Can you imagine a sky filled with bright, colorful bubbles? Make this whimsical scene come alive with bubble science! Gather a handful of household colorants, substances used to make something change color, and get creating. The goal? Bold red bubbles that float through the air before popping out of sight.
How can you make red bubbles?
- Bubble mixture
- Bubble wands
- Red food coloring
- Pure beet juice
- Red paint
- Plastic cups
- Medicine dropper
- Permanent marker
- Use a permanent marker to label the cups with your different types of red colorants: red food coloring, pure beat juice and red paint.
- Dip a medicine dropper into your first colorant and transfer at least three drops into the correctly labeled cup.
- Repeat this with the other two colorants.
- Pour the same amount of bubble mixture into each cup.
- Use the wands to stir the bubble mixture with the colorants.
- Note how the mixtures change color from clear to red. Do you think any of your new bubble mixtures will create red bubbles?
- Write down your guess, or hypothesis, in your notebook.
- Use the bubble wand to make bubbles from each of your three mixture.
- Record what you observe about each of these bubbles.
- Lastly, you'll need a control. Control groups are used to test the effects in an experiment. In this case, your control will be a bubble test using the original mixture.
- Write down if you notice anything different about the bubbles made without any added colorants.
- When you're done, look over your notes. Were you able to successfully make red bubbles that were as "bubbly" as the control group?
Unfortunately, you should have found that none of you bubbles were truly red. While the beet juice and food coloring bubbles should have had at least a faint red glow, the paint bubbles probably were not very successfully red -- or bubble shaped.
It seems like it would be nice if we could paint bubbles as easily as we paint a sheet of paper. Unfortunately, due to the chemical construction of bubbles, not a lot of colorants can stick to its surface. The thin walls of bubbles are actually made up of two layers of surfactant molecules. These special types of molecules end up preventing the colorants from bonding with the watery mixture. Instead, your food coloring, paint and juice just slipped right off, leaving mostly clear bubbles.
Do you think you could make anything stick despite those tricky surfactant molecules? What if you tried to mix perfume with the mixture to create sweet-smelling bubbles? Or what if you used colored soap instead of food coloring or juice? Keep guessing and testing new ways to experiment with bubble science!
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.