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Changing the Density of an Object: Adding Material

Source Institutions

    American Chemical Society

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Changing the Density of an Object: Adding Material

Learners see that a can of regular cola sinks while a can of diet cola floats. As a demonstration, bubble wrap is taped to the can of regular cola to make it float. Learners will use this idea to make an object that is more dense than water float. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Water
  • Large clear plastic container
  • Can of regular cola
  • Can of diet cola
  • Small water-resistant item that sinks
  • Small water-resistant items that float like zip-closing plastic bags, styrofoam pieces, cork, empty film canisters with lids, etc.
  • Tape, rubber bands, string, etc.
  • Student Activity Sheet


  • Physical Sciences
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • 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


Components that are part of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


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


  • All Rights Reserved, American Chemical Society, ©2007