Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mini Lava Lamps

Our Mini Lava Lamp program (part of Teen Summer Reading "Mad Scientist Mondays") was a huge success. Over 30 teens turned up to create their own mini lava lamp from common kitchen ingredients. Check out these photos!

For those of you who missed the program, the recipe is easy:

You will need:
  • One clean small jar or bottle
  • Vegetable oil (like for cooking)
  • Food coloring (a drop or two)
  • Alka-Seltzer tablet
  1. Fill the jar or bottle about 1/2 full with water. 
  2. Add a couple drops of food coloring. Mix and match to achieve the desired color. Remember, the color is very concentrated, so a little goes a very long way!
  3. Fill container the rest of the way with oil, but don't let it overflow. You will see the oil and water separate. This is because these two liquids are insoluble. That is, they don't mix.
  4. Break the Alka-Seltzer tablet into small pieces and add the pieces one by one. The antacid will begin to fizz in the dyed water, causing colored bubbles to rise up through the oil on the way to the surface. This is what creates the lava lamp-like effect.
Have fun :)

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