STEAM Team Experiments with Bubbles!

Okay, who does love playing with bubbles? I remember playing with them as a kid and loving it and I feel like every time I see a kid playing with bubbles they are having a blast! It’s the perfect summer (or anytime, really) activity! The idea, activities, and knowledge of the science behind bubbles came from Gizmos, Gadgets and Goo from the Cheshire Public Library in Connecticut. If you are a science programmer and haven’t yet stumbled across their website, go there now! Seriously they have a lot of wonderful ideas and share plenty of how-tos and easy to understand science explanations!

First, we learned about the science of bubbles  and picked up some inspiration for our bubble challenges by watching this video. If you are wondering how bubbles relate to science, the video is great. But the general idea is that they allow us to see that air and gas have mass and take up space, something that can be hard to wrap your head around. We also got to talk about solutions and the different properties of bubbles.

Then, got experimenting with bubbles and attempted some bubble challenges that we saw in the video. We had kids ranging from about 4 to 12 in the room and they all experimented at their own levels. The kids could move at their own pace and I could ask questions to spark their curiosity.

Bubble Experiment

Supplies:

  • Bubble solution (Mix 3 cups water, 1/4 cup liquid dish soap, 2 Tbs. glycerin)
  • Drinking straws
  • Flat surface
  • Cup of water or spray bottle full of water

Bubble Challenge Questions:

  • How big of a bubble can you create?
  • Can you pierce your bubble with your straw or finger without popping it?
  • Can you blow a bubble inside of a another bubble? How many bubbles and you blow inside each other?
  • Can you pick up a bubble with your hand? Can you pass the bubble to a friend?
  • Can you connect two bubbles? Three? Four?
  • Can you build a bubble tower?

​Then we got even more creative and made bubble artwork based on Education.com’s activity by adding washable tempura paint to the bubble solution and popping bubbles onto paper. The color didn’t mix in super well – maybe food coloring would work better? It was a little messy, but the kids had a lot of fun with it.

Bubble Art

 

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