I thought I had finished sharing Olympic themed STEM activities, but I have come up with several more that I think your kids will enjoy. You have stopped by to see how to do the paper plate ski lift with a pulley, a magnetic figure skating activity, an interactive snowboarding craft, ski jumping straw rocket, and the snowboarding halfpipe I in January. Today’s STEM activity is called Creating the Olympic Flame in a Bottle.
This STEM activity was inspired by the fireworks in a jar activity shared on I Can Teach My Child. Your children will have fun placing flame-colored food coloring in a bottle and watching it fall.
Putting This STEM Activity Together
You will need to gather a few supplies for this activity. Each child will need the following:
- Plastic Water Bottle (We used a Voss bottle.)
- Food Coloring (Neon and Basic Colors)
- Vegetable Oil
- STEM Science – Olympic Flame in a Bottle Printable
- Small Container
- Measuring Spoon
- Plastic Fork
Conducting the Flame in a Bottle Activity
You will want to go over the STEM printable with your children so they will know what they need to record.
Then children will need to put 4 Tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small container.
Next children will decide what colors they want to add to the oil to create the flame. They will place about two drops of each color they select into the container with the oil.
Then children will stir the mixture lightly with a fork. When they have finished stirring they will pour the mixture into a bottle filled about 3/4 up with warm water.
The food coloring will slowly separate from the oil and begin to slip into the water creating flame like flickers of color in the water.
The various colors of food coloring will drift down in their own flickers. They will mix together as they fall to form new colors.
Over time your children may see light and darker areas of the color. When you see the Olympic flame on T.V., you may see that too.
Besides seeing the cool flame colors in the jar, your children will see that the oil has stayed near the top of the bottom. Below you will see an explanation of why that happens.
Why the Food Coloring Droplets Fall
The food color drops fall into the oil in the small plastic container, but they don’t dissolve. When the mixture is poured into the water bottle, the oil stays at the top. Oil is less dense than water. Slowly the food coloring drops start to drop from the oil because they are heavier than the oil. As the food coloring drops make their way into the oil, they start to dissolve. This caused the flicker or explosion of color.
This activity is part of a series of 28 Days of STEAM and STEM activities. I am partnering with Left Brain Craft Brain and 29 other blogs to share with you almost 60 different activities. It is going to be a fun month. Please stop by my Facebook page. I will be featuring many of the STEM and STEAM activities there during the month.