Groovy Lava Lamp
Have you ever seen a Lava Lamp? A lava lamp is usually a fairly large lamp that is full of colorful blobs of liquid that float from one side to the other as the lamp container is warmed up by a light bulb. Lava lamps could be so much fun and so beautiful to watch. They are also a demonstration of how inventors can use a science fact such as “water and oil don’t mix” to create something new.
Check it out in action
What you will need:
Empty and clean 10 oz plastic bottle with cover. (you can use a bigger bottle but you will need to figure out how much of each ingredient you will need)
2/3 cup of Vegetable oil
1/2- 2/3 cup of water
Liquid food coloring
Journal, pens, and crayons
10 minutes, overnight
What to do:
- First, you need to fill a measuring cup with water depending on the size of your bottle this will change, we used a 10 oz bottle and used about 1/2 cup of water and added a few drops of food coloring to the water. Stir up the food coloring and water.
- Using a funnel pour vegetable oil into the empty bottle until it is half filled, we used 2/3 cup.
- Next, you will add the colored water to the bottle, it should fill up the bottle.
- Put the cap on the soda bottle, making sure the cap is on tight.
- In your journal draw a picture of what your lava lamp looks like before you mix it all up. Write down any observations.
- Next, you will gently turn the bottle sideways in your journal draw and color what the water and oil look like now.
- Try different variations and write down and draw your observations in your journal. With the bottle on its side, tilt it gently back and forth. What happens to the water and oil. Shake the bottle up and down to try and mix the water and oil. What do you see now? Let the bottle stand on the counter overnight. What do you notice in the morning? Now that the contents have “settled” overnight, turn the bottle on its side again and gently tilt it back and forth. What do you see?
How it works
“Oil and water do not mix.” Their molecules, the small particles they’re made of, don’t fit together well enough for them to stay mixed together, even when you shake the bottle up and down. The oil blobs become much smaller when you shake the bottle, but when you stop shaking the bottle and let it stand still for a while, the oil bubbles start moving back together to form bigger “blobs” again. Left on the counter overnight, the oil and water will have time to separate almost completely. You’ll see that the colored water sinks to the bottom and the oil forms a layer on top of it. This oil rises to the top because it is less dense than the water. Density is how much an object weight compared to the volume of the space it takes up. In other words, if you have the same volume of water and oil the water weights more than the same amount of oil.
LET US KNOW!
We would love to see you doing the experiments!
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