Science with Shields: Episode #97 – Floating Rice

Science with Shields

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to pick up rice using a chopstick!

What you need: 

  1. Empty water bottle
  2. Long Grain Rice
  3. Chopstick
  4. Funnel


Using your funnel, fill up your water bottle with the long grain rice. Let it settle and continue to pack it in. You can tap the bottle gently on the table to continue to get the rice packed in as much as possible. Once you have as much as what will fit, forcefully stick the chopstick into the bottle, lift carefully and the chopstick should stay in the bottle allowing you to lift it off the table by just the chopstick!


Rice is a solid and not a fluid. The rice doesn’t really have anywhere to go when you stick the chopstick in it. The chopstick is taking up more space in the bottle. So with friction, the rice pushes onto the chopstick and the sides of the bottle. This allows you to be able to pick it up into the air only holding onto the chopstick!

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