Demonstration and Assessment of a Simple Viscosity Experiment for High School Science Classes


  • T.M. Floyd-Smith Tuskegee University
  • K.C. Kwon Tuskegee University
  • J.A. Burmester Martin Luther King, Jr., High School, Lithonia, GA
  • F.F. Dale Martin Luther King, Jr., High School, Lithonia, GA
  • N. Vahdat Tuskegee University
  • P. Jones Procter & Gamble Corporation, Cincinnati, OH


The demonstration of a simple viscosity experiment for high school classes was conducted and assessed. The purpose of the demonstration was to elicit the interest of high school juniors and seniors in the field of chemical engineering. The demonstration consisted of a discussion on both engineering and the concept of viscosity as well as a hands-on viscosity experiment. The experimental error for the viscosity determination was 3% as compared to the literature value in the absence of a temperature-regulating circulator, suggesting that the viscosity experiment is simple and robust enough for high school science classes. Furthermore, students’ interest in chemical engineering increased by between 95% and 230%, based on a student survey and a paired-sample t-test.