Science Project: Make Your Own Bubbles at Home!
One thing we often say at Mobile Ed is that science is all around us, and we mean it! One aspect of science you’ll find anywhere around you is AIR! You can’t escape it! Air is a gas made of many properties. This quick and easy project is a great way to get students outside while having fun learning about science concepts all around them!
Though we can’t help but smile at the sight of bubbles floating through our backyard or at a local festival, bubbles have science behind them! Bubbles use several scientific concepts such as chemistry, elasticity, surface tension, and light. A bubble is essentially a thin layer of soap that encapsulates a pocket of air. The soap film is actually made up of three layers: two layers consist of soap molecules with one layer of water molecules in between. These layers use surface tension to hold the air inside.
Though fun-shaped bubbles are pretty cool, there’s actually a reason that most bubbles are spherical. Bubbles will try to form a shape with the least amount of surface area possible, which will always create a sphere. You might also catch some colors shimmering on the bubbles; this is because your bubble is acting like a prism, diffracting light and showing us different colors. Once the water between the two layers of soap evaporates, your bubble will pop! Now let’s pop some bubbles!
What You’ll Need
- A bucket or large bowl
- 12 oz distilled water
- 5 oz dish soap
- 1.5 oz glycerin
- Wire/pipe cleaners (or pre-bought bubble wands)
What You’ll Do
- Find an open space free of nearby bushes, branches, and shrubs.
TIP: Check the weather app and pick a day when wind speeds are low!
- Pour the water into your container.
- Pour the glycerin and dish soap into your container with the water. Gently stir the mixture.
- Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes so that it can thicken up. This will become your bubble mixture!
- Take a piece of wire and shape it into a circle. Be sure to leave some wire out of the circle for the handle of your bubble wand.
- Once the 30 minutes have passed, stir your solution again. Dip your wire into the mixture, make sure the liquid attaches to your wand, and begin blowing your own bubbles!
ADVANCED VERSION: Use a large piece of wire to create a larger wand for your bubbles, or get creative with your wand by using shapes and letters. See how this changes your bubbles!
Your students might realize after this project that air is much more breathtaking than they thought! In Mobile Ed’s Air: the Invisible Wonder educational program, students in grades K-8 witness unbelievable demonstrations about the science of air that students don’t see in their classrooms often. Though the air around us is typically invisible, these visual demonstrations keep students engaged while teaching them about atmospheric pressure, low- and high-pressure zones, the weight of air, and Bernoulli’s Principle of Fluid Dynamics during this program.
In Air: the Invisible Wonder, students will learn about:
- Atmospheric pressure
- Bernoulli's Principle of Fluid Dynamics
- Principles of lift and flight
For more resources for educators, visit the Mobile Ed website!
Blog post inspired by Scitech.