids will layer based on their densities before actually doing the experiment.
  • After the layers have formed, challenge kids to gently mix the liquids without fully blending them.
  • Ask kids to plan and design their own rainbow using liquids with specific colors and densities.

 

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Author

  • Isabelle

    Isabelle has been an entrepreneur for last 22 years in retail and educational industry. She is also a mom to a child in elementary school. She believes that when kids are curious and use their imagination, amazing things can happen. She is particularly interested in STEAM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). She believes when children are encouraged to develop STEAM skills from a young age, they gain valuable tools to tackle future challenges in a creative, imaginative, and innovative manner. She enjoys researching STEAM and craft activities, plays, toys and resources and share with parents.

    http://steamandcreate.com Isabelle

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