Monday, June 20, 2011

Spin Art Chromatography

I first learned of this nifty color separating trick over at Steve Spangler Science. The scientific name for this color separating is chromatography, and can easily be performed.

 First, on an absorbent material (coffee filter, paper towel, etc...) draw a line or a dot with a water soluble black marker. We used coffee filters. They are absorbent and they fit perfectly into our art spinner!
Then with a pipette or medicine dropper, add a few drops of water to the center of your dots or along your lines. Turn the spinner on and wait......
Can you see how the water pulled the colors out of the black pigment?
Different types of markers made different color patterns.
My little investigative art scientists wanted to know....... What happens if you use other colors? And off they went to investigate:

Our other colors ran or bled, but they did not produce a rainbow of colors like the black did.
While the children used the spinner, we tried another chromatography experiment. We drew a large black circle in the center of the filter. Then we placed a pipe cleaner directly through that circle. The pipe cleaner was placed into a glass of water so that the bottom of the pipe cleaner was submerged and that the filter rested on the top of the glass.
 After some time, the water was drawn up the pipe cleaner and began to disburse the color across the filter.
As more time passed, the color traveled further and further from the center.

Have you tried any chromatography science or art investigations? We'd love to hear about them!

1 comment:

Ticia said...

We did a little bit for a mystery. I wonder if being spun affects it.......

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 I learned a hell of a lot from Dan Hodgins.  He was mentor, a friend, and a "bone shaker" for many of us in the field of Early Ch...