Mixing and Dissolving
Candle wax will not dissolve in water.

Mixing and Dissolving

In KS2 Science children will conduct experiments involving solvents, solutes and suspensions. They will try mixing different materials and see which 'mix' (sugar dissolving in water for example) and which don't.

Mixtures are created by combining materials together. Solids, liquids, and gases can be mixed together. You will have seen some materials dissolving when you've added them to water. Sugar dissolves in water. It is a solute and water is the solvent. The mix of water and sugar is called a solution. Some other materials, like sand for example, do not dissolve in water. Instead the particles are spread out when you shake the mixture. This is called a suspension. The particles in a suspension will eventually settle to the bottom.

What's the difference between a solvent, a solute and a solution? See how much you can remember from your investigations by trying this Mixing and Dissolving quiz.

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  1. Sieving would separate which of these mixtures?
    A very fine sieve would separate the coarsest sand from the salt, but it would also allow fine sand to pass through its holes
  2. If you mixed sand, sugar and water, which material would dissolve?
    Water will dissolve sugar but will not dissolve sand
  3. Which of the following statements is not true?
    A solution in which no more material can be dissolved is called 'saturated'
  4. Which of these materials would not dissolve in water?
    Although a candle would melt in very hot water, wax will not dissolve in water - remember that melting and dissolving are not the same process
  5. What is a suspension?
    A good example of a suspension is a jar of muddy water - if you look closely, you can see particles suspended (floating) in the water
  6. What is a solvent?
    When salt is dissolved into water, the salt is a solute, the water is the solvent and the mixture is called a solution
  7. Which of these processes would you use to separate salt from the water in which it has been dissolved?
    The water can evaporate but salt cannot so it will be left behind
  8. Which of these would help sugar dissolve more quickly in coffee?
    Stirring, using smaller particles (by crushing, if necessary), and heating the liquid all help materials to dissolve more quickly
  9. What is a mixture?
    The name should have given it away! Combination means joined together or mixed
  10. When a material is dissolved, what does it make?
    Solids can be dissolved in liquids, creating a solution - a solution is not a new substance, however; it is a mixture of two or more materials or substances

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