Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Combing Art & Science With a Color Changing Milk Experiment!

I love combining art and science activities with my children.  This color changing milk experiment was the perfect activity to do just that!  This experiment involved using only three ingredients: milk, food coloring and dish soap.  Here's how we did it:  First we added just enough milk to cover the bottom of a plate.  Next, we added drops of red, blue, yellow and green food coloring to the milk.  Using a dropper or a cotton swab covered in dish soap, we placed the dish soap/cotton swab in the center of the milk dish.  We discovered within seconds that the dish of milk became full of color!  We were so mesmerized with this experiment that we ended up doing it again and again!  The best part of this activity is that the colors continued to move and dance long after the cotton swab was removed from the dish.

After adding the dish soap we saw the milk react and begin to disperse the food coloring in a very colorful display like this.  It was like a tiny living ocean of beautiful colors!

Here is the science behind why this experiment works:  "Food coloring is less dense than the milk itself - so it remains suspended within the fat molecules of the milk.  The dish soap breaks up the fat molecules, which then spread across the surface of the milk.  As the molecules break and expand, they create movement in the milk and pull the food coloring along for the ride!"

After thinking about why this experiment works, Jack was able to explain to me why skim milk or water would not yield the same results (or any results at all)...some great critical thinking skills by Jack!  

Here are a few pictures of Jack and Eve conducting this experiment:

So beautiful and intriguing how all of this works.  I'm not sure who had more fun with this...me or my children!  :)

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