Introduction: Walking Rainbow // Capillary Action
The Walking Rainbow is a fun way to discover how our earth works. Through this fun filled science project, you'll see the effects of how water defies gravity and creates a new substance as earth does with plants. This is a fun project for all ages and does tend to take some time.
Step 1: Materials
Here is what is needed for the experiment:
1) 7 glass cups/jars
2) Paper towels
3) Food dye (red, yellow, blue, and pink)
Step 2: Filling Glasses
Take 4 of your 7 glasses and fill them up with clear water all the way to where there is only a centimeter of space left at the top of the glass. Make sure to only use four glasses for water and keep the other glasses dry. Ignore the picture with colored water, as that will be your next step.
Step 3: Food Coloring
Place at least three drops of red food coloring in ONE of the glasses of water. Then put at least three drops of yellow in another one of the glasses of water. Then put at least three drops of blue in another one of the glasses filled with water. And finally put at least three drops of the pink food coloring in the last glass of water. Stir each glass to insure that all the water is dyed. Now place your glasses in a single row where you are alternating the food colored glasses with the empty glasses. They should go red first, then an empty glass. Yellow goes next, then another empty glass. Blue goes next, then another empty glass. And finally pink at the end.
Step 4: Paper Towels
How to prepare the paper towel for the rainbow:
The paper towel should be double the height of one glass. If it is too tall in length, cut it down till it's exactly 2x the height of the glass. Next, fold it in the opposite direction till you have 6 clear sections (AKA the accordion fold). Open the paper towel back up, and confirm you have 6 sections. once there are 6 sections, cut down the center so that you have two paper towels with 3 sections. Repeat this step until you have a total of 6 paper towels with 3 sections. Lastly, fold the 3 sections together to make 1 section.
Once you've prepared the paper towels:
Place a folded paper towel in every set of two glasses (one from red to empty, empty to yellow, yellow to next empty, ect.). Do not place a paper towel on the very end of each row. You'll loose water faster that way. Now you should have a complete row of colors and empty glasses.
Step 5: Wait!
Now you wait! Wait as long as you please. The longer you wait, the more water get transfer. When I was doing it, I waited an entire hour, and the glasses didn't even reach halfway done.
Step 6: Compare With Real Life
You can definitely compare this experiment with many other real life actions. This action is known as the Capillary Action. This action is the ability of a liquid to flow upward, against gravity, in narrow or thin spaces. In this experiment, we did just that. The water went up the paper towel and down in the empty glass, combining with another color to make a new color. This is the same thing that helps water climb from a plant’s roots to the leaves at the tops of trees. It's also how water reaches the petals of a flower. The walking rainbow is a great way to observe how life of many plants live.
Step 7: Watch It Live!
If you would like to view this project live, visit my Facebook page or copy and paste the link below!
Search for the Summer Science ~Walking Rainbow on my page. Enjoy!