Science Fun with Janice
Absorption is the process by which one substance takes in another, such as a sponge soaking up water. Demonstrate absorption by using the following steps to make colorful Easter flowers.
- Fold a facial tissue back and forth like a paper fan or an accordion.
- Tie a string around the center of the folded tissue.
- Hold the ends of the folded tissue together. Then, dip the ends of the tissue in a solution of colored water. (Prepare the colored solution by adding drops of food coloring to ¼ cup of water.)
different colors of water for a bouquet of flowers.
- When the paper dries, spread them out so they look like the
flowers in the picture.
The colored water moves through the paper for a short distance.
The colored water spreads through the paper due to CAPILLARY
ACTION. Notice that the water spreads farther than does the coloring. This is due to the coloring having more attraction to the paper than does the water. The weight of the coloring also has some affect on how far it travels.
Something More to Try
You can make a multicolored flower like the one shown. To do this you need a white carnation with a long stem. Prepare the flower as follows:
1. If necessary, use scissors to cut the stem so that the flower will stand in glass.
2. ADULT STEP: Lay the flower on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut the stem in half from the bottom up to a point just above the height of the glass. You want the half of the stem to stand in one glass and the other half in a second glass. Note: Experiment with the best stem length as well as the height of the glasses.
3. Add food coloring to the water in the glasses. The darker the color the more colorful your flower will be.
The colored water is moving up the flower's stem and into the flower through tiny tube-like structures called xylem.