Saturday Science Session – Lava Lamps!

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This week’s Saturday Science Session Experiment was creating a Lava Lamp with some simple ingredients. Totally easy and especially cool if you have neon food coloring! All you need is:

– Water
– Vegetable Oil
– Food Coloring
– Alka Seltzer Tablet
– Glass
– Light

1. Fill a glass with about 1/8th water.

2. Place the glass over a standing flashlight, or alternatively in the top of another glass that has a small flashlight or headlamp inside.

3. Squeeze a few droplets of food coloring into the water.

4. Fill the remainder of the glass with the oil (the more oil, the more action you will see in the lamp!)

5. Drop in the Alka-Seltzer Tablet.

Voila! Watch the Lava Lamp come to life. Oil does not mix with water and is also lighter (or less dense!) so it rises to the surface of the mixture. The food coloring however, only mixes with the water. As soon as the Alka-Seltzer tablet hits the water, a reaction makes bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. The bubbles latch onto the colored water and float upwards through the oil. The color blobs fall back to the bottom when the gas bubbles pop!

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