Don’t worry -- you don’t have to wish for rain on this St. Patrick’s Day to be able to enjoy a rainbow! Handy Dan and his friend Junkbot are here to teach you how to make your very own St. Paddy’s Day rainbow* in the privacy of your own home -- you won’t even need an umbrella!
*pot of gold not included.
Watch Handy Dan teach you how to make a rainbow in a bottle - a wonderful St. Patrick's Day science project!
Step 1: Gather your supplies
First, you’ll need food coloring -- a standard pack of four (red, yellow, green and blue) is perfect!
In addition to your food coloring, you’ll need the following:
- Vegetable oil
- Blue dish soap
- Rubbing alcohol
- Corn syrup
Step 2: Color the liquids
Add green food coloring to your water, red food coloring to your corn syrup, and equal parts blue and red to your rubbing alcohol (to make it purple!)
Step 3: Layer the liquids
You will need an empty container to house your rainbow -- a tall, cylindrical container, like a wide-mouthed bottle, works best.
Start by pouring a generous amount of honey into the bottom of your container.
Follow that with the corn syrup (remember to add the red food coloring first!), and allow the layers to settle for a moment before adding the blue dish soap.
Follow the soap with the water (which should be dyed green, remember!), and add the vegetable oil to the water...
...and add the vegetable oil to the water.
Finally, add enough rubbing alcohol (it should be purple!) to fill the container -- notice how it slips below the vegetable oil mixture!
When you’re happy with your layers, seal up your container, and enjoy your own personal rainbow!
Try shining a light from behind your bottle to really get the colors to pop (we didn't try that, but you really should!!
Check back again for more do-it-yourself projects from Handy Dan the Junkyard Man and Mobile Ed Productions!
If you like DIY experiments like these, you should see the kinds of spectacular demonstrations we bring to schools with our live school assembly presentations. Take a look at STEAM Museum, The Magic of Science, Physics is Fun, Forces and Motion and Crime Scene Science, each full of interactive demonstrations that kids love.