17 Claremont Bradford West Yorkshire BD7 1BG

British Science Week Competition: Water Movement Experiment

Posted by ACAP
We’re back again for another science experiment competition! Remember the cabbage you used for the last experiment? Well, you can put the remaining leaves to good use (we’re not a fan of food waste here at ACAP!) for another fun experiment. This time we’re doing a water movement experiment, and just like last time, if you recreate it and record your results you’ll be in with a chance to win a free science kit.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cabbage (lettuce or celery works too)
  • Knife (ask a grown up to get this for you)
  • A few clear glasses or jars
  • Food colouring (pick your favourite colours)
  • Water


  1. Take a few large cabbage leaves and ask a grown up to slice them down the middle right through the stem (the hard bit)
  2. Place the cabbage pieces into a glass or jar so that their standing upright and the stalks are at the bottom. You’ll need one cabbage piece per glass
  3. Pour cold water into each glass/jar about 1/3 of the way so that it covers at least a few centimetres of the cabbage stem
  4. Add several drops of food colouring into each glass/jar. Use one colour per glass/jar
  5. Leave your cabbage in the water to one side and observe how the water moves through it. You’ll need to be patient though, as it can take a day or two for your cabbage to fully transform. You can take notes or pictures to record how your cabbage changes over time

The science behind it: Cabbage, and most other plants, stay alive by pulling water through it’s “vein system”. This vein system consists of lots of tubes called xylem which you can see highlighted with the food colouring. The cabbage uses it’s xylem to pull the water from the ground, through the stem and into its leaves. The science of botany is all about the study of plants and understanding how they work!

Send us a video clip or picture of your finished experiment to office@acap.org.uk by Wednesday 17th March for a chance to win a free science kit!

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