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Tackle density and chemistry with this experiment. All you need are some dry erase markers and a couple of other things that you can easily find lying around the house.
STEM concept: Density, the chemistry of dry erase marker ink
Materials for Dry Erase Experiment
• glass plate
• dry erase marker
Steps to follow
1. Make sure that you are using dry erase markers. Other types of markers will not work for this experiment.
2. Draw a picture on the plate with the dry erase marker. A stick figure will work just fine. You may also draw spiders, boats, or whatever you like.
3. Slowly pour water onto the plate. You’ll see the drawing slowly lift from the plate.
4. You can make your drawing move around by swirling or blowing on the water.
The science behind the Dry Erase Experiment
Unlike permanent markers that have ink with strong adhesives, the ink of dry erase markers is a kind of polymer or plastic that does not stick strongly and is easy to wipe off surfaces. This ink does not dissolve in water.
When you pour the water on the plate, the force of the water becomes stronger than the stickiness of the ink. This causes the drawing to become like like a solid plastic that easily slides off the surface of the plate. This solid ink is also less dense than water, so it floats above it.
What is density?
Density is the measure of a material’s mass per unit volume. It describes how compact or crammed together matter is in an object. We can see density applied in our daily lives when we see objects floating or sinking in water. Another example is a helium balloon. The balloon floats because it contains helium that is less dense than air.