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WATCHING SUBSTANCES DISSOLVE

If we wanted to be big spenders, we could empty some tea bags, to use the little sacks. Since we don't want to be extravagant, we will make little sacks by cutting coffee filters in half, and folding them. We'll add a staple so the bags don't come apart.

Into each little sack, we will put a couple tablespoons of substances that dissolve in water: sugar, salt, soap powder, epsom salts, photographic hype, baking soda, egg dye pellets, and anything else that comes into our collective mind.

(Remember, when something dissolves, the solid parts go away, and mix with the water, making a solution; the substance, then, is called "soluble." When we make tea or coffee, the solid substances do not dissolve; they infuse, or make an infusion. That means that the solid parts stay in the bag, but the water takes out the flavor, color, or necessary chemicals from the solids. (Pronounce "SOLL-you-bul" and "in-FEWZE.")

We will put each of our little sacks with soluble materials in them into a glass container of hot water, to see what happens.

Let's make notes telling what we see. We can also describe the smells of the different solutions we have made. Place each bag in a separate beaker of warm water.

If some of them are difficult to see, we can put black paper behind the containers.

Let's make some infusions, also. We can pick some mint leaves, eucalyptus leaves, dry them for a week or so, and put some into a little sack. In a container of boiling water, they make a nice infusion. The eucalyptus tea smells like cold medicine, doesn't it? Well, it is! We can make infusions with anise seeds; it will smell like licorice tea!
We all know about coffee, and about regular tea, so we won't bother with that.

Think of some leaves, seeds, and herbs we can use to make infusions. BE SURE TO GET TEACHERS' OR PARENTS' PERMISSION BEFORE USING NON-TRADITIONAL MATERIALS TO TASTE INFUSIONS. YOU DON'T WANT TO POISON YOURSELVES! In all of them, you will see that the water is changed, but the solid parts we put into the sacks are still there. Most of them will swell, and the sacks will seem a little fuller than when we put the dry substances into them. That's because capillary action caused the solids to absorb some of the water.

 

 
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