Water Experiments
Dropping Clippies

In these fascinating water experiments you will learn how many paperclips you can add to a glass full of water. Water molecules are attracted to each other because they have both a positive and negative charge. The two charges work to keep water together forming a film over the surface of water. You will be using this property when you do this amazing and fun science experiment.

Easy water experiment studying surface tension, Photo by Myrna Martin


  • Glass
  • Water
  • Box of paperclips


  1. Fill the glass with water until it is level full.
  2. Now make a guess how many paperclips you will be able to drop in the glass without the water overflowing. Write your prediction down on a piece paper.
  3. You can count the paperclips as you carefully drop each one into the water or have a friend count for you.
  4. After you have filled the glass to overflowing check your number with the number you predicted you could add.
  5. Now have a friend or family member repeat the experiment to see who can add the most paperclips to the glass. Be sure and use dry paperclips with each experiment.

Try these other water experiments

  1. Using the same amount of water try filling a tall skinny glass container with water and adding paper clips. Compare the number of paperclips it takes to overflow this container with the original glass.
  2. Try dropping pennies into the glass to see how many pennies can be held by the water glass. Try adding water drops to the glass with an eye dropper.

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Science behind the experiments

Water molecules have a positive and negative charge like little magnets. the negative part of the water molecule is attracted to another water molecules opposite pole where they stick together.

The attraction of water molecules to other water molecules is called cohesion. The force of the cohesion allows water to form a small dome over the top of a glass as you add the paperclips without overflowing.

More Links to Science Experiments

Air Pressure Experiments, Does Air Have Weight Find out in these air pressure experiments if air has weight and other fascinating facts about the air we breathe.

Amazing Science Experiments Try these amazing science experiments where you learn to balance a potato, fork and pencil on the edge of a table!

Cool Science Experiments, Loop Airplanes How far can you make 2 strips of paper and a straw fly through the air? Try this cool science experiment and find out!

Earth Science Experiments, Floating Eggs Fresh eggs sink in fresh water, see if you can get them to float in this fun science experiment.

Water Experiments, Dropping Clippies Find out in these water experiments how many paperclips you can add to a full glass of water without it overflowing?

Easy Science Experiments Lots of easy experiments for kids of all ages.

Kids Fun Science Find out about science activities, experiments, plate tectonics and much more on this page.

KIDS FUN Science Bookstore

Check out Myrna Martin's award winning textbooks, e-books, videos and rock sets. The Kids Fun Science Bookstore covers a wide range of earth science topics.  Click here to browse. 

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