During the summer when it’s too hot outside, we like to complete educational activities inside! But we don’t like doing a lot of worksheets or boring activities during the summer. Instead, we focus on fun hands-on activities like this classic science project. We gave it a new twist by making a glow in the dark lava lamp, just like real lava lamps!
MATERIALS NEEDED FOR THE GLOW IN THE DARK LAVA LAMP
- Vitamin B-12
- Vegetable oil
- Alka Seltzer tablets
- Jar or beaker
Add some vitamin B-12 powder to about two or three tablespoons of water. The water should turn a yellow-orange color. Pour this liquid into your jar or beaker and fill the rest of the container with oil.
Take the jar into a dark room, but try not to spill it or you will have a disastrous mess.
Shine a black light on the jar to light up the water. Vitamin B-12 has a natural luminosity that is perfect for this project, but you can also use the inside of a highlighter marker or a glow stick if you don’t have any B-12.
Drop a small piece of Alka Seltzer tablet into the jar.
Watch as the glowing bubbles rise to the top!
Children will be absolutely fascinated with this experiment, even if they’ve done it before. Something about glow in the dark will please kids every time.
THE SCIENCE LESSON
Ordinarily, oil is lighter than water, which causes it to stay above the water. But when Alka Seltzer tablets are added to the water, they create a reaction that releases carbon dioxide. This is even lighter than oil. When the gas bubbles rise, they take a bit of water with them in glob form, which rises to the top and causes bubbles to form. The bubbles then float back to the bottom of the jar once the gas is released and reaches the top of the oil. This experiment can be repeated until you run out of Alka Seltzer tablets.
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