In this post, I’ll be showing you how to create a supercooled water experiment for elementary students. This simple yet astounding science experiment can be done with your students right in your classroom by just chilling water in the freezer without letting it freeze solid.
You don’t need a special science lab to make supercooled water. It’s so easy your students can make their own supercooled water.
Does Learning Science Bore Your Students?
Learning science doesn’t have to be a bore. In fact, it can be incredibly fun! There are tons of fun experiments and demonstrations that you can do with your elementary students.
Kids love to see science in action, especially when it involves big explosions or dramatic effects, which is why you should strive to incorporate as many of these science labs as possible. Here I’ll show you how to do a fun supercooling experiment.
What is Supercooling?
Supercooling is a phenomenon that occurs when a liquid is chilled below its freezing point, but it doesn’t turn into a solid.
In order for this to occur, the water needs to be extremely pure. According to an online post issued by the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, when water freezes, it usually crystallizes around impurities in the water. When these impurities are removed, the water reaches a supercooled state and does not freeze unless it is disturbed. This results in a mesmerizing effect, where a bottle of water instantly turns into an icy slush.
How to Perform Supercooled Water Experiment For Elementary Students
Follow these steps to make supercooled water experiment for your classroom.
What You Need:
You’ll just need two materials for this experiment:
- Several unopened bottles of ultra-pure water (Fiji water is a good brand for supercooling)
What To Do:
- Place the bottles in the freezer long enough for them to reach freezing temperatures.
A good two to three hours should be plenty of time. If all goes well, the water should simultaneously reach a freezing temperature and remain in a liquid state.
- Carefully take the water out of the freezer and place them on your counter or classroom table.
Remember that any jostling could trigger crystallization prematurely, so be careful when you remove the bottles from the freezer.
- Bang or slam the bottle against a hard surface, or on the table to produce the ice.
You can add dirt or other impurities to trigger freezing, but it’s better to just slam the bottle against a hard surface so that you can reuse it for future demonstrations.
- Do this a few times on your own before experimenting it with your students, so that you can get a feel for how it works.
This phenomenon is sure to astound your students and it will allow you to deliver a fun and educational presentation on the science of temperature!