Challenger Learning Center: Capillary Action

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI)- Today's Challenger Learning Center science experiment involves the colors of the rainbow.

Kristin Hibbard was in our studio to show us the science behind capillary action.

Materials needed:

3 drinking glasses, water, paper towels, food coloring (red, yellow, blue) and a spoon

Make the colors walk:

Line up three empty glasses in a row. Fill the first and third glasses three fourths full and leave the middle cup empty.

In the first glass drop 10 drops of yellow food coloring and in the third, 10 drops of red.

Use one sheet of paper towel and make a "U" shape, make sure to twist the paper towel so it is tight. Make two of these.

Inset one end into the first glass and the other end in the middle glass, do the same with the second paper towel, insert in the third glass with the other end in the middle glass.

Once the paper towels are in the water, you can start to see them move into the middle glass.

To see the science behind this you can visit

Coming up at the Challenger Learning Center:

Challengers 5K Space Race is taking place on March 31st. This year there is a reduced price for youth participants. If you are interested you can register at