5 minute science bites – density column

Here’s a quick and easy experiment exploring density using 3 liquids.    This simple experiment is suitable for preschool aged kids.  It’s a simplified version of the density experiment conducted here:  The density experiment – part II where we actually floated different objects the the layers.


  • water
  • cooking oil
  • maple syrup
  • measuring cup
  • test tube or narrow, cylinder-shaped bud vase



Step 1: Pour water in the container until it’s one-third full.

Step 2: Pour an equal amount of maple syrup into the container

Step 3: Fill the remainder of the container with cooking oil.

Step 4: Observe and record results


We got the worksheet from Science With Me website. When you click on the Worksheets section on the left, click on Science Activity Sheets.  It’s a free printable, but you need to register in order to view and print the pdf file.

Which layer has the maple syrup?

The bottom layer.

Which layer has the water?

The middle layer.
Which layer contains the cooking oil?

The top layer

Why do the layers separate?
They liquids have different densities .  Maple syrup is more dense than water and cooking oil, and it sinks to the bottom.  Cooking oil is less dense than water and syrup, so it floats on top.



This entry was posted in 5 minute science bites, Density, Preschool/Kindergarten. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 5 minute science bites – density column

  1. Pingback: Science Kit Review – Steve Spanglers Test Tube Wonders « The Exploration Station

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