How to Make Magic Sand for a Science Project

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Magic sand, also known as aqua sand, remains dry when placed in water. It is essentially sand that has been coated with a hydrophobic substance. Hydrophobic substances repel water, keeping the sand dry. Use magic sand to explain the concepts of hydrophobia and hydrophilia to a group of students or simply use it to encourage them to experiment and observe.

How to Make Magic Sand for a Science Project
(Zachary Birch/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Shallow box
  • Fine sand
  • Silicone spray
Step 1

Cover the interior of a shallow box with a large piece of newspaper, making sure that the bottom of the box is entirely covered.

Zachary Birch/Demand Media
Step 2

Spread a thin layer of fine sand in the shallow box.

Zachary Birch/Demand Media
Step 3

Spray the layer of sand with a thick coating of silicone spray. Scotchgard protector, which is used to protect fabric, is one example of a suitable silicone spray.

Zachary Birch/Demand Media
Step 4

Shake the box to cover the sand thoroughly with silicone.

Zachary Birch/Demand Media
Step 5

Repeat Steps 3 and 4.

Zachary Birch/Demand Media
Step 6

Allow the sand to sit overnight.

Zachary Birch/Demand Media
Step 7

Test the sand by picking up a handful and dunking it in water. If the sand is properly waterproofed, it will remain in a clump in your hand. If it starts to dissipate, repeat the process of spraying it and allowing it to dry.

Zachary Birch/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • Reuse magic sand by pouring it on paper towels to dry and then storing it in small resealable bags.

References

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