skip to main content

Parent Outreach

Science Experiment


Science At Home: Experiments and Activities

Looking for a way to engage your child at home? Need a rainy day activity? Look no further!


Mystery Markers


Bowl of Water

Paper towel, cut into strips

3-6 different markers, including black


Draw a wavy line an inch from the bottom of the paper towel strip. Dip each strip into the water so the bottom of the towel is submerged, but not the line of ink. Hold in place and watch as the water travels up the towel. The ink marks will spread, revealing the different dyes that make up the color in the marker.

Make Connections:

Most colors are actually made up of several different dyes. As the paper towel, draws the liquid out of the bowl, the water molecules bond with different ink molecules and spread them. The process of separating these dyes is known as chromatography. To take the exploration further, have your child cover their eyes while you draw a line on a fresh strip. Dip it into the water, once the ink has spread, have them open their eyes and try to guess which marker you used.



Sneaky Leaky Holes



1 Zip-Lock Bag (must have zip top)

1-3 Sharp Pencils


Fill the bag halfway with water and seal it. Hold it at arm's length and help your child poke a sharp pencil through the bag (below the waterline) and out the other side without removing it. The bag won't leak. With the pencil in place, add another. Still, no drips!

Make connections:

Water molecules need empty air space in order to flow. Though you are creating holes with the pencil, as long as it's in place, it plugs the hole so the water can't move. Of course, you can't plug just anything with a pencil. This activity highlights the properties of common plastics. It works because plastic is formed of polymers or molecules connected in long, repeating chains. These chains stretch to allow the pencil through and then tighten around it just like a turtleneck tightens once it's over your head. If you pull the pencils out, the holes will remain. Be sure to remove pencils over the sink.



Ice Fishing


Cup of Water

Ice Cubes

Table Salt

Piece o f String


Place the ice cubes in the water. They will float on top. Put the string in water and try to "fish" for an ice cube. Sprinkle salt on top of the ice cubes.  Repeat the process of "fishing" for an ice cube with the string. Pull the string out and see what you caught!

Make connections:

When salt is mixed with ice it lowers the freezing point. Usually water freezes at 32° F (0° C), but when it is mixed with salt it lowers the freezing point significantly. Simply put, when salt is sprinkled over ice, the ice melts. However, when it is used in such a small amount, like in our experiment, the water around the ice freezes again quickly. This means that the string gets trapped as the water around it refreezes, thus making it stick to the ice.