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FLOATING ON WATER

Study the effect of pollution on fresh water birds’ ability to float

Suitable For

Grade 4

Difficulty

2

Time Required

 <24 Hours

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

In this science experiment we will study the effect that detergent pollution has on fresh water birds’ ability to float. This is also called the ‘buoyancy’ of a bird.

Topics covered

Buoyancy

What will I need?

  • WHITE FEATHERS
  • WIDE BOWL
  • TAP WATER
  • DISHWASHING LIQUID
  • COTTON SWABS
  • FOOD COLOURING

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.

Both of the feathers used in this science experiment floats, but the second feather that floated in the soapy water , allows water to come through to the dry side, whereas the feather that floated in the normal water remains dry. The soap in the water weakens the surface tension and makes is easier for the water to penetrate the finely woven hairs called ‘barbicels’ of a feather. The soap also dissolves the natural oil found on the feathers of birds.

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