Try this experiment out at home!
- Another liquid you can see through (dish soap, canola oil, rubbing alcohol, clear soda, etc.)
- 3 small cups (something clear is easiest)
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Stirrers (anything is fine)
- Various powders (pick 3)
- Epsom salt
- Table salt
- Table sugar
- Other sweeteners (i.e. Stevia)
- Powdered chalk
- Baking soda
- Corn starch
- Spices (i.e. pepper, paprika, etc.)
- Powdered Jello mix
- Thermometer (optional)
- Scale (optional)
- Read the instructions all the way through before beginning!
- Label a cup for each powdered compound you’ve gathered.
- Fill each cup with 1/2 cup of water. Then add 1 teaspoon of the powder to be tested to the cup. Stir carefully and observe. Does it dissolve? Record your observations.
- Keep adding the powder slowly 1/2 or 1 teaspoon at a time and stirring until it doesn’t dissolve anymore (1/2 tsp increments will give you a more accurate measurement). Record how much you add.
- Repeat for all of your powdered compounds.
- Wash out your three cups or get three new ones – all of these should be safe to dispose of down the kitchen sink into the trash.
- Now fill a cup with 1/2 cup of the other liquid (solvent). Select one of your powdered compounds and add 1 teaspoon to the cup. Stir carefully and observe. Keep adding the powder slowly 1/2 or 1 teaspoon at a time and stirring until it doesn’t dissolve anymore. Keep track of how much you add and record your observations.
- Feel free to complete with any combination of the above solvent and solute
- All of these should be safe to dispose of down the kitchen sink into the trash. Carefully clean up your space.
***If you want to be more scientific in your data collection: take and record the temperatures of the water and the other liquid, add the powdered compounds by weight (grams) instead of teaspoon measurements***
Post your results to compare the solubility of the materials you decided to use. If you can, make a table to report your data. Include any observations you made throughout the experiment. Make some conclusions based on your knowledge of solubility and the materials used – explain why you think your results turned out the way they did.