Today’s project comes from an afternoon at Simon’s “Man Science Club”.
It was one of the boys favorites and I liked it to…it was cool and required almost no preparation and the clean up was minimal.
And although we did these experiments in the summer they would be perfect to do this time of year…especially at a Halloween party!
Here’s what you’ll need:
*dry ice (can be purchased at most Wal-Mart’s or local grocery stores)
*a regular ice cube
*2 napkins or paper towels
*A cylinder or water pitcher
*liquid dish soap
Here’s what we did:
On this day we were talking about dry ice. So we set up an experiment to see the similarities and differences between dry ice and regular ice.
We set out two plates. On each plate we put a napkin. Then on one plate we put a piece of dry ice and on the other a regular ice cube. Then we left them alone while we did some other setting up. When time had passed we checked the ice plates to see what was happening.
On the dry ice plate we could see that the chunk had gotten smaller but the paper towel was dry. On the other plate we could see that the ice cube had gotten smaller but that the paper towel was wet. After observing this we talked about how ice cubes are made of frozen water and how dry ice is mainly composed of frozen carbon dioxide. We also discussed the temperature at which each kind of ice freezes and where the ice goes and the changes it goes through as it melts.
(And as boring as that may sound…it wasn’t…all of those 8 year old boys were super into hypothesizing and talking about it.)
After that it was time to play.
First we took a glass cylinder (actually I used a flower vase but it looks like an oversized cylinder and worked perfectly for this project) filled it with luke warm water, and dropped in a chunk of dry ice.
We watched it bubble and smoke.
And talked about the carbon dioxide turning from a solid into a gas and then pushing its way up through the liquid and out into the air.
And that was fun.
But not as fun as what we did next.
When all the dry ice has dissolved we again put some warmish water in our cylinder and added a chunk of dry ice but this time we also dropped into the water a few drops of Dawn dish soap.
And here is what happened:
The cool thing about adding the dish soap to the mix is that when the carbon dioxide is trying to escape from the water and it reaches the surface the carbon dioxide becomes trapped in the dish soap and forms an amazing amount of bubbles.
Which would be cool by itself but these bubbles aren’t just ordinary bubbles…these bubbles are filled with smoke!
Which means if you scoop up the bubbles and pop them they turn into a cloud of smoke!
It’s a trick that never gets old.
And it doesn’t matter how old or how cool you are…you won’t be able to help yourself…you’ll have to get in on the fun. (Everyone at our house was playing with the smoke bubbles that afternoon…from my husband to baby Ruth…everyone got in on the action.)
Now, I should at this point say that dry ice is not a toy and should, in fact, be handled with caution. My husband handled all the dry ice while wearing gloves and we talked about safety with dry ice before ever beginning with our dry ice experiments.
We did several other experiments before Man Science club ended that day but you’ll have to wait until next week before I share those.
Until then enjoy your Friday and your weekend!