Lava Lamp Science Experiment

Lava lamp science experiment is perfect for kids to introduce science concepts like chemical reactions and liquid densities.
STEM Concept: Chemical reactions, Density of liquids
Challenge: Easy
Messiness: Medium

Ingredients required for Lava Lamp Science Experiment:

  • water
  • vegetable oil
  • food coloring
  • antacid tablets (ex. Alka-Seltzer)
  • plastic bottle

Steps to follow:

  1. Fill the water bottle with ¼ cup of water.
  2. Fill the rest of the bottle with vegetable oil.
  3. Add a few drops of food coloring.
  4. Break the antacid tablet in half and drop half of it into the bottle.
  5. Watch what happens.
  6. Drop in the other half of the tablet to continue the effect.

The science behind the experiment:

Water and oil don’t mix. The oil is less dense or lighter than water, so it will float above it. Food coloring is as dense as water, so it will sink under the oil and mix with the water. When you drop the antacid tablet, it will sink to the bottom of the bottle where it will start to dissolve, releasing gas and forming bubbles. The colored bubbles will bring along some water as they rise to the top of the bottle, until they pop. Then the colored water will once again sink to the bottom of the bottle. This will happen repeatedly until the tablet dissolves completely.


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