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Test if ice takes up less or more space than water

Suitable For

Grade 1



Time Required

 <24 Hours



What’s it about?

Water is a remarkable substance and no living being on earth can survive without it. Water can exist in three different forms: liquid, gas in the form of ‘water vapour’, or a solid in the form of ice. Solid water is formed when liquid water cools down to ‘0’ degrees ˚C, its freezing point. Let’s see if solid water takes up more space than liquid water with the following science experiment:

Topics covered

Freezing point, Water vapor, Ice

What will I need?


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.

This science experiment works because solid water or ‘ice’ takes up about 1/9th more space that liquid water. Most other materials set out when heated but water takes up more space when cooled down or frozen. As the water is gradually cooled down to freezing point, the semi-frozen water is pushed upwards out of the container because it has nowhere else to expand to and the ‘cap’ is pushed up. This is also the reason why the water pipes in some houses ‘burst’ in winter. The water inside the pipes expands as it freezes and forces the joints apart causing the pipes to split.

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