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Build a Water Strider

Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
forces, surface tension, density, buoyancy
water strider made from wire

Introduction

Have you ever seen a water strider (also called water bugs, pond skaters, water skippers etc.)? They are bugs that effortlessly hop around on the surface of ponds, lakes, and rivers. How do they do it without sinking? Try this project to find out!

Credits

Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Thin wire. You can buy "magnet wire" or thin-gauge copper wire at a hardware store, or cut apart an old cable (like a cell phone charger).
  • Scissors
  • Wire strippers (only needed if you are cutting apart an old cable and need to remove insulation)
  • Shallow tray or bowl
  • Water
    materials to build water strider

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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
forces, surface tension, density, buoyancy