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Make Your Crystals Category: Science
Dated: 2010-09-14
Try to keep everything you use in this project very clean. This is vital for good, big crystals.

Steps to be taken

1 Fill the jar with hot water.
2 Stir in two tablespoons of the salt, sugar or alum, and keep stirring until it has all disappeared
3 Keep adding the substance to the water until no more will dissolve.
4 Tie one end of a piece of thread to the paper clip and tie the other end round the pencil.
5 Balance the pencil across the jar, so that the clip dangles inside it, about three quarters of the way down. If the thread is too long, wind it round the pencil.
6 Now wait – for a few days!

What Happens?

When the solid dissolve in the water, they form a mixture, called a solution. The water slowly dries by evaporation. But the solids can’t do this. The only way they can leave the solution is to hang on the paperclips in clumps, or crystals.

Experiment ideas:

Try using each of the suggested substances. Do they create very different results?
You could stir some food colouring, poster paints or ink into the water to make brightly coloured crystals.

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  • clean jam jar
  • paper clip
  • pencil
  • thread
  • tablespoon
  • large cup of one of these: salt sugar or alum (you can buy this at pharmacy)