Keep Kids Focused on Science This Summer with this Lava Lamp Experiment

Lawrence Technological University created a fun and educational lava lamp experiment for kids. Check out the step-by-step instructions and keep your kids learning all summer long!

As kids get ready for summer and to leave behind e-learning, parents might still be concerned about doing all they can to stop dreaded summer brain drain. While keeping the summer focused on fun, Lawrence Technological University has created a simple science experiment that turns a throwback lava lamp into something great.

It features scientific concepts of density, polarity and solubility and chemical reactions along with a few “wows.”

Materials:

  • A 12-ounce water bottle
  • Water
  • Vegetable or canola oil
  • Food dye
  • One Alka Seltzer tablet

Instructions:

  1. Fill the water bottle a little more than half full with vegetable oil.
  2. Fill the rest of the bottle with water (almost to the top but not overflowing). Wait until the liquids settle. Notice the order of the liquids.
  3. Add about 10 drops of food coloring. Make sure to add enough so that the water becomes fairly dark in color. Ask the kids: What is the difference between the way the food dye behaves in vegetable oil and the way that it behaves in water?
  4. Break an Alka Seltzer tablet into four pieces. Drop one of the pieces into the bottle and observe. When the bubbling stops, add another piece. Repeat for the rest of the Alka Seltzer.
  5. Once all of the Alka Seltzer has been dropped into the bottle and the bubbling has completely stopped, screw on the cap tightly.
  6. Shine a light through the bottom of the bottle for extra visual effect.

At-home learning is best when it is hands-on and fun. Science experiments lend themselves perfectly to that. Share an experiment your kids loved doing in the comments below.

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