Experiment and observe with liquid layers. Why did it sink? Why did it float? What’s in the middle? Explore the different density, which is more mass and less air of  an object, and the layers using liquids that can be found in your pantry. Checkout our COSMOS page for this book with step-by-step experiments you can try at home. Head over to GALE for different experiments with liquids. Venture over to NOVELIST which carries a whole series of books that our Young Scientists can get a load of. Draw what you see. Where did the dish soap fall? How about the oil?


  • Dish Soap

  • Oil

  • Rubbing Alcohol

  • Syrup

  • Water

  • Optional Food color

  • Jar with lid


Step 1: Open the jar and place the lid aside.

Step 2: Add each liquid one at a time. The amount of liquid is based on your size of jar. I used a baby food jar.

Step 3: Observe.

Step 4: Can you see the layers?

Step 5: Try shaking lightly and observe? Did it mix all up? Did it go back to normal?

Each of the liquids used here have different densities.  If the liquid is less dense, the liquid will “float” because it is lighter. If the liquid is more dense the liquid will “sink” because it is heavier than the rest of the liquids. You are more than welcomed to try and add more liquids and see where they “fall.” Perhaps milk or juice. 

Happy experimenting!