The pepper and soap experiment is one of the easiest science activities to help children understand buoyancy and surface tension. The theoretical part of science lessons can sometimes be very abstract and confusing to understand. But, performing simple Science experiments for kids like the Pepper and Soap Experiment helps children learn those difficult concepts easily.
Performing The Pepper Dish Soap Experiment
The pepper and soap experiment is one of the easiest science activities for kids and needs very few ingredients.
Here is a step-by-step guide to performing the Pepper and Soap Experiment with your kids:
Things You’ll Need For The Pepper And Soap Experiment
The Pepper and Soap Experiment is really simple, all you need are dish soap, water, and some black pepper. These are simple ingredients that you can easily find in your kitchen or pantry.
- A plate
- Liquid dish soap
- Black Pepper
- A small bowl
Step-By-Step Guide To Performing The Pepper And Soap Experiment
Here is a step-by-step guide to set up and perform the pepper soap experiment with your child:
Fill the plate with water almost to the edge, but ensure that it doesn’t overflow.
Sprinkle some black pepper over the water. You’ll notice that the pepper floats on the water. This happens because of buoyancy.
Dip your finger in the center of the plate. Did you notice any change? Not much happened, right? You may have just got some pepper flakes stuck to your finger. Imagine that these pepper flakes are germs. If you accidentally touch your face or mouth with hands that are contaminated with germs, it could make you sick.
Now, add a drop or two of liquid soap into a small bowl. Ask your child to stick their finger into the bowl and get some soap on their finger.
Now, dip your soap-covered finger in the bowl with the water and pepper flakes. See anything different this time? You’ll notice that the pepper flakes (germs) move away to the edge of the plate. Your soapy finger pushed the pepper flakes away to the edge of the plate.
The Science Behind With Pepper and Dish Soap Experiment
This simple science experiment with pepper and dish soap is fun to watch for kids and adults. It is fun to see how the soap pushes away all the pepper flakes to the edge of the plate. Help your child understand the science behind this science experiment with pepper and dish soap.
Why do the pepper flakes float on the water?
The pepper flakes float because of buoyancy, which is the upward force exerted by a liquid. This force causes an object placed on the liquid to float.
So, why did the pepper flakes move away to the edge of the plate?
This happens because the liquid dish soap changes the surface tension of water.
The surface tension of a liquid is the tendency of liquid surfaces to resist an external force due to the cohesive nature of its molecules. The pepper flakes are so light, it floats on the water surface due to surface tension. The addition of soap broke the surface tension of water, but the water molecules want to keep the surface tension intact. So they pull away from the soap along with the pepper flakes. This pushes the pepper or “germs” away from your soap covered finger. This is why soap is such a great cleaning agent and so effective in cleaning dishes and taking all the grease and dirt away.
This pepper and soap experiment also shows how germs are removed from hands with soap. The pepper flakes or “germs” were not chased away until you added soap to the bowl.
Why Should You Perform The Pepper And Soap Science Experiment?
This science experiment doesn’t just teach science concepts like surface, tension, buoyancy etc. The Pepper and Soap Experiment is also a great way to help children understand the importance of washing hands. Handwashing is a hygiene practice that all kids must learn. It keeps away germs and helps prevent several infectious diseases.
Ever since the world was hit by Coronavirus disease, the importance of handwashing has increased tenfold. Contaminated hands can spread the Covid-19 disease easily. So, washing hands is the first line of defense against the Covid-19 disease and cannot be ignored. One needs to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap, to keep the germs away. Kids are usually negligent about such stuff, teaching them to wash their hands frequently is important.
We hope you liked the Pepper and Soap Experiment. For more kids learning resources, check Osmo.
Frequently Asked Questions on Pepper and Soap Experiment
What are the materials required for Pepper and Soap Experiment?
The materials required for Pepper and Soap Experiment are a small bowl, black pepper, water, an empty plate, and liquid dish soap.
What is kids will learn from Pepper and Soap Experiment?
The kids will learn from Pepper and Soap Experiment on how the pepper flakes float on the water, and why did the pepper flakes move away from the centre of the plate to the edge.