Enjoying STEM and the 4th of July!

The 4th of July.  Thoughts of parades, fireworks, BBQ’s, and hanging out by the lake might come to mind.  But what about STEM?  Here are some crowd-pleasing experiments to share at your next gathering (they are also a great way to keep kids thinking about science over the summer). 


 

Fireworks in a Jar

Supplies:

  • Clear jar / glass,
  • Small bowl
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food coloring 
  • Spoon 
  • Warm water

Procedure:

  • Fill a clear jar ¾ of the way full with warm water.
  • In a separate bowl / container, combine 3 or 4 tablespoons vegetable oil with about 15 -20 drops of food coloring (use 3-4 colors).  Mix together.
  • Pour the oil mixture into the jar and watch the fireworks! 

How it works:

  • Food coloring dissolves in water, but not oil.
  • Oil is less dense than water, so the oil floats on top of the water.
  • The food coloring begins to sink because it is heavier than the oil.
  • When the food coloring reaches the water, it dissolves and looks like mini fireworks.

Fizzy Frozen Stars

 

Supplies: 

  • Star-shaped ice cube tray
  • Eye dropper
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • Baking soda, vinegar
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Tray
  • 2 cups / bowls

Procedure:

  • Make ice cubes.  Combine baking soda and water (the mix should be moldable / packable in your hands; not runny) and place in the freezer.  Decorate with glitter (optional).
  • Mix vinegar and red food coloring in one cup and vinegar and blue food coloring in another cup.  Add glitter (optional).
  • Place ice cubes on a tray and squirt them with the vinegar using eye dropper.
  • Watch the reaction!

How it works:

  • The fizz is produced by a chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar.
  • When the chemical reaction occurs, carbon dioxide (a gas) is produced and it forms bubbles inside the liquid.