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Floating Paper Clip


Source Institutions

    WGBH

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Floating Paper Clip

In this activity, challenge learners to float a paper clip in a cup of water. Learners discover that a paper clip will sink in a cup of water, except when it is placed on a piece of paper towel. Use this activity to demonstrate the principles of surface tension, adhesion/cohesion, and gravity.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Type:
Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • cup of water
  • 2 paper clips
  • paper towel

Subjects


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
      • Elementary Particles and Nuclear Physics
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, WGBH Educational Foundation, ©2002

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0229796
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation
  • PBS

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