Water molecules love to stick together! Drop food coloring onto the milk in various spots. Surface tension is a special term we use to describe the cohesion between water molecules. Now, add the coins one at a time to the glass of water, dropping them in rim-first (not face down). Use a toothpick to pull water from the first coin to the second coin. This holds the surface molecules together and holds the water in place over the coin, stopping water spillage for much longer than you would expect. There are two properties at work in this experiment: cohesion and surface tension. You can demonstrate concepts such as surface tension, buoyancy, and even eddy currents with Japanese yen coins! Next try the classic surface tension experiment of floating a sewing needle on top of the water. In this project, you will put droplets of water on a penny, like in Figure 1. (*Whole milk works best due to its higher fat content. Things that reduce surface tension are called surfactants. This means you need to reduce the surface tension of water. Surface tension is the result of all the water molecules sticking together. Set up a row of coins and add different colors of water drops to each, forming surface tension. That magic is the surface tension of water. Squeeze or pour a small amount of dish soap into a small bowl. You’ll notice that the water hangs slightly over the top of the glass but doesn’t spill out just yet. Some preschoolers may want to understand the magic behind this simple science with coins. More on variables here More Surface Tension Experiments for kids. You can use washing up liquid’s power of disrupting the surface tension of water to race lolly sticks. In this case, the like molecules are the H20 molecules in the water drops. Fill the dish with milk. They are attracted to one another, and the force of attraction creates surface tension. MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – In today’s Science Corner experiment, see how surface tension works in two different experiments! Who knew that a single coin could be used for so many classroom science activities! Fill a clear glass with water all the way to the brim. Can a surface tension experiment result in some cool action art? Magic Milk Surface Tension Experiment . Guess how many coins you can add to the glass before the water starts to overflow! Can you pull the water all the way to the end of the row of coins without breaking the tension? The higher the surface tension of the water, the bigger a droplet you can make before it breaks and flows over the edges of the penny. Water molecules like to stick together. ... We could not get the coins to float. What's Going On? Cohesion is the “stickiness” of like molecules to one another. 10-12 coins of the same size Method: 1. When we fill the glass with water, we notice right away that it can go over the brim of the glass without spilling. To make it easier, place a small piece of the paper towel on the water first, and then place the needle on the paper towel. Surface tension experiments can be a fun way to learn about the unique properties of water. Water and Surface Tension. Because of surface tension, liquid surfaces act like a kind of ‘skin’, able to support small insects and materials on their surface. These experiments can be performed easily anywhere with simple materials. Variables to test. The surface tension was not strong enough. by: Ron Perkins. Surface Tension: Even though aluminum has a density of 2.7 gm/cm 3, and the density of water is 1 g/cm 3, aluminum yen coins can float on the surface … Add water around a coin on a plate. One using a penny and the other using dish soap to propel a cardboard boat! Frugal Fun for Boys has a great surface tension investigation using a coin and different liquids! However, 1% or 2% milk will work in a pinch.) Cohesion is the attraction of like molecules to one another. 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