Advertisement

Bubbleology


Bubbleology

In this lesson children will learn about surface tension and why a free-floating bubble will take a sphere shape no matter what object is used to create it.

Water consists of water molecules. Water molecules hold on tightly to each other under surface level (below water). When the molecules hit surface level (above water), the water molecules hold onto each other even tighter because there are no other water molecules on the other side of them to grab onto, just the air above. This causes a thin skin, film like appearance, this is surface tension. Picture a water bug gliding over a body of water. When soap is added to water it decreases the surface tension of the water molecules by two thirds allowing the molecules to stretch, therefore creating an elastic quality that creates a bubble. A bubble is a thin soapy skin that surrounds a gas.

Surface tension experiment

Materials:

  • Cup
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Pennies

Pour a cup of water to the top, slightly below the brim. Slowly add more water using a measuring cup so that the water is all the way to the brim of the cup but not overflowing. Next add pennies or coins to the cup.

Penny challenge: Experiment with the surface tension and see how many pennies you can add without the water overflowing. How many pennies can you get to the bottom?

Bubble maker experiment
Materials:

  • ½ cup of dishwashing liquid soap
  • ½ gallon of water
  • Container to hold water & soap
  • Measuring cup
  • Cookie sheet (to catch bubble remains if conducting experiment inside)

First, mix your dishwashing liquid soap and water. Have children find 5-10 items around the house that could be used as a bubble maker. Combs, forks, scissors, turkey basters, straws, toilet paper rolls, protractors, tin foil, pipe cleaners, LEGOs. Anything they can think of!

 

Send your LEGO bubble wands to jim@letgoyourmind.com so we can post them on our Facebook and Instagram!

Gadget challenge:Have children try to create bubbles with their newfound gadgets! Use the cookie sheet to help prevent water from getting everywhere if conducting experiment inside. Remind children that not everything will work, and that this is an experiment to test these objects. What gadget works best for you?

Bubble ring challenge:Wet the table or whatever surface you are conducting the experiment on with your soapy water. Dip one end of a straw into the bubble solution, then place the end of the straw onto the wet table in front of you. Gently blow into the straw and create a bubble on the surface! Once the bubble pops, take a ruler or measuring stick and measure the diameter of the bubble ring. What is the biggest bubble ring you can make?

 

 

Hemisphere challenge:Wet the table or whatever surface you are conducting the experiment on with your soapy water. Dip one end of a straw into the bubble solution, and then place the end of the straw onto the wet table. Gently blow into the straw and create a hemisphere on the surface. Dip the straw again into the bubble solution. Gently blow another hemisphere inside the first hemisphere. How many hemispheres can you make?

Jim and Kevin Harvey have a combined forty years working with children. They like to teach hands on experiments to excite children about STEM concepts! Ten years ago, Jim started a small Summer STEM Program for children in Concord NH. Jim and Kevin have expanded it to locations all throughout NH, MA, and VT. The programs use LEGO bricks, robotics, and stop motion animation to teach STEM concepts to children between the ages of 4-13. Feel free to reach out to Jim with any questions you may have at Jim@letgoyourmind.com or Kevin@letgoyourmind.com

Be the first to review this item!


Bookmark this

27 Mar 2020


By Letgo Your Mind
Advertisement