Can You Sink a Marshmallow?

Can You Sink a Marshmallow?

Can You Sink a Marshmallow? 268 201 admin

Have you ever noticed lovely white marshmallows floating on top of hot chocolate?  Now try to remember ever noticing a marshmallow drowning at the bottom of a glass.  I challenged my boys to try and sink a marshmallow.  This simple kitchen science experiment demonstrates the principle of density, while creating a squishy mess!

What you need:

  • Marshmallow
  • Glass of water

What you do:

  1. Add the marshmallow to the glass of water.
  2. Notice if it floats or sinks.
  3. Experiment trying to sink the marshmallow.
  4. Make guesses about why the marshmallow will not sink.
  5. Ready to make it sink? Take a second marshmallow and squish it until it is flat and add it to the water.

Why it works:

Marshmallows are light and fluffy because they are full of air.  Air is less dense than water, so the marshmallow floats.  When you squish the marshmallow, you squeeze out the air, making it denser than the water.  Now the flat marshmallow will sink.  The more you squish the marshmallow, the lower it will sink.

If you are having trouble with a large marshmallow, try a mini marshmallow.  Still having trouble?  Oil is less dense than water, so try sinking the marshmallow in a cup of cooking oil.

Another fun and easy kid kitchen science experiment from ThinkStretch!