Science with Samantha

Science with Samantha: Defying Gravity

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This experiment shows capillary action. Capillary action is what makes the water moves up through the paper towel and is the same process that allows trees to get water through the ground to travel up through their roots. Paper towels are made from fibers found in plants called cellulose.

Here is what you'll need to do the experiment at home.


  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Food Coloring
  • Clear Cups


  • Fill the cups almost to the top with water. Add a few drops of food coloring to half of the cups. Use a variety of colors!
  • Line up the cups alternating between ones with and without food coloring. 
  • Fold paper towels so the width fits in the cups. 
  • Place paper towels in the water connecting the cups. 
  • Wait and watch the water move up the paper towels and make a rainbow!

Science With Samantha

Each week NBC 5 Meteorologist Samantha Davies talks about science or shares a new experiment you can do at home.

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