A Little Bit of the Bubbly: Science Experiment Time

I’ve always been fascinated by the psychedelic-rainbow look that bubbles have.

We recently had a fun science experiment at our school here (have I mentioned that we homeschool?). We used bubbles to measure our lung capacity; depending on how big the outline of the bubble was when it popped, tells you how much air your lungs can take in.

We didn’t have any bubble solution around the house, so I searched the internet for a recipe. I found a really simple bubble solution that you can make at home.

This solution creates big, beautiful bubbles:

Bubble Solution

2 3/4 cups water

1 cup dish detergent

1/4 cup corn syrup

After creating the bubble solution, we taped down a trash bag to the counter top in our kitchen. We then poured some of the bubble solution onto the trash bag.

Next we grabbed a straw, dipped it in the jar of bubble solution, and placed it on the solution-covered trash bag. We took a deep breath and then blew into the straw. Once our lungs ran out of air, and the bubble popped, we measured the bubble outline. We each tried to blow a few bubbles each to get a more consistent reading.

After we finished the initial lung capacity measurements, we added a bit of a twist to the experiment by using bad posture. It was an entertaining way to show how posture can effect the amount of air we can take in and, therefore, blow out.

The experiment instructions included a chart that converted the diameter ring to the lung capacity (I’ve added the chart, in case you might want to try this experiment at home).

Lung Capacity Chart

“POP!” I caught this bubble as it popped. We then measured the outline it left behind.

After we concluded the experiment, of course we took a bit of time to play with the bubbles.

With a little teamwork, they were able to create MASSIVE bubbles!
We did some bubble art. This was a caterpillar.
A bubble within a bubble. As one of them worked on the outside bubble, the other created an inside bubble.
Everything became quite bubbly.
My favorite were the bubbles freely floating around inside bubbles. They made me happy.
The reflection makes the bubble look like it’s a completely round, whole bubble.
Briar watches as her older sisters create bubble art.
Another bubble caught mid-pop.

The aftermath of the experiment wasn’t too bad. There were some soapy elbows and the girls’ shirts got a bit wet, but nothing too messy. It was a neat way to play with bubble solution and is also an innovative way to play with bubbles indoors on a cold day. I would recommend doing this, if not for the experiment, just to keep the kids busy when it’s too chilly outside. Clean-up isn’t too bad either, as long as the solution stays on the trash bag.

Gigi Chickee

All photos are taken by me, Gigi Chickee, unless otherwise noted. Photography Correspondent here at Mad Art Lab. Wife to my gorgeous husband, Rob. Mother to my four girls. Proud Secular Homeschooler. Photographer when the occasion arises. Seamstress in training. Skeptic always. Follow me and my musings on Twitter: @gigichickee

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