Impress her friends by developing a colorful Christmas tree out of salt crystals, cardboard, and also a couple of other family items. In ~ a day, you’ll have actually a colorful snow-covered tree that seemed to magically sprout native nothing!


Experiment Materials

Mrs. Stewart"s Bluing (check your local grocer"s clean section) Table salt family members ammonia slim cardboard (like the form from the back of a notepad, not corrugated) Pen or pencil Scissors key Water measure up spoon Food coloring Adult supervision
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In the other tree shape, cut another slot under the middle. Top top this shape, start at the bottom and cut to the middle.

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Add autumn of food coloring to the edges of the cardboard and also let the food colour soak into the cardboard.


Using the bowl, mix this ingredients together:

1 tablespoon of water1 tablespoon salt1 tablespoon bluing½ tablespoon of family ammonia

Stand your tree in the middle of the key containing your magic solution. Over the next 10 come 12 hours, your Magic decision Tree will grow and grow and also grow! pretty soon, you’ll have a colorful snow-covered tree!


How Does it Work

You probably have us figured out… that Magic decision Tree isn’t magic in ~ all! You’re right, however do you recognize the science behind the crystalline expansion of the cardboard tree?

The main values at work right here are capillary action, evaporation, crystaliztion, and saturation.

Capillary activity is the same process that permits plants and also trees to take water and also nutrients indigenous the soil up v their tribe or trunks and into their leaves, branches, flowers, and also fruit. The cardboard tree uses the same procedure to draw the magic systems up with its whole shape until the cardboard has actually soaked itself in the solution.

After the magic solution has been attracted throughout the tree by capillary action, the solution starts to evaporate. The evaporation process is increased by the ammonia, i beg your pardon evaporates more quickly than water. As the magic equipment evaporates turn off of the tree, the crystals space left behind ~ above the branches that the tree.

The magic crystals that are left behind are a combination of the Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing and the table salt. The equipment that you developed is supersaturated through the bluing and also salt the you add to the water. The bluing is a colloid, with plenty of tiny particles suspending themselves in ~ the water. It’s as with when you shake increase a snow globe, other than the particles of bluing are lot smaller than the snow. Together the bluing and also salt water do their way up the tree, the water starts evaporating. These means there is less water able to assistance the bluing particles and also dissolved salt. This evaporation allows the salt and bluing corpuscle to crystallize, causing your beautiful tree.

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Science fair Connection

Growing crystals on a cardboard tree is quite cool, but it no a science fair project. Girlfriend can develop a science fair project by identify a variable, or something the changes, in this experiment. Let’s take a look at at several of the variable choices that could work.

Change the proportions of ingredients. Because that example, usage extra salt come see just how it influence the growth of the crystals.Change the dimension or form of the cardboard tree. Just how does this affect the method that the crystals grow?

That’s just a pair of ideas, but you aren’t limited to those! try coming up v different principles of variables and also give lock a try. Remember, you deserve to only change one point at a time. If you space testing various sizes that trees, make sure that the other components are remaining the same!