What's So Special about Water: Surface Tension

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this three-part activity, learners play a game and conduct two simple experiments to explore water and surface tension. Learners will have fun discovering how water "sticks" together. This lesson guide includes instructions for three mini activities, key vocabulary words, extension ideas, helpful hints, and resources. Educators can also use this "sticking together" activity to emphasize the importance of empathy and listening.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

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


Materials List (per student)

  • Laminated “Amazing Water Race Water Stretch” Activity Sheet
  • Penny
  • Eyedropper
  • Paper clips
  • Cup of water


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Collection
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Games


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Bowers, Sally


  • All rights reserved, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, 2008