Sink or Float with Oranges

My kiddos are always up for fun Science activities, and when I saw this Sink or Float with Oranges experiment on Pinterest, I knew we had to give it a try!

Step One

First, fill large two glasses of water about 3/4 of the way full. If you don’t have a glass that will fit a small orange, two cereal bowls will work great too.

Next, grab two Halo mandarin oranges. Leave one orange as-is and peel the other.

Step Two

Now that our supplies are ready, it’s time to talk about what the kids think will happen when we drop the oranges in the water.

Step Three

Will the orange with the peel sink or float? Will the peeled orange sink or float? Why do you think that?

Some guided questions you can ask include:

If you’re homeschooling an older child or want to get more in depth, have them draw a picture or write a few sentences about what they think will happen and why.

Step Four

Sink or Float Activity Results

Drum roll please… And the answer is: the orange with the peel floats and the peeled orange sinks!

What’s the explanation?

The unpeeled orange floats because the rind is very porous and filled with tiny pockets of air.


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