A warm welcome to those coming over from her blog. I know I’ve raved about Delia before, and today is no different. I just love the girl. She’s completely sweet and so talented. I just love following her blog for inspiration in so many ways. Her sewing is amazing, her style is great, and I really, really look up to her. Especially as a mom. You can just tell she loves her kids so much. She amazes me.Our experiment today definitely makes learning fun! We’re dealing with states of matter today.
For Science Camp with Sabra last year, I was in charge of talking about solids, liquids, and gases. I had seen THIS YouTube video and wanted to try it out at our Science Camp. Sadly, my dry ice was completely gone by the time my teaching session came. But it’s probably just as well because this took a lot of trial and error before we had it figured out. As in, I tried and tried for over half and hour to get a bubble to not pop over the bowl. The kids were deferred somewhere else while I figured it out and I did some more experimenting. I switched bowls in hopes that it was just the bowl I was using. I searched for more exact bubble solutions to see if that would help. Nothing had any bubble solution that would work for us. So I searched for “super strong bubbles” and adapted what I found to make our own bubble solution and guess what? It worked great! Hooray!
So now that we have it figured out so your experiment isn’t a failure like ours initially was, here’s what you’ll need:
-dry ice (go to the customer service desk and your grocery store—they probably have some. It’s about $1.00/pound and we used about 2-3 lbs.).
-2-3 Tbsp. dish soap (Dawn worked great)
-1/4 c. corn syrup
-bowl and spoon for mixing the soap and corn syrup
-about an 18” x 2” strip of fabric—I used flannel
–THESE experiment booklets and pencils, if you want your kids to record what they are learning
-paper towels or wet rags to clean up your hands—it gets sticky with the corn syrup!
-about two cups of water
-large bowl or vase *Each similar experiment said to use a bowl with a lip on it, and I first tried it with a green plastic bowl with a nice lip on the edge. But I switched to this glass vase and it worked great. Plus you can see the dry ice and the water mix together to create the gases. When we were finished with the experiment, I was careful not to add heat to the glass because I was afraid the hot water with the cold dry ice would cause the glass to crack. You can experiment with different bowls. Plastic would probably work as well.
Now take the strip of fabric and kind of clean off the excess dripping solution, but leave it pretty soaked. Just try not to drip a ton into the bowl or it slows the vapor down. It also starts making bubbles inside the bowl which is cool, but not what we are going for here. Start at one end of the bowl and run it across to the other side to form a bubble.
See how my son has left the strip of fabric at the one end? We found that if we tried to take off the fabric the bubble almost always popped. So we just kept it on the edge of the vase until our bubble popped.
My kids had an absolute blast doing this experiment, and they were quite serious and involved with writing in their booklets.
The booklet asks questions to get them thinking, along with predicting what they think will happen when you form a bubble over the dry ice. The key things I wanted them to learn was that gases take the shape of their container, which in this case is the vase and bubble. But it’s fun to explain to them that something can change from state to state (solids, liquids, or gases), and still be made up of the same substance. Like the dry ice—although this is a special case because it goes straight from a solid to a gas, it is still carbon dioxide no matter what state of matter it is in.
I hope you have fun doing this experiment and making learning fun for the kiddos in your life!