Science Sunday: Salt Lake

So, we read a book about Salt Lake, which I can’t type at all for some strange reason.  And we all wondered if we could add enough salt to make things that don’t normally float in water float, like they do in the Great Salt Lake.

001Hypothesis: If we add enough salt our toys that don’t float will float.

Supplies: two big bowls, water, salt (we probably added half a cup), some toys (they chose their Happy Meal toys)

Procedure:  First add the toys to the plain water and observe if they floated.  Then put them in the salt water.  In theory the salt should add enough buoyancy for something to float.

008  The reality: The same things that floated in the water floated in the salt water.  So, no real change in that aspect.

My theory: We weren’t able to add enough salt.  I tried to saturate it with as much salt as possible, but I didn’t heat it, which could have let me add more salt (as I recall from high school chemistry), but I didn’t want to then have to wait for it to cool.

So, the experiment didn’t turn out as I wanted, but it was interesting.

It sounds like in general that I’m not the only one who had a week of things not going quite as we wanted.  Sigh, some weeks are better than others.

16 thoughts on “Science Sunday: Salt Lake

  1. Oh, I can relate. Wait until you read my post tomorrow.

    I guess our children have to learn that we don't always succeed, and also learn how to handle failure.

    I really like the idea of this experiment. It would be interesting to find out how much salt you have to add before this works.

  2. You really have to add a TON of salt to get it to work, maybe letting it sit overnight would help (if you didn't want to bother heating it)?

    And, some things still don't float. Humans float, but aren't we something like 70 or 80% water?

  3. Sorry it didn't work. But that is how a lot of experiments go. I will say that this is the way to go for visiting the Salt Lake. We stopped by on a trip to CA last summer and I thought the place was so ishy. Flies everywhere and the salt burned my legs that I had just shaved that morn. My boys had fun though.

  4. Too bad it didn't work out, because it looked really fun! I was thinking about doing a “salt” week sometime. We went to see the Bonneville Salt Flats (near salt lake) earlier this year, and it was fun to be able to explain later the steps that makes that salt become the salt we eat at the dinner table.

  5. I vaguely remember doing an experiment that required very salty water and I wasn't able to get it to work right either. I think your idea of warming the water may have helped, but I understand why you didn't bother!

  6. A good idea, at least… I think it's really hard to get the salt to go into solution with the water – we tried a different salt experiment recently and it didn't work either…

  7. Sorry It didn't work. I know failed experiments are all part of the learning process but they sure are frustrating! It drives me crazy ~ the kids don't care they just have fun doing the experiments.

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