100 Days of Science #82 - 84-- Penny Saturation Experiments

I found another fun and quick science experiment to do with the boys.  We had a lot of fun with these experiments and in total we spent less than 10 minutes working together to record our results.

Using a small dropper the boys each counted how many drops of water they could fit on the head of a penny before the water would spill off the sides.  I made them each take a guess before starting to see how close they'd be.  The boys all guessed between  4 & 6 drops.

Then they started dropping and counting..

They each ended up with anywhere between 23- 45 drops!  Right away they noticed that they fit fewer drops if they bumped the table, touched the penny or if the dropper or towel broke the bubble they were making.

Then we tried again using the tails side to see if there was much difference. 

The tails side held between 28 and 42 drops.

Once we saw just how many plain water drops would fit we tried it again this time adding a bit of detergent to the water.

Right away we noticed that the water didn't bead up as well and the boys even saw few bubbles forming under the water than when they popped caused the water to run off the sides.  With soap the most they could fit on any one side was 20 but tended to average around 12 drops.

We talked about surface tension again and what causes the surface tension of water to break down.

Others in this series:
58.  Exploding Snow and Water Baggies 
59.  Exploring Properties of Minerals
60.  Visiting the Hartford Science Museum
61- 63.  3 Difference Bridge Challenges
64.  Making Models of the Earth's Layers 
65.  Graham Cracker Plate Tectonics 
66.  Homemade Lava Lamps
67.  Movies We're Watching for Science
68.  Index Card Tower Challenge 
69.  Learning Botany at the Botanical Gardens
70.  Board Games for Science
71.  Homemade Frozen Yogurt Pops
72.  Starburst Rock Cycle 
73.  & 74.  Making Marshmallows Sink and Grow
75. Jumping Conversation Hearts
76-78.  Making Paper Airplanes 3 Different Ways 
79.  Learning About Hummingbirds
80.  Planting an Herb Garden
81.  Mushroom Spores 


  1. I had never thought to try both sides of the penny! I loved this one!

    1. I honestly just assumed they'd hold the same number of drops!

  2. This is so cool! I remember doing this as a kid, and I swear nothing blew my mind more than surface tension. I tell my kids about it all the time when they ask about the insects walking on the surface of the pool water.

  3. That is such a great idea. I am going to have to try this with my son later today because I'm curious to see it myself now lol.

    1. LOL! It is a lot of fun and there are lots of little factors that make a difference on your results too.

  4. Fun experiment! I am sure my kids will love doing it.

  5. What a great experiment. Looks like fun. Thanks for sharing at The Summer Holiday Link Up :)


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