The Intersection of Science and Art

STEM Educator, Angel Kilyan, shows us this super-easy experiment that demonstrates polarity AND lets you flex your creative muscles!

For this experiment, you’ll need paper (construction paper works best), a white crayon, watercolor paints, and some water.

Make a design on the construction paper using the white crayon. Miss Angel did a repeating pattern of swirls, but you can really make this your own. Next, use the water colors to paint over your design. Mix and match the colors however you’d like!

Would you think that the white crayon would be covered by the paint? Instead, the crayon resists the paint and shows through like a secret message! The reason is polarity. Water is a polar substance, which means the molecule as an attractive force. Wax (which is what the crayon is made of) is a non-polar substance, which means it’s molecules don’t have an attractive force. They’re spread out evenly throughout the substance.

In Science, we know that “like dissolves like” and “like mixes with like.” Because the water and wax have opposite polarities they do not mix together, allowing the crayon to show through.

Do you think this experiment would this experiment work if you used oil-based paint? What if you knew that oil is a non-polar substance, like wax? Exactly right! Because like mixes with like, the experiment would NOT work with oil-based paint.

Show us Your Art!

This experiment really lets you get creative. We’d love to see what beautiful designs you can come up with. Post them online and tag us on Facebook or Instagram for a chance to be featured on our page!




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