Sunday, January 9, 2011

Melting Ice, and The Law of Conservation of Mass - Winter Science for Children

We had a very simple Science Sunday experiment, this morning. I'm not going to come right out, and say it was because the more complicated experiment we tried on Saturday failed. But, if you're thinking that, you might not be wrong. Anyway...

I placed a glass measuring cup of water, with a chunk of ice (let's call it an iceberg) floating in it, in the middle of the table.

I made the iceberg ahead, by crumpling up a plastic cup, to use as an ice cube mold.

First, I let the children enjoy the aesthetic beauty of the ice, pointing out the fact that most of the ice sits under the water, and only a small amount sticks up, above the surface.

Then, I asked the children, what they thought was going to happen to the level of water, in the bowl, as the ice melted.

Would the water level rise, stay the same, or go down?

They all guessed the water level would rise.

All, that was left to do then, was to wait, watch, and eat breakfast. Science experiments don't get much simpler than that.

Of course, what the children didn't take into account, was the Law of Conservation of Mass.

You can read a very nice, scientific explanation of the whole thing, here, but suffice it to say, the water level remained the same.

For more fun with science check out this week's Science Sunday link-up at Adventures in Mommydom.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

Joyful Learner said...

This is so easy to do! I love it! It'll be fun to do a whole series of water/ice experiments to discover all the properties.

Phyllis said...

You are right, this experiment is very simple and yet a lot can be learned from it.

Christy Killoran said...

Great science experiment, and so simple too! I make icebergs for the bathtub. I use empty containers to freeze little toys in water and then put them in the tub at bathtime. The kids like to try to speed up the melting to get the toys out!!! It worked really well at getting the kids in the tub when they were younger.

Chelsea said...

What a great, simple experiment. Thank you for the recommendation regarding 365 Penguins as well. I bought it (my library didn't have it), and love it! Our library did have the second book in the series ("Oops"), and it is really worth reading as well. Thanks again for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I think I'll try it! I might have to have a side poll going on how many muffins our family will eat . ...

Kristi@Creative Connections for Kids said...

I love this simple, science experiment. Thank you!

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I answered correctly, but then I had to look up why we are concerned about rising water levels from the melting polar caps. Great experiment, and I really liked Christy's suggestion about frozen toys in the tub :)

Debbie said...

Natalie pretty much commented with what I was going to say. Great experiment!

Ticia said...

I love how the ice berg turned out. That is way too cool.

I think I must have accidentally missed a few posts last weekend.