Floating paper clip science experiment is one exciting, fun and an ext effective means to teach kids around surface tension. Good Science Fair task for Kids.

Today, ns am going to share an amazing science principle ‘Surface Tension’ through a standard science experiment.

You are watching: How to make paper clip float

If you are in need of science job for your science fair day, then below is the finest science task you have the right to pick to execute on the day.

How come Make document Clips rise on Water

Objective: To discover the toughness of water molecules and also investigate the science principle ‘Surface Tension’.

Materials Required:

All the products you space going to collection on your experiment table in this activity are quickly available. Here is the basic supplies list:

1) file Clips

2) A transparent glass Bowl

3) Clean Water

4) organization Paper

5) A brand-new Pencil attached with Eraser or handmade Stick


Now, gently ar the square cut tissue file into the glass bowl with water. You will observe the tissue file start floating and also reaches to top of the water.

At this suggest of time, location our file clip carefully on optimal of the organization paper. This is a bit tricky step as there is no balance within water to hold things in ideal place.

Hope this helps you to ar the experiment clip in right location on tissue paper and does no touch the water surface.


It is time come poke tissue record and this is the favourite action for children.

Hahaha! take it the pencil v eraser top top the other side. Use the eraser next to bag the tissue paper.

But make sure you room not emotional the file clip ~ above the tissue file while poking it through pencil. You should poke the tissue file until that reaches to the bottom.

Here is another trick. Extend a paperclip to develop a holder prefer this.

Now very closely place the document clip top top the holder and also dip it gradually in the water. Viola.. Your paper clip will float now.

I allow my kids to float as many record clips as feasible on the surface ar of the water.

We even had funny blowing air with straw to make the paperclips relocate in circular activity while floating top top the water.

What you observe here? You will certainly observe the tissue record sinks but not the record clip. The document clip continues to be on the surface ar of the water floating. That looks magical yet it is not a magic, that is actually the science. Permit us discover the science behind this super standard experiment.

Science connected in Floating file Clip scientific research Experiment

Why does document clips sink to bottom in water? Generally, paper clips room of steel material and also normally sink come bottom when put in water.

Because the metal products are usually hefty in weight and also possess greater density when compared to water. That is the reason, record clips usually sink come the bottom in water.

However, we have the right to make the file clips to float on the surface ar area the water using basic science trick.

The floating document clip science experiment is all around ‘Surface Tension’. Surface anxiety is the cohesive nature that liquid surface ar film because of the attraction in between the molecules which often tends to the minimum surface area possible.

In this floating file clip activity, water molecules hold tightly and also stay together due to the fact that of surface ar tension.

And us are creating “skin” ~ above the water surface which hold water molecule tightly and suspending the paper clip to show up as floating.

Until the water molecules remain together and hold tightly, they deserve to support file clip come float top top water surface.

So, us are creating ideal and also right problems to support the paper clip come float making use of tissue paper.

Using tissue paper, we room suspending the file clip on the surface stress and anxiety of the water and also slowly remove the tissue under it.

Actually, the document clip does not float but it holds increase by the cohesive forces of surface ar tension and also appear as floating.

The same science is being offered by the tiny insects come walk across the water surface ar of the lakes.

Extension Experiment

Here is another awesome experiment that proves surface stress in an educational way. This is an extension activity to floating paper clip science experiment.

Set up the experiment table through a bowl of water. Repeat the same measures of the above activity and also make a paper clip float.

Now, dip her finger in a little amount of food soap and also put that on the surface of the water. Friend will an alert the floating document clip drop to the bottom that way the document clip sink to the bottom that the bowl.

Because the soap liquid spreads or pushes away the surface ar or skin of the water surface ar to its political parties as quickly as the soap come in contact with water.

The soap liquid has a slim layer of surface stress and anxiety which is less thick than the water surface ar tension.

That is the factor the soap great does not hold record clip anymore and makes it sink.

If you also want to take it the experiment further, friend can shot the exact same experiment using various other steel objects rather of document clips.

Also, you deserve to replace water with various varieties the juices, milk, etc. And also check even if it is the outcome results are same.

You can try these interesting and also related scientific research experiments with water and also surface tension:

Learn to do a Square Bubble

DIY Soap powered Boats

Walking Water Experiment

Swirling Magic Milk Experiment

Floating illustrations on Water

Chemical Formula of surface Tension and Water

Surface stress is the nature of liquid molecules to obtain attracted due to cohesive forces and also remain tightly and tends to minimal surface ar area possible. The chemical formula the surface anxiety is:

r = 1/2 . F/L

r is surface ar tension

F to represent Force

L to represent Length

Water is the major constituent of Earth’s setting with chemical formula, H2O. In chemical formula, H represents hydrogen atoms and 2 states hydrogen atoms in two numbers. Conversely, O to represent one oxygen atom. Hydrogen atoms are positively charged and oxygen atom is negatively charged. That means, water molecule is a constituent of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Water is colorless, tasteless, odorless, and also offers no calories.

Water molecule is stable when two positively fee hydrogen atom bond come one negatively fee atom. There is a slight distinction in charges while bonding which is well-known as dipole. The bond between two water molecule is referred together hydrogen bonding. The water molecules on the surface ar of water in the bowl attract each other as result of cohesive pressures and form surface tension on peak of it. This surface tension is the factor to hold paper clip on top of water.

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When you dip the soap fluid in the water, the surface stress and anxiety breaks since the thin layer the soap fluid reduces the water surface tension due to the fact that of existence of non-polar and also dipole free bodies. Hence, that is an overwhelming for file clips come float and sinks to bottom.

Questions to discuss during the Experiment

Asking questions during the experiment helps kids to improve their critical thinking skills and encourages them to do wonders in science. Here are a few questions come discuss about the experiment:

1) Why does document clip floats top top water however not on other liquids?

2) are there any type of other liquids the hold paper clip come float?

3) What do you think the form of the file clip results the floating ability?

4) exactly how many file clips deserve to the water surface anxiety holds?

5) Is it possible to increase the surface stress and anxiety of the water naturally?

6) What are the other liquids that show stronger surface stress and anxiety and great at floating things?