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Experiment: Rust 101

Want to investigate what metals will rust and why? Then this experiment is for you!


4-6 of small metal objects

4-6 Paper cups



Step 1: Gather a bunch of different small metal objects from around the house. Objects like nails, screws, paper clips, staples, bobby pins, safty pins, thumb tacks, etc. 

Step 2: Put each object into its own paper cup with a little bit of water in it. 

Step 3: You will let the filled cups sit for about a week. Check on your objects every day to see if they show signs of rusting.

Step 4: Record what you observe every day and any questions you may have.

What in the wow is happening? Rust is the reddish brown compound called iron oxide that forms when iron and oxygen react in the presence of water and air, hence the term oxidation.