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Use science to pick up an ice cube using only a matchstick

Suitable For

Grade 6



Time Required

 <1 Hour



What’s it about?

Water in its solid form or ‘ice’ can be a very interesting substance. Amaze your friends with the following ‘magic trick’ to lift up an ice cube. Ask your friends to pick up an ice cube floating in a bowl of water, using only a matchstick and some table salt, if they cannot, show them how it is done with the following science experiment:

Topics covered

Freezing point

What will I need?

  • BOWL

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 freezing point of the water surrounding the matchstick is lowered because it is mixed with salt. This causes the surface of the ice around the matchstick to melt because ‘salt water’ freezes at a lower temperature than ordinary water. The freezing point of ordinary water is ‘0’ degrees ˚C, so it will have to get colder than ‘0’ degrees ˚C before ‘salt water’ will freeze. No salt falls under the matchstick and it becomes frozen into the ice allowing you to lift the ice with the matchstick.

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