Chiefs Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster Played Water Jenga

NFL Pro Bowler and fascinating science? An interesting combination

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster chose to take a break from catching a football this week. He and his friends instead decided to dabble with one of the most fascinating substances on earth – water.

The group of friends played a traditional game of Jenga, but without blocks. Instead, they used water. And it was captivating.

As the men kept pouring, the water droplets seemingly never stopped building up atop the glass cup. But how is that possible? What is the science behind this trick?

“It’s a phenomenon that has fascinated people for over hundreds of years,” said senior scientist Dr. Paul Hampton. 

“It’s the idea … you ever see a bug walking across water? It’s like, how are they able to do that and not fall in,” said physics teacher David Savage. “The attraction of the water molecules is enough to keep it from spilling over the edge.”

“The concept is called surface tension,” said Hampton. “It has to do with molecules sticking together.”

The surface tension force overshadows everything else when water is mounted on top of glass.

“When it gets to a point where there’s enough water, the gravitational forces of the earth are more than the attraction of the molecules, then the water is going to spill over the edge,” said Savage. 

Smith-Schuster and his friends experienced this scientific realization after a few turns at the “Jenga” competition, and Savage was pleased:

“It’s great to see their faces. It’s great to see the belts of joy in science.”