December 2015

snowstorm in a jarSnow Storm In A Jar (12/2/15)

MATERIALS:

  • A clear jar or glass
  • Baby oil
  • White paint
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Alka-seltzer tablets
  • Glitter

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fill your jar ¾ of the way with baby oil.
  2. In a bowl, mix together warm water and white paint to make white water. (The amount of paint you will mix into the water depends on how much water you are using. Ideally, you should be able to have enough water to fill the jar almost to the top).
  3. Once the paint and water are mixed, pour your white water into the jar.
  4. As the white water sinks to the bottom of the jar, sprinkle in glitter, (as much as you would like)! Wait until the glitter and water almost completely settled at the bottom of the jar.
  5. Your mixture has settled, so now it is time to make the snowstorm! Take an alka-seltzer tablet and break it into two pieces. Drop in a piece at a time, watch the reaction, and enjoy the snow!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Have you ever seen a lava lamp? Well, our snowstorm here mimics some of the scientific reactions that are happening when you see those goopy bubbles floating around in one of those lamps! The snowstorm we are creating here gives us a lesson in density. Then, our alka-seltzer tablets provide us the power that we need to see it snow. The fizzy tablets of alka-seltzer react with the water to produce carbon dioxide gas bubbles. (Carbon dioxide is what we blow out when we breathe)! These gas bubbles stick to the water droplets. The water and gas bubble combination is less dense (less heavy) than oil, so they, (those bubbles of glitter and white water), rise to the top of the glass. When those bubbles get to the top, they pop and escape into the air, sending our snow down from the “sky”, and allowing the dense water to sink back to the bottom again (which is why our snowstorm looks like it’s going in a never ending cycle if we continue to drop alka-setlzer tablets into it). Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!