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Unqua Scientists Solve a Density Dilemma

Five liquids combined to make a rainbow in a cup during a science experiment at Unqua Elementary School. Fourth graders have been studying density as part of the matter unit.

For the experiment, water, dish soap, honey, olive oil and rubbing alcohol were combined in a single cup. Each liquid was a different color so students could see how they settled when mixed together.

To begin the experiment, students were able to observe each substance independently and make a prediction on how they would layer once combined. Then, they watched in awe as the honey settled at the bottom while the rubbing alcohol rose to the top. But then the addition of water caused the rubbing alcohol and olive oil to switch positions because of the change in density.