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Floating and Falling Flows

Source Institutions

    Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder

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Floating and Falling Flows

Learners create beautiful fluid motion. They explore fluid dynamics, surface tension, solubility, and buoyancy while mixing liquids together. Learners can photograph or film the fluid motion for analysis as well. This activity is also suitable as a demonstration. Learners can continue their investigations by completing the related activity "Density Rainbow and the Great Viscosity Race." Resource contains vocabulary definitions, detailed background information, and suggestions for assessment and extensions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Photography and Film/Video


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Taylor, Cody; Camacho, Gala; Hertzberg, Jean; Schaefer Zarske, Malinda; Carlson, Denise

Source Collection:

  • TeachEngineering


  • All Rights Reserved, Regents of the Univeristy of Colorado, ©2006


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