Saturday, December 19, 2015

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Quick STEM Science Experiment: DIY Lava Lamp

This classic science experiment can easily be made into a STEM activity by simply adding a few fun components!

To make the typical lava lamp, simply fill a vase or other bottle about 2/3 full with oil.  Carefully add water until you only have about 2 inches of air space left in the vase.  Add 4-6 drops of food coloring.  You should now have a layer of oil and a layer of colored water.  To make the lava lamp (and mix the layers in a super cool, bubbly way), break an alka-seltzer tablet into quarters and drop them in!  When the bubbles die down, add more alka-seltzer!

The science behind the alka-seltzer tablet is straight forward: it is another case of carbon dioxide making bubbles (just like the more common vinegar and baking soda experiments).  Alka-seltzer has dry sodium bicarbonate (a base) and citric acid.  When the tablet dissolves in water, the two chemicals mix together and make carbon dioxide.  The carbon dioxide bubbles mix the oil and water!

To add an experiment element to the project, invite your kiddos to find a way to make the bubbles last longer or mix more!

To add a math element to the activity, provide stop-watches or clocks so your children can time how long it takes an alka-seltzer tablet to dissolve.  Do the bubbles last longer if you leave the tablet whole or break it into quarters or halves?

Did you love this science project?  It is included in the DIY Science Kit for Kids!  Click here to get a {FREE} printable and instructions to make your own science kit for kids!!

And to see more science activities, be sure to visit my collection of 100+ Science Activities!!  Or stop by my Kid's Science Pinterest Board!

You'll also love Glitter Glow in the Dark Ornaments from The Science Kiddo!!

I may share at any of these parties!

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