WHAT A DRIP!
2 plastic cups * Epsom salt * very hot water * spoon * cotton string or wool yarn, about 75 cm (30 in. long) * 2 large paper clips * plastic plate
1. Carefully fill 3/4 of one cup with very hot water. (You can heat the water in a microwave if necessary.)
2. Add a few spoonfuls of Epsom salt into the cup. Stir until the salt is dissolved. Keep adding salt until no more will dissolve in the water.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the second cup.
4. Fold the piece of string in half and twist the halves together. Attach a paper clip to each end of the string. Then dip the string in one of the salt solutions and wet it thoroughly.
5. Set the cups on a plate. Then put the ends of the string into the cups, so that the middle of the string forms a deep "U" shape. Let the middle of the string dangle about an inch above the plate.
6. Leave the set-up overnight. Check the string every so often for the next few days. What happens?
Where did the Epsom salts in the water go? How is your homemade stalactite similar to those that form in caves? How is it different?
Don't Stop Now!
The stalactite you made is a crystal--a solid whose atoms or molecules are arranged in a regular, geometric pattern. What other ingredients can you use to make a crystal? Try to make crystals using table salt and sugar. What else works?
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|Title Annotation:||creating a homemade stalactite|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Mar 22, 1999|
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