Capillary action enables soil moisture to move in any direction within the soil as water
moves from wet areas to drier areas. Capillary rise of water occurs especially in and
regions where groundwater is drawn upward into the soil for plant use.
• Plastic cup
• Coffee filter
• Water soluble markers = black and/or colors
• Paper or paper towels
|1. Draw a sold circle with the marker in the middle of a coffee
2. Fold the coffee filter in half and then in half again
and then in half again
3. Twist the center slightly.
4. Place a small amount of water in the plastic cup (about
1/4' to 1/2')
5. Place the twisted end of the coffee filter in the water.
6. Watch the water rise by capillary action through the
7. When the water has stopped rising, carefully remove
8. Carefully open coffee filter and spread out on paper
9. What colors and designs appear on the coffee filter?
Printed with permission from
Michal L. Le Vasseur,
Capillary Action (Adobe PDF document)