Science Week lesson plan: Liquid layers (KS2)

Science Week lesson plan: Liquid layers

Demonstrate how liquids can float on top of one another in a density column.

Resources

  • Golden syrup
  • Washing up liquid
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Surgical spirit
  • Pipettes
  • Clear plastic cup
  • Small objects such as a coin, dried pea or bean, grape, pen lid and a dice

Show

  1. Pour golden syrup into the cup so it is about 1.5 cm deep.
  2. Use a pipette to add approximately the same volume of washing up liquid to the cup, on top of the golden syrup.
  3. Use a clean pipette to gently add the same volume of water to the top of the washing up liquid.
  4. Use a clean pipette to gently add the same volume of vegetable oil to the top of the water.
  5. Finally, add a layer of surgical spirit.
  6. If any of the layers have mixed, give them time to settle.
  7. Drop the small objects into the cup, one-by-one, and observe what happens.

Explain

Density is defined as how much ‘stuff’ is packed into a particular area. A denser object weighs more than the same amount of a less dense object. Liquids that have a higher density, such as syrup, will sink below liquids with a lower density, such as water and oil. Solid objects also range in their densities. They sink into the liquid layers, resting at different levels depending on their density.

Suggest

  • What would happen if you mixed the liquids together?
  • What other combinations of liquids could you try?
  • What would happen if you added the liquids in a different order?

Download PDF

Download a handy PDF version of this lesson plan for you to keep.

 

Science investigations now available to buy online

All of our science investigations are available to buy at our online shop. Individual investigations cost just £7.50 each and our whole school packs of themed science week activities for Years 1-6 are priced at £45. Click here to view all our science investigations.


Practical science beyond Science Week

blackrod_cornerstone073_optim

Love to Investigate

Love to Investigate is a set of 126 scientific investigations that encourage children to be curious, ask questions and explore the world around them.

Our series of practical, exciting investigations cover tricky topics in new and unusual ways, including evolution, mechanisms and air resistance. All activities come with background knowledge for teachers who haven’t taught the topic before and method boards to help children work more independently.

Find out more about Love to Investigate.

Published by

Dr Fran

Dr Fran Barnes is Cornerstones' expert in primary science. Fran is a molecular and cell biologist with a passion for hands-on, practical science in the classroom. She writes our Love to Investigate series and the science topics in our curriculum.

More posts by this author

Comments