Kids' Habitat
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Gather Your Equipment
Prepare a Supersaturated Solution
Put It All Together
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Mineral Matters
Regional Minerals

Prepare a Supersaturated Solution

Photograph of jar and a length of string with paperclip at one end and a pencil at the other.  The string is slightly shorter than the jar.] Tie the paper clip to one end of the string, and the pencil to the other end. When you place the pencil across the top of the jar, the string should be just long enough to let the paper clip touch the bottom. Set the string, pencil, and paper clip aside.

Boil about 1 cup of water, either in the microwave or on the stove. Pour the boiling water into the jar. Add the salt one teaspoonful at a time. Stir until each teaspoon is completely dissolved. You may be tempted to add all the salt at once, but the experiment won't work as well if you do. Be patient. Eventually, you'll find a small amount of salt will not dissolve and collects at the bottom of the jar. You have reached supersaturation. Once the solution is supersaturated, stop adding salt.

Next, you'll put it all together -- and find out what to do with that string and the paper towel.


Mineral Matters | Kids' Habitat

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