What If Wednesdays

We challenge you to science experiment or brain teaser each week - can you solve them?


This Weeks Challenge

Week Eight: Melting Ice
What color will melt an ice cube the fastest?

1. Cut the same size paper from different sheets of colored paper. 
2. Place each piece of colored paper in the sun. (Sidewalk or driveway works)
2. Use ice cubes that are the same size and shape, and place one of them on each of the  pieces of colored paper. 
3. Watch and Observe - do the ice cubes melt faster on certain colors of paper? 
text asking what if - melting ice and a picture of 8 ice cubes on different colored paper in the sun
text asking what if strongest shape with a picture of three cylinders made out of different shapes -

Previous Week Riddles, Experiments, & Brain Teasers

what if? toothpick riddle hypothesize experiment observe solve
Week One: Toothpick Riddle

What if you can touch only 2 toothpicks to re-arrange the goal post so the circle is on the outside?
Lay out the toothpicks like shown in the picture so they form a goal post shape. Put a coin in the center, similar to the black circle in the picture. How can you rearrange the toothpicks, with only touching two toothpicks, so that the coin appears on the outside of a goal post shape? (In other words, only touching two toothpicks, make another goal post shape where the coin is on the outside instead of inside the goal). 
Toothpick Riddle Solution
what if orange experiment
Week Two: The Orange Experiment 

Does an orange sink or float in water after it's been peeled? This week for What IF...? Wednesday, we invite you do an experiment with an Orange.

Place a orange (peel on) in water. Does it sink or float?
Now peel off the rind, and place it in the water again. Does it sink or float?

Orange Experiment Solution
what if euler puzzles
Week Three: Euler Puzzles

We have a doozy of a brain teaser for you this week - Euler puzzles. Can you trace all of the lines of each image, without lifting your pen/pencil, and with only tracing each line only once?

Euler Puzzle Solutions
what if walking water
Week Four: Walking Water

For this week's science experiment we try to answer the question, "What happens if the primary colors "walk" into each other?"

Steps
1. Set 5 cups in a row
2. Fill the 1st, 3rd, and 5th cups halfway with water
3. Add 5-10 drops of red food coloring to the first cup, 5-10 drops of food coloring to the 3rd cup, and 5-10 drops of yellow food coloring to the 5th cup. 
4. Place a folded paper towel between each cup (like the picture)
5. Wait... and then watch the water walk
what if invisible ink
Week Five: Invisible Ink

Do you need to send a secret message to someone? For this week's What if Wednesday, we create invisible ink. 
You will need: A piece of paper, a q-tip, lemon juice, and a heat source (lighter, iron, hairdryer). 

Steps
1. Dip your q-tip in the lemon juice and write your message on the piece of paper. 
2. Let it dry...
3. Use a heat source to reveal the invisible ink - be careful not to burn the paper! 
text asking what if strongest shape with a picture of three cylinders made out of different shapes -
Week Six: The Strongest Shape

Which shape - triangle, circle, or square - is the strongest?


You will need three sheets of paper that are all the same size.
1. Fold and tape a piece of paper into a square column, 
2. a cylinder (circle column), 
3. and a triangular prism (triangle column).
4. Place books one at a time onto each column, making sure to use the same sequence of books each time for each of the three columns. 

How many books can each shape hold?
text asking what if - t puzzle with the letter T and tangram puzzle pieces
Week Seven: T-Puzzle

1. Print out the PDF and cut out the four shapes that are white with a black outline.
2. Put the four pieces on a flat surface, and try to put them together so they make a T shape.

How long did it take you to solve the puzzle?