J-Stace The Science Ace Makes Water Walk

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Transfer water from one glass to another without a pour but with a paper towel!



  • Two glasses of equal height
  • Water
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Paper Towel



  1. Position your two empty glasses about 2 inches apart. Pour water into one of the glasses until it is halfway full
  2. Add a few drops of food coloring into the water.
  3. Stir the food coloring until the water is all one color.
  4. Grab a strip of paper towel that is about 1 to 2 inches wide. I used one section of paper towel and folded it in half until it was the correct width.
  5. Place one end of the paper towel into the glass with the water. Then place the other end into the glass that is empty. Then leave the glasses sit and come back to check on them in about an hour.
  6. Return to the glasses and observe what has happened. The longer you wait to check on the glasses will result in more of the water moving over to the other glass. The water will stop moving over until the cups are both filled with the same amount of water.


Science Behind the Experiment 

The water appears to defy gravity, but it in reality it moves because of a process called capillary action. The adhesive forces between the water and the paper towel are stronger than the cohesive forces inside the water. As a result, the water travels up and across the paper towel out of one glass and into another.

Science Phrase of the DayCapillary action is the ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces without the assistance of, or even in opposition to, external forces like gravity.