We read about how water striders walk on water. Well, obviously you can’t just walk on water, so how do they do that?
Answer: they bend the rules.
Supplies needed: small bowl of water, a piece of toilet paper, small needle
Procedure: rip a piece of toilet paper into fourths. Place the toilet paper on top of the water, and gently place the needle on top (like in the photo above).
Now, if you’ve done this right, the toilet paper will be saturated by the water and the needle will float on the surface of the water. It’s very cool.
Why does this work?
Because water molecules have a very strong molecular bond they want to stick together. So, the surface tension of the water holds the needle up, if you do it correctly.
That is why the water strider is able to walk on water. Great wow factor to your kids.
Then we of course had to see if it would work with a normal piece of paper, and it did.
So, now we know how and why water striders can walk.
That is a very cool experiment.
An Almost Unschooling Mom says
D was fascinated with those little creatures this summer.
Our kids still think it's amazing whenever they see one, and it's so fun to hear them tell me the WHY behind it. 🙂
This is cool. I have seen it done with lowering the needle down on the surface with thread and then slowly pulling the thread away, but this seems like a much better way of doing it! Thanks for showing us.
Raising a Happy Child says
I am going to remember this experiment as I know Selena is going to discover the water striders some day. Great experiment!
Joyful Learner says
We'll have to do this one day! It's amazing how quickly water striders jump around in water!
child central station says
This is a great experiment! Ds is going to love it! Thanks for sharing and for hosting Science Sunday!
Wonder Mom says
Wonderful experiment- and I like how y'all extended it with paper.
Very cool! We'll be trying this one =)
Discovering Montessori says
SO COOL ! Your topics for science always amazes me. Thank you for sharing.
Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says
I like! I'm reading on my phone and can only see a few words at a time so when you started the sentence about “of course we had to try…” I thought for sure you were going to say you guys tried to walk on water.
Brimful Curiosities says
Awesome experiment. Water striders are very interesting creatures and they are fun to photograph!
After this experiment your kids would probably enjoy this little Do Not Open Bottle Prank that works thanks to surface tension. https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/00000107
What fascinating creatures and an interesting experiment.