Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Blob Experiment

On another lazy spring break staycation day, I wanted to try out this little experiment I had seen on youtube recently. It's really easy and very age appropriate for 2 young boys. It's fun, but also provides a lot of opportunities for kids to "guess" what will happen next. The teacher in me likes to know that they are thinking about what's happening and not just watching it happen.

Ingredients and supplies: vegetable oil, a glass jar (we used a large pickle jar), food coloring, water, and alka seltzer (we used generic).

We started by pouring oil into the jar. We used about 2/3 of the oil bottle, but a little more or less would work too.

The next step was adding the water (no picture of this one). We poured in about 1 1/2 cups of water. Before we did that, I asked the boys what they thought would happen to the water. Would it stay on top, mix in, or go to the bottom? They made their guesses, and then we waited for it to settle. 

And waited... See it starting to separate?

Finally, the water separated out at the bottom. Honestly, we could have stopped here. The boys were so excited to see the water sink to the bottom.

Next step: Food coloring. Eli took charge of this one. I asked them what would happen to the food coloring. Would it stay in the oil, or sink to the water. They both thought it would go to the water.

They were right! Now... if we had allowed it the necessary time, we would have seen the food coloring work it's way through the oil and mix in with the water at the bottom. It moved pretty quickly. But before that could happen, Eli grabbed his alka seltzer tablet (note to self: bring out supplies on as needed basis), and dropped it in.

Let the show begin!

The blue water plus the alka seltzer, causes blue blobs to mix in with oil. Awesome!!  We talked about the word "reaction."

Lex: What if we drop in 2 tablets?

What about 3???

And then we just watched.

And the cool thing is that the water all settles back at the bottom so you can do it again later. We want to try it in the dark next time and use a flashlight so it looks like a lava lamp. There is pretty much no mess to this one and the kids can do every step on their own. Both of the boys were completely engaged the entire time and had fun "guessing" what would happen next. Let me know if you try this one and if you have any other ideas like this one.

Happy Experimenting!

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