Mini Lab: Drops on a Penny
Elementary students, here’s a mini-lab you can try at home to practice using the scientific method. Science is all about asking questions and finding answers. So just to help you begin to think, try to answer the question above. For starters, take a guess: “How many drops of water do you think will fit on a penny?” Write down your estimate.
- 1 Lincoln Penny
- 1 Eye/Medicine Dropper
- Supply of Tap Water
- Paper Towels
- Pencil and the tables below
- Place a clean dry penny “heads up” on several sheets of paper towel on your kitchen table or counter.
- Squeeze the bulb of the eyedropper; then place the tip of the dropper in the water and slowly release the bulb until the dropper is half full.
- Now, carefully position the tip of the dropper over, but not touching, the penny, and release the water one drop at a time. (You might want to practice your dropping technique before starting your first trial.)
- Count each drop. Watch closely and wait a moment between drops to make sure each drop is not the last drop. Try to do exactly the same thing each time. (Watch closely. Record anything interesting you observe in the space provided under “data collection.”)
- Continue until the water spills over the edge of the penny. Your count ends with the last drop counted before the big spill. (Anything else interesting? Record below.)
As you examine the data you have collected, here are several questions to consider. (Take some time to really think about what you did and what you found.)
How many drops of water does a penny hold? Is that true for “all” pennies? Try to sum up what you learned in a few sentences.
Don’t forget to clean up!
From Divine Designer ⓒ2017