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Sugar Cube Towers

In this exploration, students build towers out of sugar cubes then explore what happens when they drip water on them.

Sugar is and example of a solid that breaks down into tiny pieces, and dissolves in water. When a solid dissolves, it seems to disappear. The dissolved solid is still there; we just can't see it.

Once students have seen sugar dissolve in water, they may be able to predict what will happen to a sugar cube when it gets wet.

These activities are part of Science World’s Big Science For Little Hands program. They were developed and tested with preschool and kindergarten educators. Some of the activities are done in stations.

Mysterious Mixtures PDF from Big Science For Little Hands.

Objectives

  • Stack sugar cubes into a tower shape.

  • Predict what will happen when water is dripped onto sugar.

  • Observe and understand the processes of dissolution and evaporation.

Materials

  • Per Student:
    4-5 white sugar cubes (enough for a small ‘tower’)
    eye droppers
    water
    food colouring

  • Per Demo:
    sugar cube
    clear glass of water
    spoon

Key Questions

  • What do you think will happen when you drip water on your tower? Why?
  • What actually happened? Why do you think that happened?
  • What happens to the water? Can you still see it? What about the sugar cubes?

What To Do

Preparation

Use food colouring to create different colours of water.

Demo

Stir a sugar cube into a glass of water until it dissolves, on front of the students. Ask studets to think about what is happening.

Activity

  1. Stack 4 or 5 sugar cubes to make a tower.
  2. With an eye dropper, drip water onto your tower, and observe.

Extensions

  • This would be a good activity to document in a series of pictures or photos.
  • Try mixing different colours of water.
  • Try brown sugar cubes instead of white.