Marker chromatography is one of my all-time favorite demonstrations to do with kids! This STEAM activity versatile enough to do with what you have on hand and definitely delivers the "WOW" factor.
It's a great project for decorating a tree, making beautiful butterflies, or for making a scientific version of a tie-dye t-shirt. Whatever you decide to do with your marker chromatography artwork, the process is the same.
Let's dig in...
You will need the following
Here are the steps you need to take to create your marker chromatography artwork:
The students should see that as the alcohol spreads out, it picks up part of the ink – creating a beautiful design. Markers are made up of several different types of ink, which is soluble in isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol picks up the molecules of ink and carries them along the filter paper.
Some of these ink molecules are heavier than the others. So, it separates the ink into different colors by depositing the heavier molecules sooner than the lighter ones.
After you have finished making your creations, you can have a bit more fun by testing out different solvents (i.e. use water in place of the alcohol) or different types of markers to see how the results change.
Want more chemistry fun? Check out these science experiments:
Are you looking for an easy-to-use science curriculum to teach your students about chemistry? Here you go:
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