STEAM Saturday – Red “White” and Blue Water! (7/1/23)

Hot and cold water experiment

Hot and cold water experimentWith the 4th of July right around the corner, we wanted to share a simple, fun, and colorful activity you and your child can ­do at home to celebrate the holiday and learn a little in the process! This Red, White, and Blue Hot and Cold Water Density Experiment will set off fireworks in your mini-scientist’s mind!

During this short experiment, your child will learn about water density, color mixing, the scientific method, and more. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Mason Jars
  • Food Coloring (red and blue – of course – plus yellow so you can see the colors mix!)
  • Cardboard or Index Cards
  • A Pitcher
  • A Pot

This is a simple experiment, but it involves carefully flipping jars of water upside down, so make sure you are somewhere that you can spill colored water just in case! Your first step will be to both heat up a pot of water and fill up a pitcher with ice water. Next, fill 3 jars to the top with ice water and another 3 jars to the top with hot water (don’t make the hot water so hot that you can’t touch the jar). Then dye one of each of the hot and each of the cold jars red, white (really yellow for our purposes), and blue, respectively.

Now we’re ready to see what happens to the colors when the hot water is on top, and what happens when the cold water is on top. This is a great opportunity to use the scientific method. Have your child write down a hypothesis – what do they think is going to happen when the hot water is on top? How about when the cold water is on top? Then you can test their theory to see if they are correct. After you test it, you can change some of the variables and retest to see if the original answer stays the same or changes.

Ok, let’s do our experiment! First, place a piece of cardboard or index card over the mouth of one of the hot water jars and press it to make a seal. Next, carefully flip the jar over and place it on top of a jar with a different color of cold water in it. Once the mouths of both jars are lined up, remove the cardboard. With the hot water on top, the water should stay separated! Now you can repeat this process with the other hot and cold water combinations.

Next, flip your jars so that the cold water is now on top. The cold water is more dense than the hot water, so gravity should pull it down into the hot water, and the colors should mix into secondary colors!

Check out the full experiment and the science behind from SteamSational HERE.

As always, get as creative as you want, and above all, have lots of fun learning together!

We’ll see you right back here next Saturday for another STEAM Saturday activity!  Scroll through the rest of our website to learn how Critchlow Adkins is Building Brighter Futures for the children and families we serve!

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