Lava Lamp: Oil and Water Don’t Mix

Easy Science Project

Oil and water do not mix. After making the lava lamp, even if the kids try to shake up the bottle, the oil breaks up into small little drops, but it doesn’t mix with the water.

When they add the Alka-Seltzer tablet it will react with the water to make tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. These bubbles attach themselves to the blobs of colored water and cause them to float to the surface. When the bubbles pop, the color blobs sink back to the bottom of the bottle, and the whole thing starts over until the Alka-Seltzer is used up. When the chemical reaction between the Alka-Seltzer and water is over and the bubbling stops, you’re left with a cool looking wave bottle.

You Will Need:lava lamp best nanny newsletter

Clear Container with Lid
Cooking Oil
Food Coloring
Alka-Seltzer Tablet
Flashlight (optional)

What to Do:

1. Fill clear container 1/2 full with water.
2. Add food coloring. Screw on lid. Shake to mix water with food coloring.
3. Fill rest of bottle with vegetable oil.
4. Divide Alka-Seltzer tablet into four pieces. Drop one of the tiny pieces of Alka-Seltzer into the oil and water mixture. Watch what happens. When the bubbling stops, add another chunk of Alka-Seltzer.
5. When you have used up all of the Alka-Seltzer and the bubbling has completely stopped, screw on the soda bottle cap. If you worry about spilling you can attach the lid with hot glue. Gently tip the bottle back and forth and watch the wave appear. The tiny droplets of liquid will join together to make one big wavelike blob.
6. To make a glowing lava lamp, you’ll need a large flashlight. Carefully rest the bottle of oil and water directly on the lens of the flashlight and repeat the experiment above with the bright light shining up and through the liquid.


Steve Spangler Science

Free Kids Crafts

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