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Cave Formations: Stalactite and Stalagmite FormationFeatured science projectScience project video

Procedure

1. Fill each jar about 2/3 full with hot tap water. Stir in as much Epson salt that will dissolve into each jar. Set aside for about 24 hours.

2. Take about 12-18 inches of yarn and tie one weight on each end.

3. Select a location that the stalactite and stalagmite model can be observed, but not bumped or moved. The formation created is very delicate!

4. Place the small plate between each jar. Place the ends of each string with the attached weight into jars. Place the jars far enough apart so that the middle of the string drapes in a "u" shape just above the plate.

5. After a few days check to see if any deposits are forming on the string or on the plate. Draw what you see every few days and label with the date, or take photos.

stalactite and stalagmite formation experiment
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    Complexity level:
    2
    Project cost ($):
    Time required:
    The dripping down (stalactite) and building up (stalagmite) will take about 3-5 days. If you want a column to form (the stalactite and stalagmite to touch), this will take over a week.
    Material availability:
    Safety concerns: