Spreading the love of science with the help of my mobile science cart…one experiment at a time!

Today in the UK it’s the hottest day of the year so far and I am really enjoying having a cuppa in the sunshine! All this sunshine made me think of a great and simple science experiment using an orange, so I got my ExplorerLAB™ mobile science cart out this morning and carried it out. You can do this at home or in the classroom too! You’ll need:

  • An orange
  • A bowl or container
  • Water

Firstly, fill up your bowl with water, then pop the orange in and see what happens. Next, remove the orange from the water and peel off the rind, the put it back in the water. Record what happens.

If your experiment went the same way mine did this morning, you probably noticed that the orange floated when you first put it in the water, but once you removed the rind it sunk. But why?

Well, it all comes down to density. Density is the mass of an object in relation to its volume. Anything with a lower density than water will float, whilst anything with a higher density than water will sink. The orange rind is full of tiny little air pockets which help to give it a lower density and so it is light enough to float on the water. However, once you remove the orange rind, all of the air pockets allowing the orange to float are gone, so the orange’s density increases and it sinks to the bottom. Fascinating!

Enjoy the sunshine wherever you are folks, I’m off the think up some more experiments with the help of my mobile science cart.

Sources: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/experiments/orangefloatorsink.html

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