Making Crystals Part II – Dissolving

by Deb on December 1, 2009

I love this activity, along with bouncing balls it’s my absolute favourite way to teach about variables.  This means there are so many tests you can do.  Older kids might like to do several at a time to see which makes the most difference, but little ones it’s probably to do the activity lots of times and test something different each time.  Very little ones get off on stirring and tasting!  So long as you are working with foods, this is a good one to taste and feel as well – does the texture change when you dissolve something?

dissolving

Tests:

1.  Dissolving different things.

  • Compare salt, sugar, powder, milo, coffee, things that are soluble or not.
  • Compare different types of sugar – brown sugar, table sugar, icing sugar, castor sugar.
  • Try dissolving liquids  – cordial, oil, detergent, juice, …

2.  Comparing sizes to see how quickly they dissolve.

  • Try rock salt versus table salt.
  • Sugar cubes or coffee crystals.
  • If you have a mortar and pestle grind up some coffee or milo granules.

3. Temperature.

  • Cold, warm and hot, measure the amount you can dissolve.

4. Stirring.

  • See if the speed you stir with makes a difference to how quickly it dissolves. Using an electic mixer might be fun.

5. Solvents

  • Try dissolving in things other than water – oil, detergent, soy sauce?
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