Dissolving Different Liquids in Water

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In this activity, learners add different liquids to water and apply their working definition of “dissolving” to their observations. After observing isopropyl rubbing alcohol, vegetable oil, and corn syrup in water, learners can conclude that while some liquids may dissolve in water, different liquids dissolve in water to different extents. Adult supervision recommended. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org. Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Isopropyl rubbing alcohol, 70%
  • Corn syrup
  • 3 Clear plastic cups
  • 3 Small cups
  • 3 Popsicle sticks or stirrers
  • Student Activity Sheet


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Kessler, James H. ; Galvan, Patricia M.


  • All rights reserved, American Chemical Society, 2007