Weird Science: Paper Flower in Water

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- A very beautiful experiment by Dr. V that show beauty and science can go together, in water. Check out the video!

Dr. V Show:  Blooming paper flowers

Things you will need:

  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Shallow bowl or plate
  • Water

The Experiment:

Draw a large flower on your paper. Make sure it has a nice large center and lots of petals, like a daisy or a sunflower. Don't make your petals too long, we're going to fold the petals inward. Color your flower in with the crayons. Be sure to only color one side of the paper. Then carefully cut the flower our, making sure to cut around each petal. Once you've cut your flower out, fold each petal in towards the center of the flower. Once your flower is closed up, fill your bowl or plate with water. Place the flower, petal side up, onto the water. What happens to your flower?

How does it work?

What made your flower bloom? The paper you drew on is made of fibers of cellulose, from wood pulp. When you fold the petals in, you are squeezing the fibers on the inside of the fold. As the paper absorbs the water, the fibers in the paper expand. These expanding fibers push the petals outwards, making your flower bloom! The wax from the crayon keeps the water from soaking through the paper, so your flower will float on the water.

What happens when you use different types of paper? Paper towel? Construction paper?

What happens when you change the shape of the flower?

Copyright HawaiiNewsNow 2011