Water the Universal Solvent

Chemistry of Water
Density of Water & Ice
Given the following materials, calculate
the density of water and ice.
Ice Cubes
Triple Beam Balance
10-ml Graduated Cylinder
25-ml Graduated
100-ml Graduated
Propose an explanation for your findings.
What Shape is a Drop
Using a pipette, drop a small sample of each of
the liquids––water, oil, and soapy water––on a
piece of wax paper.
Draw the shape and label the shape of the
drops made by each of the liquids on your
Wipe off the wax paper with a clean a paper
towel and return everything to the supplies
Getting Metal to Sink
While most people agree that metal is likely to
sink like a stone, we all know it is possible to
get metal to float. Just look at battleships –
great big hunks of steel floating around out at
sea. But some metals just don’t seem to want
to sink. Look at aluminum foil for example.
Take three samples of aluminum foil and a
beaker. See what you can do to get that sheet
of metal to sink in the container of water
provided. Record your observations in your
How to Make A Water Walker
Water walkers are any of a number of
different invertebrates that can “walk” on
Read the article Water Walkers. In your lab
notebook, write a short summary of the article.
Then, using the materials provided, try to make
your own water walker. Be sure to include a
head, body, and six legs. Hopefully, your water
walker will float too!! Sketch your design and
record your results in your lab notebook.
Heat Capacity
Materials: Light Bulb, 2 Beakers, 2
Thermometers, Water
Design an experiment to test which heats up
faster – air or water. In your lab notebook
write up a short procedure. Then collect and
record your data. Finally, write a brief
conclusion about your results.
The Universal Solvent – Part I
Because of its high polarity, water is called the universal
solvent. A solvent is a substance that
dissolves, or breaks apart, another substance (known as a
solute). A general rule that determines
whether a substance will dissolve in a solvent depends
upon its polarity. Polar solvents dissolve
polar solutes and nonpolar solvents dissolve nonpolar
In this activity, you will compare the ability of water,
alcohol, and vegetable oil to dissolve certain
CAUTION: Rubbing alcohol is flammable, an eye irritant,
and has fumes.
The Universal Solvent – Part II
Materials: graduated cylinder, 9 test tubes, test-tube rack,
water, alcohol, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, and margarine
1. Number your test tubes (TT) 1-9.
2. Pour 10 mL of water into TT marked 1-3.
3. Pour 10 mL of alcohol into TT marked 4-6.
4. Pour 10 mL of vegetable oil into TT marked 7-9.
5. Place a teaspoon of sugar in TT 1, 4, & 7.
6. Place a teaspoon of salt in 2, 5, & 8.
7. Place a small piece of margarine in TT 3, 6, & 9.
8. Cover each TT with your thumb and shake. How well does
each solvent dissolve the solute?
9. Observe and record the results in your lab notebook.
10. What conclusions can you make about water as a solvent?
Filled to the Brim
Fill a mason jar full with water.
Predict how many pennies can be added to the
glass before it overflows.
Add pennies one at a time until the water
Record your results and suggest an explanation
for your observations
How Do Roots Work
Add about one (1”) inch of water to the bottom
of a mason jar.
Hang a strip of paper towel to the rim of the
glass so just the edge of the towel touches the
Every minute for five minutes, record your
observations in your lab notebook.
Drowning Mr. Lincoln
Materials: Penny, Water, Paper Towel,
Count how many drops of water you can add
to the Lincoln side of a penny before the
water rolls off the coin. Record your
results. Then turn the coin over and repeat
the experiment. Suggest an explanation for
your results.

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