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Density Stackers

Source Institutions

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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Density Stackers

In this activity, learners investigate density as they discover how liquids separate to form density layers. Learners discover what happens when they add syrup, cooking oil, and water to a jar. They further investigate density by determining the locations where a piece of plastic, a grape, and a cork settle.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 80-mL syrup
  • 1 glass jar
  • 80-mL cooking oil
  • 80-mL water
  • measuring cup
  • 1 small piece of plastic
  • 1 grape
  • 1 small cork
  • science journal


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

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

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


  • NASA Center for Distance Learning, Office of Education at NASA’s Langley Research Center


  • All Rights Reserved, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, ©2004


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