Monday, October 27, 2014

Tower of Spooky Bubbles

We have been having fun getting ready for Halloween!  It has been a great opportunity to do some fun experiments too.   Our first experiment made a tower of spooky, misty bubbles.




To get started we all took turns smashing a bag of dry ice to make small pieces.   



Then we set it aside and in a large plastic container, we place a plastic graduated cylinder mostly filled with warm water.  We added some dish detergent and food coloring and stirred it up.



Then we were ready for some magic!  We put a small piece of dry ice (using a spoon) into the cylinder and watched as a tower of spooky filled bubbles rose out the top!



The girls had a great time popping the bubbles and seeing a mist of "smoke" appear before them.  



We also repeated the experiment using a small plastic cup and it worked just as well to make the spooky bubbles!




This was such a great experiment to introduce the girls to the fact that dry ice sublimes or goes from a solid (ice) to a gas (smoke) without going through the liquid phase. 

** Caution dry ice can burn you if you touch it with bare hands.  Use gloves when handling dry ice and be careful with children near the ice.  However this was not intimidating for anyone that has not worked with dry ice before.

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Supplies:
  • Dry ice (small chips - about a quarter in size)
  • Plastic cylinder or cup
  • Warm water (enough to almost fill your cylinder or cup)
  • Food coloring (a drop or two)
  • Dishwashing soap (about a teaspoon)

Instructions:

  1. Fill your cup or cylinder with warm water.
  2. Add detergent and food coloring to the water and mix together.
  3. Carefully (in a plastic bag) break up the dry ice to have small pieces (we used a mallet).
  4. Drop a small piece into your cup or cylinder and watch a tower of bubbles rise out.
  5. Pop the bubbles to see the "smoke".  Be careful not to let little fingers go into the cup.

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