Science Fair Ideas on Solid States

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    Solid to Liquid

    • Examine the solid state of water, ice, and investigate which types of substances melt ice at the fastest rate. Obtain substances such as road salt, fertilizer, sand and unused cat litter. Place a tray of ice cubes into four different bowls. Place 12 oz. of each substance into each of the bowls. Set a stopwatch immediately and record the results. Note which substance melts the ice the quickest. Illustrate the results in a graph. Make sure to take pictures of your project.

    Spatial Capacity

    • Investigate the difference in the amount of space water and ice take up. Fill a clear plastic container or beaker halfway with water. Mark or note the level of water in the container. Place the container in a freezer for 12 hours. Observe and record whether the ice takes up more or less space than in its liquid state. Solids are mostly crystalline, in which molecules are tightly bound and arranged in a specific pattern; therefore, the solid ice form should take up less space than the liquid form. Try this experiment with other materials as well.

    Create Fog from Dry Ice, Carbon Dioxide Solid State

    • Perform an experiment to form fog from dry ice. Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide. As you place dry ice into hot or warm water, fog will form. The fog is not carbon dioxide gas. The fog is condensed water vapor mixed with carbon dioxide gas. The cold dry ice causes the water vapor to form fog, which is then carried by the carbon dioxide gas. Be sure to get pictures of your presentation of fog to your classmates.

    Balloon and Dry Ice

    • Examine how dry ice can inflate a balloon. Obtain a balloon that has not been inflated. Open the balloon's neck and place a few pieces of dry ice into the balloon. Remember to use gloves while handling the dry ice. Tie the balloon and set the balloon into water, such as a pool, pond or bathtub. The water helps supply heat to the dry ice, which converts the dry ice from its solid state to the gaseous state of carbon dioxide. The balloon will initially sink; however, it will begin to inflate as carbon dioxide becomes a gas and rises to the surface.

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