The day is coming! To celebrate, we’ve created a Valentine’s Day experiment for your kids or pupils to enjoy the day too, creating a scientific valentines themed lava lamp. They will also learn about how oil and water react to each other.
You will need:
Red food colouring
Effervescent vitamin C or Alka seltzer tablets
A stick or a spoon, anything that can be used for stirring
Fill up 3/4 of your jar with the vegetable oil.
In a separate cup, pour some water and add in the food colouring. Then add the water to the jar and fill it up.
Add some glitters and stir the mixture to distribute the glitters.
Add in the vitamin C tablet. See how it fizzes!
The science bit:
Water and oil don’t mix together. Oil remains at the surface of the water in our jar.
This is because their molecules don’t attract each other (in fact they repel each other) and oil is less dense than water.
However, when you add in the tablets, the water rises up with gas bubbles and then sinks again, creating your lava lamp effect. This happens because the tablets contain citric acid and sodium carbonate, which create carbon dioxide when placed in water. The carbon dioxide gas is even less dense than the oil and goes to the surface, taking some water with it. Tada! This is your Valentine’s Day experiment!