We are still in the middle of our inquiry process science unit, and we are loving it! This is a quick experiment I did with small groups during center time. It is so simple, yet has so many great benefits!
The experiment is simply to predict how many drops of water can fit on a penny (nickel, dime, quarter) before spilling over. The kids make predictions, then test it out. In order to do this, they need to learn how to use a water dropper, and most importantly, how to control the dropper to slowly release one drop at a time. We practice this for a little while before starting the actual experiment. This takes lots of fine motor control, so it is great practice for little ones. The motivation is so high that they really concentrate!
They also need to count each drop as it lands on the coin, which is excellent counting practice as well.
Once the water spills over, they record the actual number of drops that they got on the coin. It is really quite fascinating, because LOTS of drops stay on the coin due to surface tension. The kids are amazed as they watch a water bubble form up over the coin without spilling!
I wish you could see the concentration on my students’ faces as they do this experiment!
This experiment is one of six that are part of my Inquiry Process science unit ($8). Check it out if you are interested!