BrainStorms: Science with Scottlin – Density with Ice + Oil

Science With Scottlin

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – In this experiment, we will learn about density using oil and ice cubes.

GRAB YOUR INGREDIENTS: mason jar or any other clear glass, vegetable oil, baby oil, and ice cubes. Most, if not all of these things can be found around the house.

STEP 1: Fill the glass a little less than halfway with vegetable oil.

STEP 2: Add in baby oil. There are no specific measurements, but tilt the glass just a bit when adding this oil in. If not, you may have to wait a bit for the two oils to separate.

STEP 3: Drop a couple ice cubes in. We added food coloring into the ice cube tray before freezing so that we had colored ice cubes.

QUIZ TIME: If you were to go make yourself a glass of ice water, would the ice sink or float? (Answer: Float)

Science behind this experiment: Ice is less dense than water, therefore it floats. The same goes with ice and oil, the ice is less dense. When we dropped it in, you’ll notice it only goes down to the layer where the vegetable oil starts. This is because ice is heavier than baby oil, but lighter than vegetable oil. When the ice melts, we notice that the water drops to the bottom. Oil is known as hydrophobic, so it repels water. This all goes back to density. As the ice melts, it turns into liquid water, which is more dense than oil, so it slowly falls to the bottom.

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