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STALACTITES AND STALAGMITES

Make your own stalactites

Suitable For

Grade 6

Difficulty

2

Time Required

 <1 Week

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

When sugar is mixed into some hot coffee, it disappears and the coffee tastes sweet. This is called ‘dissolving’. Stalactites and stalagmites are columns of stone which forms over long periods of time in underground caves. They are made from minerals dissolved in rainwater, that drips slowly from the roofs of caves.

Stalactites form on the roof of a cave, whereas stalagmites form on the floor. When the water drips, it ‘evaporates’ and leaves the dissolved minerals behind, as you will see in the following science experiment:

Topics covered

Dissolving, Evaporation, Capillary action, Porous

What will I need?

  • 2x GLASS JARS
  • GLASS SAUCER
  • WOOLLEN THREAD
  • WASHING SODA
  • TAP WATER

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

In this science experiment the water / washing soda solution is slowly being drawn up into the porous woolen strand through capillary action. When they meet in the centre of the strand, the water becomes too heavy for the strand to hold and it drips down into the glass saucer in between the two jars. As it drips, the water evaporates and leaves the dissolved washing soda behind.

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