Pepper Scatter

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In this quick activity, learners break the tension that happens when water develops a "skin." Learners use water, pepper and some soap to discover the wonders of surface tension—the force that attracts water molecules to each other. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • Tray, plate, or dish
  • Pepper
  • Soap
  • Liquid detergent
  • Toothpick (optional)
  • Waxed paper (optional)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
      • Volume and Density
  • 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


Source Collection

  • TryScience