Winter storms can appear out of nowhere and grow intense quickly throughout the northern hemisphere, but with a little science, you can control your own snowstorm at home! Follow this easy recipe below and remember to ask a grownup for help!
What You’ll Need
- Pour enough baby oil into your jar to fill it three-fourths of the way full.
- In a bowl, combine water and paint in equal parts.
- Optional: add glitter and food coloring to bowl as desired.
- Pour your water and paint mixture into the jar.
- Drop in an Alka-Seltzer tablet, making sure to clear the space in case of spills.
- Watch what happens!
The baby oil isn’t as heavy as water, meaning your water and paint mixture should sink to the bottom of the jar. So why did it jump back up and down? When Alka-Seltzer begins dissolving in the water, it releases one of its ingredients—sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, which reacts with the dioxide in water to create carbon dioxide gas. This creates upward pressure, making the water and paint mixture rise. However, the oil creates downward pressure to immediately force the mixture back down.
Now that you can make a snowstorm, try gathering some more data! How long does it take for the “snow” to settle down? What happens when you put in another Alka-Seltzer tablet after the first one has melted? Be sure to share your results with the #MuseumFromHome!