DIY Lava Lamp Chemical Reaction Science Experiment
In this fun and easy science experiment, we are going to show you how to make a DIY lava lamp by using a chemical reaction. Most do-it-yourself lava lamp science experiments require the use of an Alka-Seltzer tablet, but in this version we are going to show you how to make an awesome lava lamp with a few items you probably already have in your kitchen. This is a great visual science experiment to observe and also provides insight into density.
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup of vinegar
- Food coloring
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon water
- Clear cup or glass
- Small bowl or cup
- Tray to catch and contain any spills caused by the bubbling chemical reaction.
- Place the glass in the tray.
- Add the 1 cup of vegetable oil to the glass.
- Next, add the 1/4 cup of vinegar.
- Add 4 to 8 drop of food coloring.
- Mix well with the spoon.
- Now mix the baking soda and water in the small bowl.
- Pour the baking soda and water mixture into the glass.
- Observe what happens.
How it Works:
The oil is less dense and thus seems to float on the vinegar. The oil is also less dense than the baking soda and water mixture. When the mixture is poured into the glass, it sinks to the bottom and the chemical reaction occurs between the baking soda and vinegar. This endothermic chemical reaction creates carbon dioxide as well as causes the glass to cool noticeably. As the carbon dioxide bubbles rise toward the surface, little globs of colored water stick to the bubbles creating the lava lamp effect. As the bubbles reach the surface, they pop, and the colored water sinks back toward the bottom of the glass.
Make This A Science Project:
Does the temperature of the vinegar effect the chemical reaction? Do other types of oil behave differently than the vegetable oil. Do different amounts of water or baking soda cause any noticeable changes in the chemical reaction?