Iceberg Melt


Submitted by: Kate Parker

Using icebergs made from paint, children watch the melting process and make observations of the combination of colors, flow of the melting colors and the elapsed time needed for their “icebergs” to melt.


  • To practice measuring
  • To understand the difference between liquids and solids
  • To hypothesize about the new colors created when colors are mixed
  • To create art and patterns from the melting “iceberg” paint
  • To discuss where real icebergs can be found

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: small paper cups, markers, water, BioColor® paint colors and a covered working surface.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Give each student a small paper cup and have them write their name on it. Students should add their own mix of BioColor® paint to their cup. Freeze overnight.

Step 2.
Have the children guess (i.e., make hypotheses) what will happen when their icebergs begin to melt and blend together. What new colors will be created?

Step 3.
Tear away the paper cups to release each iceberg. Place the icebergs on a plastic tray, panel or another type of water container.

Step 4.
Observe the melting icebergs. Which hypotheses proved to be true? Encourage the children to develop new hypotheses as they observe.

Discuss further scientific principles that can be observed while the icebergs are melting. For example, solid water (ice) floats on liquid water. Do the melting paint colors blend the same way they do on paper?

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