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Backyard bergs

Backyard bergs

This experiment involves in making your own icebergs and learn about the buoyancy of ice. This simplified experiment only uses height, and not volume, to demonstrate that usually more of an iceberg is underwater than above water
What you need

To do this experiment you will need the following items:

a balloon a plastic bag (zip-lock bags work well) a rubber band a large bowl, bucket or fish tank a tray of ice-cubes a ruler a calculator.

What to do

This experiment involves making two icebergs: one in a balloon, and one in a plastic bag. You could make lots of other different shaped icebergs using a variety of balloons, bags and containers.


Fill the balloon with water until it is about the size of a grapefruit. Tie off the end of the balloon and place it in the freezer. Repeat steps 1 and 2 using the plastic bag, except this time, seal the top using the rubber band. Be careful not to overfill the bag. Wait for 12 to 24 hours to fully freeze your icebergs. Fill the bowl, bucket or fish tank with cool water. Add the tray of ice-cubes and stir until they have melted. Take your icebergs from the freezer and remove the balloon or bag. Place the icebergs on the sink and measure the height of each one. Place the icebergs in the bowl, bucket or fish tank and measure how much of your iceberg is floating above the water. Put your results into this easy calculation: (height above water) divided by (total height) multiplied by 100 = percentage of ice above the water. The answer should fall somewhere between 11 per cent (1/9 of the height) and about 12.5 per cent (1/8 of the height) of your iceberg floating above the water. (Note: to make this calculation easy, only height is taken into account and not the volume of ice or water, which is more complicated).

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