Grow A Crystal Angel Ornament – Science Experiment

One of the most salient properties of water is its ability to dissolve other materials.

In this experiment, you will dissolve Borax powder into the water to create a saturated solution.

A solution is saturated when no more powder can be absorbed.

Water can dissolve more powder when it is hot.

In this experiment, you will use hot water to achieve saturation and then let the solution cool down.

As the water cools, the Borax powder starts to solidify, i.e. turning from liquid form into the solid form.

The precipitated solid sticks together and form crystal on the pipe cleaner and on the side of the glass. 

Build these beautiful crystal angel ornaments!

5 crystal angels science experiment for kids

Grow A Crystal Angel Ornament

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours

This is a fun experiment for kids.

Materials

  • Borax (found in laundry section)
  • colorful pipe cleaners (dollar store)
  • water
  • string
  • a pencil or a stick

Tools

  • wide-mouth jar or glass
  • imagination
  • adult supervision

Instructions

How to make crystal angels

  1. Bend a pipe cleaner into the shape you want to make a crystal out of. This is the step you can use your imagination. 5 pipe cleaners in angel shapes
  2. Fill the glass with water to around three quarters full. Then use a measuring cup to measure the amount of water used.
  3. Boil the water in a pan under adult supervision
  4. Carefully pour the boiling water into the glass.
  5. Dissolve plenty of Borax into the hot water. For each cup of water, add 3 tablespoons of Borax. 
  6. Stir the water until all the powder has dissolved or the powder left at the bottom cannot dissolve further. This phenomenon is called saturation
  7. Tie the shape you previously made with a string and hang the shape at the mouth of the glass using the pencil or the stick. Make sure the pipe cleaner is fully submerged and not touching the side of the glass. angel pipe cleaners are dangled from pencils into glasses with water
  8. Put the glass at an area where it won't be disturbed for the next hour.
  9. Patiently wait. 5 finished crystal angels, one closeup

Notes

Unlike growing crystals using sugar or salt, crystallization using Borax is relatively fast. Crystals can be seen forming as early as two hours after the glass is set aside.

Monitor the progress from time to time to get the desired thickness of crystals. If left overnight, it may become too thick.

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For more scientific explanations on crystallization, see Nucleation and Crystal Growth. Find more science experiments with water here: Best Science Experiments With Water

Make crystal angel experiment. Angel shaped pipe cleaners are hung inside glasses with borax water. Example of a finished purple crystal angel.

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