Floating marble experiment

Floating marble experiment

See if your kids can work out how the marble looks to be rising through the water with this cool science project experiment. The floating marble experiment is easy to do and all you need are things you already have in your kitchen!

What you need:

  • A marble
  • Glass
  • Water
  • Blu Tack
  • Plastic bowl (non-see through)

Number of players:


Stick a small ball of Blu Tack to the centre of the marble.

Stick the marble, Blu Tack side down, to the centre of the bowl’s base. Make sure it is secure.

Step far enough away from the bowl so that you can’t see the marble anymore.

Pour enough water into the bowl until the marble starts to appear.

As you add more water, watch as the marble reveals more of itself.

How does the marble look to be rising through the water? This is an effect of refracted light.


  • This experiment tricks your eyes by making it look like the marble is rising through the water. But in actual fact, the marble is still stuck at the bottom of the bowl.
  • The water bends the light over the edge of the bowl in an effect called refracted light allowing us to see the coin.
  • When the bowl is empty, you cannot see the coin as there is no water to bend the light.

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