Bubble makers

Here’s a way to make a simple make bubble making device using things around the kitchen.

What you need:

  • a straw (the non-bendy kind)
  • string
  • a pie tin (or bucket or tray)
  • scissors

What to do:

  1. Cut your straw in half.
  2. Thread the string through both straws and tie the ends together to make a loop. Trim off any long string ends.
  3. Place your bubble building apparatus into the bubble solution.
  4. As you take it out of the bubble solution, pull the two straw pieces away from each other so that you make a rectangle with the straws and string. Can you see colors in the film?
  5. Try gently blowing a bubble. What shape is it?

What’s the science?
The colors observed on the outer surface of a bubble are caused because waves of light interfere with each other as they pass through or bounce off of the bubble. This interference causes certain colors to appear and disappear. As you closely observe your bubble window you will notice that the colors seem to flow toward the bottom as gravity pulls the bulk of the bubble film downward. The bubble film becomes so thin right before it pops that it appears black. Try watching for this black area in your bubbles or bubble windows… impress your friends with your *pop* predicting abilities!

Try making other types of bubble makers … you could use pipe cleaners, string, a colander or strainer, your fingers, a straw, a toy … your imagination! Try thinking of as many things as you can to build bubbles! What can you do to make big bubbles? Small ones?  Can you build a bubble as big as your head?

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