I have been wanting to do this experiment for a while now, but I have been waiting till we got closer to St. Patrick's day since it kind of fits that theme. However this experiment is just as cool anytime of year, but if you are looking for something to do for the holiday this would be perfect!
I must admit that I really wanted to do this experiment and was probably more excited than my kids on this one. I just could not believe that the colors would not mix, and I am totally shocked that several days later they still were separate. They did eventually mix together but it took several days before they did. I just think this is so cool!
What is happening with this experiment? The more sugar you add to the water, the more sugar molecules will take over the space, making the water more dense. The cup containing the 5 tablespoons of sugar will be the most dense, the cup with 1 tablespoons will be least dense. That is why we layer them with the most dense liquid at the bottom and the least dense at the top. NOTE: Since this is a sugar water test, if you mix up the solution the sugar will disperse evenly and the colors will mix. Unlike the water & oil tests like this where the oil will separate from the water again.
15 TBS Sugar
15 TBS Water
Red, Yellow, Green, & Blue Food Color
Using 5 of your cups start adding sugar to each. The first one gets 1TBS, the 2nd gets gets 2TBS and so on till the last one gets 5TBS (NOTE: Keep the cups in order).
Add Three TBS of water to each Cup
Stir the cups to dissolve the sugar into the water (NOTE: not all the sugar will dissolve and that is okay).
Add a different food color to each then stir (NOTE: make sure the cups say in order from the 1TBS of sugar to the 5TBS of sugar).
Starting with the 5TBS cup add some liquid to your 6th cup. I found it was easier to not disturb the bottom layer by using a syringe (the kind you get at the pharmacy for meds) and a spoon.
Add the same amount of liquid from each cup, going backwards starting with the 5TBS liquid to the 1 TBS liquid. (NOTE: We added 3 syringes full of each liquid)
Notice your rainbow of liquid you have in the cup. Check out how each layer of color says separate!