What you need:
- Plastic container with a snap-on lid such as a food storage container or empty yoghurt container
- Fill the container with water until it overflows.
- Snap the lid on so there's no air inside at all, just water.
- Freeze it overnight.
- In the morning, check the lid.
What Do You See?
You will find that the container was big enough to hold water in one state (liquid), but when the water froze (solid), it needed more room and forced the lid off.
Questions to Ask
What would happen if you removed some of the water?
Would the top still pop?
What does your theory tell you about the rate of expansion?
How does this affect our Earth?
Water expands and takes up more room when it turns into ice. Since there wasn't any room left in the container, the expanding water pressed against the lid and forced it to come off. The same thing happens on Earth. Rain falls and flows into small cracks in rocks. If it's cold enough, the rain freezes and ice pushes against the rocks, just like the ice pushing against the container in the experiment, causing the cracks to get bigger. Ice chips away at mountains, breaking huge boulders into little pebbles.