Lab began with the questions: How would you make the color black if you didn’t have a black crayon or marker? Is the color black all black?
Second grade chemists used chromatography to separate the colors (pigments) in black ink. We tested two water-soluble markers and discovered that black ink is a blend of other colors. Why are the bands of colors in the same order? Click here to learn more about this investigation.
Each scientist drew black circles in the center of his/her filter paper. They inserted a wet pipe cleaner into the center of the filter paper and placed the paper on top of a cup of water. The colors were revealed almost immediately.
I demonstrated with some non-soluble markers, like Sharpie and Expo, and the pigments did not separate. Click here to watch a humorous story about a little girl who learned the difference between permanent and water-soluble markers!