Pepper Scatter

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In this activity, learners explore the forces at work in water. Learners experiment to find out what happens to pepper in water when they touch it with bar soap and liquid detergent. Use this simple activity to demonstrate the principles of surface tension. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per student)

  • tray, plate or dish
  • pepper
  • soap
  • liquid detergent


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access