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Is pepper afraid of soap? A surface tension science experiment

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Another “oldie but goodie” this experiment is super simple, has that “wow” factor that kids want AND you probably have everything you need already at home so no need to go to the store.

We did this post back in 2011 but thought it would be fun to show you what it’s like in a video!

Just add some water to a shallow bowl or plate with a rim. Sprinkle some pepper on top. Have the kids see what happens when they stick their finger in – not a whole lot. Now put a small drop of dish soap on their finger and try again. The pepper swims away!081711_2779 081711_2790 pepper2 Is pepper afraid of soap? Fun surface tension science experiment for kidsIs pepper afraid of soap? Fun surface tension science experiment for kidsIs pepper afraid of soap? Fun surface tension science experiment for kids

If your kids are old enough you can talk to them about what is happening. To answer the original question, no, pepper is not afraid of water. When you think about a drop of rain you think of a bulging shape. The bulge is created by surface tension. Because the pepper is so light it just floats on top of the water. When the dish soap is introduced, the surface tension is lowered basically causing the bulging of the water to lower (or flatten) carrying the floating pepper to the outside.

Is pepper afraid of soap? Fun surface tension science experiment for kids

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Allison Waken is a wife, mom of boys and Phoenix, AZ native. She has been creating inspiring content for All for the Boys since 2011. Allison loves travel, movies and spending as much time as possible with her family while she can!

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