Did you know that some penguins stay in the water for as long as 5 months? They sleep, eat, and swim thousands of miles. So, how do these flightless birds stay warm and dry in frigid cold, icy waters of the Antarctica? Penguins have a lot of feathers that are densely packed together that cover their entire body. These feathers have an oil-producing gland that make their feathers waxy. The wax on the feathers repel the cold water and help keep them dry. This fun and easy Penguin Science Experiment will show your students how penguins stay dry in the cold temperatures and icy waters.
How Do Penguins Stay Dry? A Penguin Science Experiment:
- Penguin Printable
- Crayons (black, white, and orange)
- Spray Bottle
- Blue Food Coloring (optional)
This penguin feather science experiment is so easy to set-up and prepare. First, print the penguin printable on paper or card stock. You can get it for free from our Teacher’s Pay Teachers store. (click on the pencil at the bottom of the page) Then, fill a spray bottle with water. I use one spray bottle for each table so the my students can share. You may want to add two or three drops of blue food coloring to the water so that it is visible when your students spray it on the penguin.
How To Do The Experiment:
To begin, your students will color the penguin with the crayons. For the experiment to work correctly, they need to color it completely and use a thick coating. I always tell my kids to color it at least twice to make sure they have covered all the spots especially with the white crayon.
Next, your students will spray the water onto the colored penguin. They should only use two or three squirts of water so that the paper doesn’t become over saturated.
Then, your students will observe as the water repels off their penguins.
After your students observe the results of the Penguin Science Experiment, discuss with them how the wax from the crayon prevents the water from absorbing into the paper like how the wax on a penguin’s feathers repels the water and helps keep the penguin warm and dry.
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Are you looking for more penguin activities including variations of this experiment? Then, you may like these Penguin Activities! From the life cycle to the parts of a penguin, this packet of resources will help you teach and your students learn all about these flightless birds. Click on the picture below to learn more!