The classic science experiment is called Layered Liquids. The premise is simple, heavy liquids sink and lighter ones float, and you can magically “layer” them. This is all due to the different densities of the liquids.
Layered Liquids Experiment
Layered Liquids Materials:
- Cookie sheets
- Corn Syrup
- Food Coloring
- Funnel (optional)
- Kosher salt (optional)
Layered Liquids Instructions:
- Place the jar in the middle of a cookie sheet. Depending on the jar you are using, a funnel may help when adding the liquids.
- Pour 1/4 cup or so of corn syrup into the jar
- Add 1/2 cup of water into your jar along with add some drops of food coloring.
- Add about a 1/4-1/2 cup of oil to the jar.
Turn it into a Lava Lamp:
Leave a little room at the top of your bottle/jar. Add in a tab of Alka Seltzer. Watch it create bubbles and movement in your “lava lamp.”
Another option for creating a “lava lamp” is to simply add salt. Since salt adds a bubbly gooey element when mixed with oil I let the kids put spoonfuls of kosher salt into the jars. It briefly created some lava lamp like bubble magic then sank to the bottom to form a sticky syrup/salt concoction.
To see a more elaborate version of the layered liquids experiment and get more information on the science behind it, head over to our Glow in the Dark Density Tower project here: