What does Density mean? – Floating and Density

Science sparks are very excited to share another fun science activity today, this time it’s a fun and super simple demonstration of density.

What is density?

We’ve made a rainbow glass before, but today we are doing a much more simple version and adding a bit of LEGO. This is a really cool demonstration to explain the concept of density.

What you need

Vegetable oil

Water

LEGO or other small objects.

Instructions

Pour some water carefully into a glass or jar.

Very carefully add about the same volume of cooking oil on top.

Then drop a couple of small objects into the mixture and observe what happens. Can you find something to float on each layer?

What happens if you shake it?

What is density?

Each of the liquids have a different mass of molecules or different numbers of parts squashed into the same volume of liquid, this makes them have different densities and therefore one can sit on top of the other – the more dense a liquid is the heavier it is.

Objects and liquids float on liquids of a higher density and sink through liquids of lower density. The LEGO brick  sinks through the oil but floats on the water, while the coin sinks through both. The coin is therefore more dense than both the oil and the water. The plastic bug floating on the oil is less dense than both.

More density experiments

Summer Density

Some density magic

1. Debs

Fabulous. I love the easy way you’ve explained it. Pinning to my science board 🙂

1. ScienceSparks

Thank you. x

2. JDaniel4's Mom

I have treasures that would be great for this lesson.

1. ScienceSparks

do let us know if you do it. x

3. maggy, red ted art

Fantastic. Such a fascinating science experiment for kids!!! Love it.

4. Carrie

So cool!! I love it. Thank you for sharing on Sharing Saturday!!

5. Cami

Another great demo for teaching density would be with pop. What you need is a fish tank full of water, a diet coke, and a regular coke. When you put the two cans in the water, the diet coke will float and the regular coke will sink. Explain to the kids that since the diet coke does not have as much mass, it is less dense so it floats.

6. Water Science

[…] out why oil and water don’t mix. We’ve also done this using coloured water and pipettes which was brilliant […]