Amaze your friends, family and schoolmates by poking pencils through a ziplock bag filled
with water. Imagine the shock when nothing leaks out. Learn about the sealing properties
of polymers. Lets do the Poke It Experiment.
- Sharpened pencils
- Plastic zip-lock bags
- Some paper towels just in case!
Watch Video: Poke It Experiment
Process Poke It Experiment:
Before you try this over your friends head, we highly recommend you give it a whirl
outside or over the bath tub!
1) Get out your sharpened pencils.
2) Fill a zip-lock bag up with water and seal it.
3) Ask the audience for a brave volunteer.
4) Raise the water filled zip-lock bag over the volunteers head and ask the audience what
will happen when you poke holes all the way through it will your pencils. You know what
they are going to say. But you know the secret!
5) With the bag over head, poke your pencils all the way through the bag.
6) Watch the crowd roar as no water leaks from the holes made and thank your brave
The Science Behind Poke It Experiment:
Zip Lock bags are made from plastic. Plastic is made of polymers which are long chains of
molecules cross linked together. Polymers are what makes plastic bags and balloons
stretchy. When we poke through the zip lock bag with pencils the polymers are pushed
aside but remain bonded by the cross-links - keeping the water inside. The polymers
re-seal around the pencil. Amazing! Now grab some friends and do the Poke It Experiment.
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