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These things are just plain cool. They start off as tiny (2-3mm) beads, but when you place them in water overnight, they grow into crystal clear gel-like marbles that are 200 times thier original size! They not only look cool, just wait until you feel them. Can it get better? Yes it can...if you drop them back into water, they suddenly seem to completely disappear. The spheres are about 99% water once they have expanded, and they diffract light in the same manner as water. This means they virtually disappear when submerged. You can even color the spheres by expanding them in water with your own food coloring.
So what's the science? The growing spheres teach about super-absorbent polymers, light refraction, volume and density, and generally fascinating science. Similar polymers are used in diapers and agriculture. You can also demonstrate water conservation as you grow flowering bulbs in a cup of spheres. Try expanding the spheres in different liquids for a great science fair experiment. Our spheres can even be dried and used over and over. Sold in packs of 50 grams which will make gallons of spheres! Available in three sizes. Each includes instructions and experiment ideas. Be sure to also check out our Growing Cubes.
Posted by Diane on 12 26 2013
I have a few orchids. A couple are in glass vases. The actual root pot is surrounded by polymer beads in the vase. Not only is this pretty but they provide humidity in the semi enclosed space which promotes growth and flowering.
I intend to try the beads mixed with the bark as a root planting agent. Aging to provide humidity and some moisture to the root systems.
Cost and shipping speed were excellent. Good company to do business with.
Posted by Robert H on 10 18 2012
These spheres are awesome. I placed them in a tub of water and left them overnight. The next morning I was disappointed that they had vanished. Then I put my hand in the water and it was full of these clear marble size balls. My family was amazed. Thanks again Science Bob for another wonderful science product.
Posted by Cindy Tolliver on 10 16 2012
I LOVE these spheres. My kids love them too. I especially like the fact that you can add colored water to change their color. These are the cheapest way to introduce Osmosis to my Biology students. And they are so fun! Thanks for the idea!
Posted by Patricia G. on 08 24 2011
We had a great time with these in a 2nd grade class. Students weighted them before and after hydration to determine how much water they can absorb.
Posted by Rick on 03 14 2011
I have been showing these around to everyone! They are amazed. I hold up a plastic bag that looks like I forgot my goldfish... And ask what's in here? People stare and say "water!?". I then pour them into a bowl and let them play. Hours of fun and share them with your kids school... And take some round to the grandparents too.