This Dancing Sultana experiment is a classic from my own childhood! I remember doing it when I was in school and it’s so much FUN to do at home or in the classroom still today!
- 2 Clear plastic containers or glass beakers
- Soda water (anything carbonated will work)
- Food colouring *optional FUN element but not required
- Tap water
Whenever we start a science activity we talk through what we will be testing and observing, in this case – What will happen when sultanas are placed in plain tap water versus fizzy soda water. My kids both thought they would sink straight to the bottom of the container. We set a container side by side with water in one and soda in the other.
What happens? The sultanas sank in the tap water and nothing much else happened BUT the sultanas in the soda sank to the bottom before they started to rise to the top! This process repeated itself until the soda lost it’s fizz.
See the video of the Dancing Sultanas here!
We discussed why they thought that was so and also drew some diagrams of the two experiments. We observed the tiny gas bubbles attaching to the groves in the sultanas and therefore lifting them upwards, we also observed the gas bubbles popping at the surface causing them to float back down again.
This is such a GREAT activity for all ages. You might also enjoy these tried and tested science experiments.