This Valentine’s Day, learn all about marker chromatography combined with love when you make these heart-shaped chromatography stripes! Valentine’s science!
If you’re not familiar with chromatography, it is the extraction of all color layers from a single color. You can do it with natural leaves, flowers, permanent markers, paint, and nearly anything with pigment. In this version, we’re using washable markers. However, I suggest using alcohol-based markers and rubbing alcohol for more spectacular results.
But, since we did our activity with my preschooler, I thought washable markers and water would be safest for my sanity and the state of my furniture.
I did learn recently, that you can get permanent marker off of just about anything with rubbing alcohol though!
Valentine Heart Marker Chromatography Science Project
This simple project is fun, colorful, and easy!
What you’ll need for the marker chromatography science project:
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- White coffee filters
- Washable markers
- 1 jar for each color of marker (we did 3)
- 1 clothespin for each jar
- 1 pencil for each jar
Cut your coffee filters into a heart shape. Make your hearts long and skinny, so that they are basically rectangular in shape. We found that fat hearts didn’t spread the color out properly. So keep things skinny. Try to make your hearts no more than 2 inches across.
Color a square of marker in the center of each heart near the rounded top. Leave most of the bottom uncolored.
Add just enough water to barely touch the tip of the heart.
Wait about 30 minutes.
You should already see the color start to spread!
Take out the coffee filters when the coffee filter is wet up to the pencil. This can take just 30 minutes or it could take almost an hour.
Unroll the hearts and let them dry.
Inspect the colors. In our version, we found that pink actually had the widest variance in color!