Sink or Float with Oranges
I grabbed two glasses of water, filled them about 3/4 of the way full, and then I nabbed two Halo mandarin oranges from the fridge. (I find their recent commercials to be completely odd and disturbing, but that’s beside the point.)
I left one orange as-is, but peeled the other one, and then we got started with our experiment!
I began by asking my kiddos what they thought would happen to each one if we placed it down in a glass of water.
Would the orange with the peel sink? Or float?
Would the peeled orange sink? Or float?
I loved their little answers – Kids come up with the best explanations!
Just to give you a heads up, I’m going to go ahead and let you know what happens!
The orange with the peel floats…
…and the peeled orange sinks!
What’s the explanation? Here ya go!
The unpeeled orange floats because the rind is very porous and filled with tiny pockets of air. Even though you’re removing mass when you peel the orange, the peeled orange is more dense and sinks in the water.
Pre-schoolers will love watching what happens, and they will get especially excited if their hypotheses (Yes, go ahead and introduce them to that word!) is correct, but this experiment can definitely be extended beyond that for an older audience!
Psst…you can even try it with lemons and limes! Same scenario! Same result! Let me know what your kids think!
For more fun science experiments, click here!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to check out how we made balloons magically expand: