You only need a few items to make this magic water STEM experiment work. Here is what you need to gather up:

  • Glass or Jar
  • Small Votive Candle
  • Shallow Dish
  • Water
  • Food Coloring (Optional)
  • Matches or Lighter

How to Do the Rising Water Experiment

Before we even get started please remember that an adult needs to be present for this experiment. We are using fire, which can be dangerous, so be smart.

Step 1: Take a shallow dish and fill it with water. You want just enough to cover the bottom.

Step 2: If you want, add food coloring to the water. This just makes it easier to see and is fun, so totally optional.

Step 3: Place your small votive in the middle of the dish.

Step 4: Light the candle, then quickly place the empty glass over the flame, touching the water. Now wait while the candle burns out.

Step 5: Watch as the water rises up into the glass!


The number one safety tip here is to be careful with the flame! This experiment must be done with adult supervision at the bare minimum. With younger children, like preschoolers, this needs to be an adult-led experiment. This STEM activity also uses glass, so it is a good idea to be careful in case it falls or breaks.

Clean Up

Clean-up for this activity is pretty simple. Slowly lift the bottle off of the candle.

Once the bottle is off, gently blow the candle out. Let the candle cool (or have an adult get it), remove it from the dish, and dump the water down the drain. That’s it!