As you know, we love simple science experiments. When my kids saw this fun science experiment/trick on Steve Spangler Science and had to try it. I love that it uses things we have around the house and it was so easy to set up. Next time you have friends over, wow them with this simple Floating Rice Bottle Trick.
All you need to amaze your friends with this simple trick is:
- 2 plastic water bottles ~ empty and dry
- 2 pencils or chopsticks
- Dry Rice
- Funnel ~ to fill the bottles with rice
Before you preform your trick, you will need to do a little behind the scenes work. Fill one bottle with dry rice about 1″ from the top. Fill the 2nd bottle to the top and gently tap it on the counter. Pack the rice in the 2nd bottle as much as possible (you may need to add more rice and keep packing). You could also push the pencil into the bottle a few times to pack it further. Make sure that when you are done, both bottles appear to have the same amount of rice in them.
My kids had so much fun setting their trick up. They set the 2 bottles on the table along with the pencils and called their friends in. If you are looking for a fun way to perform your trick, check out how Steve Spangler explains lite and regular rice. My kids loved this part:)
Have your friend push a pencil into bottle #1 (unpacked rice) while you push a pencil into bottle #2 (packed rice). Your friends pencil will just slide in and out easily. However, you will be able to pick up your bottle of rice with only just the pencil. Your friend will question what he did wrong or if you did something to your pencil. You can offer to switch pencils and try again. You will find the same result. Bottle #1 stays on the table while bottle #2 is easily lifted.
You are able to lift bottle #2 with a pencil because of friction and density. Make sure to click on the above link to check out the full scientific reason why and how it works.
If you are up for revealing your secrets, dump each bottle of rice into their own measuring bowl. You will be able to see how much extra rice was packed into Bottle #2. You might be surprised at how much it will hold.
I hope your kids have fun amazing their friends with this simple friction trick. If you are looking for more scientific inspiration then check this list of our favorite experiments (just click on the red link)