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Fast and Easy Science Fair Projects: Bigger Water

Updated on December 30, 2019
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WaterSmall bowlEmpty metal soup can
Small bowl
Small bowl
Empty metal soup can
Empty metal soup can

     This is my 36th hub on Fast and Fair Science Fair Projects. This one is easy and fun! I'm sure you'll enjoy reading and trying out this one too, especially kids! Cheers!

Temperature's expansion/contraction effects

Purpose: What happens when water freezes?

Overview: Many things expand and contract when they change temperature. Have you ever noticed, when standing by the railroad track, why there are gaps in the rails at certain intervals? The spaces in the rails allow them room to "grow," in case they expand; otherwise the rails would buckle. Track engineers know exactly how big the gaps should be to allow for the rail expansion.

     If you have electric baseboard heat in your home, you may have heard the crackling sounds it makes when the metal fins heat up or cool down. That's because the fins are expanding and contracting. Gaps in the roadway of bridges are also there to allow for expansion and contraction from temperature changes.

Hypothesis: The same amount of water takes up more space when it is frozen.

You need:

  • Empty metal soup can
  • Water
  • Use if a freezer
  • Small bowl

Procedure: Fill and empty soup can with water. (Be careful of sharp can edges.) Set the can in a small bowl, and place it in the freezer section of a refrigerator. The bowl will catch any water that might spill from the can. Leave the can of water in the freezer overnight.

     In this experiment, the quantity of water is being held Constant, and the temperature is out Variable.

     Take the can of ice out of the freezer in the morning. The volume of water that fit into the can when it was a liquid is now too big for the can. The ice has risen above the top of the can because of the expanding water and its push against the bottom of the can.

Results and Conclusion: Write down the results of your experiment. Come to a conclusion as to whether or not your hypothesis was correct.

Something more: Quantify how much more volume the ice takes up than it did as a liquid by using displacement, which is explained in Project 25. Hold the can tightly to melt the ice slightly around he edges of the can so the ice will come out as one block. Dip the block in a container of water and measure the water that it displaces.

     Thanks for reading this one! Hope you liked it! If you want more on Fast and Easy Science Fair Projects, you can try my other Hubs relating to the topic. Here are five of my latest Hubs on Fast and Easy Science Fair Projects for you:


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