Is it magic or is it science? Either way this floating drawing STEM activity is sure to impress! Create a dry erase marker drawing and watch it float in water. Learn about what dissolves in water with a totally do-able science activity for home or in the classroom. It could even be your next party trick!
HOW TO MAKE DRY ERASE MARKER FLOAT IN WATER
HOW DOES FLOATING MARKER IN WATER WORK?
This dry erase marker trick or dry erase science experiment shows off the physical properties of dry erase ink and water!
The ink in this type of marker is invaluable which means it doesn’t dissolve in water unlike the washable markers in our coffee filter flower STEAM project!
However, the ink is not as dense as the water and since it doesn’t adhere all that well to the plate’s surface (hence why it’s so easy to wipe off a board), the drawing will actually float!
We have given this dry erase marker trick a Halloween twist but this is a fun science experiment to try any time of the year!
- Dry erase markers
- White ceramic plate
STEP 1. Draw creepy shapes on the plate using a dry erase marker.
STEP 2. Slowly pour a small amount of water onto the plate. The drawings will begin to float when the water touches them. If they do not lift completely, tilt the plate slightly.
TIPS FOR MAKING A FLOATING DRAWING
- Do not use too much water. If the drawing doesn’t lift, try pouring off the water and pouring less.
- Use new dry erase markers.
- Always use a completely dry plate.
- A ceramic plate with an enamel glaze was used in this experiment. Paper plates will not work. This was not tested on glass or plastic (but that would be a fun variation to try to make the experience more scientific.)
- To expand the activity, touch a piece of paper or cotton swab to the floating shapes to see what happens when they touch a dry surface.
- Smaller shapes work best. Larger designs fall apart when they begin to float.
- The entire shape should touch. If dry lines cross the shape, the pieces will lift separately.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
- Would different color dry erase markers work differently?
- Does the temperature of the water affect the shapes?
- Would fizzy water work as well?
MORE FUN EXPERIMENTS TO TRY
Click here for some spooky Halloween science experiments for kids!
150+ Pages of Halloween-Themed Materials!
This Halloween project pack is suitable for home, school, and group use for kids in grades Kindergarten through elementary but is scaleable for many ages and abilities.
- 25+ Halloween theme science and STEM activities with printable sheets, instructions, and helpful information all using easy-to-source materials perfect for limited-time needs. Includes a Halloween engineering pack with fun, problem-based challenges for kids to solve!
- The skeleton activity pack includes building a skeleton challenge and a coding challenge! Try a skeleton bone bridge-building STEM challenge!
- Halloween theme brick printable activities for hands-on learning with math that is perfect for early finishers or home fun and reinforces basic math concepts.
- Bonus fun pack includes games and activities to round out your Halloween theme, such as I Spy, bingo, matching, Would You Rather cards, scavenger hunt, word search, A-Z Halloween hunt, and a coloring page.
- The Halloween STEAM Pack includes artist-inspired projects by Warhol, Lichtenstein, and more!