Learning with 2 kids and a mommy

Magic Sand Experiment

Magic Sand Experiment

We were trying out some fun experiment on something. Guess what. It’s MAGIC SAND!

1. what is magic sand?
2. what kind of experiment can we do with the sand?
3. what magic can it produced with magic sand?

Magic sand is a type of sand that does not get wet. It is actually coated with a substance (hydrophobic compound) that repels water. When the sand is submerged and later removed from water, it is completely dry, free flowing and NOT clumpy and messy.

The birth of magic sand
Magic sand was originally developed to trap ocean oil spills near the shore. This would be done by sprinkling magic sand on floating petroleum, which would then mix with the oil. The magic sand will then bond with the oil thus make it heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the ocean, taking the oil with it. However, due to the expense of production, it is not being used for this purpose.

Our little experiment on magic sand
We prepared 3 empty bowls. One filled with water, the other water with oil and the last is detergent. Then we started pouring magic sand into the bowls.

Smarties get to touch and feel the magic sand and write out what they observed and the texture of the sand in each bowl. In actual fact, only gor gor was writing down the observation while mei mei was busy messing up the magic sand with water, oil and detergent.

Detergent? What’s the use of it here?
Look at the above picture where the sand is in the water (the bowl where sand is floating on the water) compared to the below where we grabbed some sand from the bowl mixed with detergent.

Can you see the difference?
The substance used to coat the magic sand can actually be washed off using detergent. Now the magic sand is no longer magic. It turned out to be normal sand and it got wet when it touched water.

Smarties were having great fun playing and experimenting with magic sand. Check out our short video on what we did. Enjoy!

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