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Lights, Camera, (Capillary) Action!

Active Time
10-20 minutes
Total Project Time
10-20 minutes
Key Concepts
Adhesion, cohesion, surface tension gravity
capillary action of colored water between two glass plates

Introduction

How do trees suck water all the way up to their leaves? How do paper towels soak up a spill? Are these things related? Try this project to learn about capillary action, and repeat a classic demonstration from over 100 years ago!

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

  • Two small picture frames with glass covers
  • Paper clips (2)
  • Rubber band
  • Tray or plate
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Dish towel

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Active Time
10-20 minutes
Total Project Time
10-20 minutes
Key Concepts
Adhesion, cohesion, surface tension gravity