Saturday, June 4, 2011

What Does Viscosity Have to Do With It? -- Sunday Snapshot

Huckleberry examined how deep a little red boat weighted with 38 quarters sank in various liquids.
He tested 5 different liquids of whose "feeling of thickness" (viscosity) varied.
The liquids were water, canola oil, rubbing alcohol, saturated salt water, and watered down but not completely set orange jello.
His father helped pour in the materials and his mother took pictures, but otherwise Huckleberry did all of the work himself.
He ran 3 trials of each liquid and carefully recorded his data.
After reviewing his data he discovered that how thick a liquid felt was not a determining factor in how deep the boat would sink.  With some research and a discussion with his father, it was determined that the actual factor was the density (mass per unit volume) of the liquid.  This was most clearly illuminated by the orange jello vs. water comparison.  The water downed jello felt much thicker than the water.  However, since jello is primarily made out of water, and water-downed jello even more so, their densities are the same.  This is evidenced by his data that shows the boat sank the same amount in the plain water and the jello.  Salt water, being more dense than water, did not allow the boat to sink nearly as much though the feeling (viscosity) of the two types of waters felt alike.
His final project brought him an A+ at school and the right to move on to the Regional Science Fair.  In a surprising and tragic twist of fate, Huckleberry's parents forgot to take Huckleberry to the Regionals leading to many tears and apologies until Huckleberry finally snapped:
"Mom!  Stop talking about it!  I know you love me and there is always next year!"  

Huckelberry has every intention on taking on the Regionals in 6th grade when the awards are actual savings bonds as opposed to the blue ribbon he did receive in 4th grade.

Ni Hao Yall



clearness said...

Woohooo When I was in the 6th grade I tried to do a science experiment on bacteria. I swabbed my mouth and placed the swab in test tubes. One test tube had nothing but a bit of water, one had iodine, one had rubbing alcohol, one had ......I forget.......there were five or six of them. I forget all the details and while I received an A on the project, I didn't win squat.

Martha said...


Kristi said...

What a GREAT experiment! I actually tested the viscosity of liquids when I was a middle schooler myself.
Great job Huckleberry!

Iowa Sunshine said...

what a fun project! looks like huckleberry had a great time doing it, too!

Life with Kaishon said...

He is so cute. What a fun little boy. Love that he had a great time doing the project and he gets to move on.

Chris said...


He looks so very proud!


Annie said...

What a great project! He did a great job!!!