LCESC • About • Families • Teachers • Partners • Outreach • Kid Zone • Home

Water, Water, What’s the Matter?

water imageMost liquids shrink when they freeze, because the molecules come closer together. However, when water freezes it expands (gets bigger.) The little ice crystals that are being formed take up more space than water in liquid form. To observe this, try the following experiment at home.

Materials:
clear plastic container, water, masking tape, newspaper, and observation journal


Procedures:
1. Fill the clear plastic container half way with water. Using a piece of masking tape, mark how high the water fills the container.

2. In the observation journal, record the properties of the water in the container, including form of matter, shape, color, and texture.

3. Place the clear container of water on top of the newspaper. Be careful not to spill any water. Look straight down into the container from the top. Are the letters bigger, smaller, or about the same size? Are clear or fuzzy? Record in journal.

4. Next, place the container of water into the freezer. Again, be careful not to spill any water. Allow the water to freeze COMPLETELY. Make a hypothesis about what you think will happen to the level of water when it freezes. Record in journal.

5. When the water is frozen, take it out of the freezer. In your observation journal, record the properties of the frozen water, including form of matter, shape, color, and texture.

6. Place the container of ice on top of a newspaper. Look straight down into the container from the top. Are the letters bigger or about the same size? Are they clear or fuzzy? Record in journal.

7. Observe the level of ice in the container. What happened to the level of ice? Record in journal and explain what happened.

8. Set the container of ice aside and let it COMPLETELY melt. Make a hypothesis about where the level will be when the ice melts. Record in journal.

9. After the water has melted, observe the level of water. Record in journal and explain what happened.

10. Finally, put one tablespoon of the water into a clear cup the window. Do not cover. Mark the level of water with masking tape. Each day record the level of water and explain what is happening. Is the form of the water changing? If so, list the properties of this new form of matter, including shape and color.