Materials List: Surface Tension and Suminagashi

Each group needs:

  • 1 plastic container large enough to hold a 9 x 12-inch piece of construction paper; a clear or frosted container is ideal because the ink colors are easier to see; a smaller container can be used if you cut the construction paper to a smaller size
  • inexpensive construction paper; lighter colors such as yellow, pink, light blue and white work best
  • 1 divided container to hold various colors of ink; half an ice tray works great
  • 1 dropper-full of 4 different colored inks, such as Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay India Inks; a set of 12 colors for $30 (see Figure 1)
  • small paintbrushes or Q-tips to apply ink to the water surface
  • protective aprons (the ink stains clothing)
  • water
  • paper towels for blotting prints (get several rolls for the entire class)
  • 3 metal paperclips
  • 2 forks; metal works best, but plastic will do
  • Post-Activity Quiz, one per student

To share with the entire class:

  • a student workstation setup as described above, to use as a teacher demonstration station
  • Water Bug Visual Aid, one per teacher; to hold up in class or display via projector or transparency
  • capability to show students a few online videos, such as via laptop, projector and/or smartboard
    A photograph shows six small glass bottles Dr. Ph Martin's Bombay India ink: yellow, blue, green, red, purple, black. Each bottle has a black squeezable eye dropper as part of its screw-on cap, which can be used to distribute ink drops. Also shown is an assortment of light colored, inexpensive sheets of construction paper (pink, yellow, light blue, white).
    Figure 1. Recommended inks and paper for this activity.
    Copyright © 2014 Steve Shaw, Georgia Institute of Technology