I knew this leak proof bag science experiment with the kids was a project that would have a high fun factor since the kids LOVE anything that includes water play. Since it is such a simple science project it was the perfect addition to our DIY summer science camp with Coffee Cups and Crayons.
I wanted to do the experiment outdoors and as long time readers (give yourselves a round of applause) know, we live in an apartment so I packed up the supplies as we headed out for a day at the park. It made a nice break when the kids started whining about going home and bought me some more time away from the apartment.
What you need:
- Sealable plastic bags
- Sharp pencils
- Bored or enthusiastic children
1. Fill the bags with water. When we got to the park we found this awesome drinking fountain station set up! (Sorry about bad photo, I accidentally had my camera set to 1600 ISO!) We did get a few curious looks when we filled our bags, but never mind!
2. Close bags.
3. Poke pencils through bags. My 9 year old lay the bag flat, but it works better if you are holding the water-filled bag upright.
Be sure not to push the pencils all the way through the bags. The tip needs to be poking out one side, and the eraser needs to be sticking out the other side (see top photo). However, if you pull the pencil completely out the other side, the bag will leak. Obviously.
There was a lot of free play with this science experiment because naturally, water is always a draw for my kids.
The science behind it:
Steve Spangler explains the leak proof bag science experiment works because plastic bags are made from polymers. Poking the pencils through the bag only separates the molecule chains, it doesn't break them. My 9 year old is only starting to understand the concept of molecules, so this was a great starting point for him. Of course, my 5 year old was more interested in what happened when you pulled the pencil out!
What was my 5 year old's favorite part?
He could create his very own personal drinking fountain.
Summer Science Camp so far:
What science projects are you doing this summer?