Friday, February 20, 2015

Cloud Density: Could we sit on a Cloud?

We are really enjoying our cloud experiments and learning all about the water cycle.  We especially love how fluffy the clouds look - like we could relax on them but would they be able to hold us? Could we sit on a cloud?  To explore this idea we made soapy clouds.   All you need is a bar of IVORY soap, some parchment paper and your microwave.  What is great is that this experiment is quick, easy and has a great WOW factor!


Make sure you use IVORY soap - when they make the soap they whip it with air so it has a low density.  It will even float in water!


This was a great opportunity for us to revisit that something with a low density will float.  Even though the soap felt hard it had lots of air in it which made it float.  However we did think that we could sit on the soap without falling through it!


We then placed the unwrapped bar of soap on a piece of parchment paper and placed it in the microwave and set the timer for about a minute and a half.  You will want to watch what happens in the microwave as it is really fun!  Stop the microwave when the soap stops growing.



Be careful taking it out as it is pretty hot.   Give it a minute and then let the kids feel it.   The cloud feels soft and squishy and we don't think we could sit on the clouds at all.  We spoke about how this was the same amount of soap but now it was a much bigger volume (the overall shape was much larger than the bar).  It was very light and so it must be even less dense than the bar.  We figured that clouds must be less dense than water too!



They very quickly crumbled the cloud to make fairy snow.  They had a great time playing with the clouds.  The best part was watching them grow in the microwave.

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Supplies:

  • IVORY soap
  • parchment paper
  • microwave


Instructions:

  1. Unwrap a bar of soap and place on a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Place in the microwave for a minute and watch it grow!
  3. Play and have fun with your cloud.  Could it hold you?


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