David Glaser

My Science Project: Very Long-Lasting Bubbles

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David

Research

OI love to blow bubbles! Bubbles look like circles of rainbows. They are made of soap, water and air. To make bubbles, you blow air into the soap and water. Sometimes I blow bubbles in a cup. Other times I blow bubbles into the air and watch them fly.

OI went to the library, but found no books about bubbles. I looked at many bubble recipes on the Internet. Some were made of soap and water. Others used soap, water and sweetener. Some recipes also said you need to let the bubbles sit overnight to get stronger. The soap was a kind of dish-cleaning soap: Cooking with Young Children: Stuff to Create With, e-planaparty, Tangent Toy Company: The Amazing World of Bubbles and Virtual Museum: Things You Can Make.

OMost of the time, the sweetener was either corn syrup or glycerin. Corn syrup is a sticky sweet syrup made from corn. It reminds me of pancake syrup, but the color is light. Glycerin is a sweet liquid used to make medicine. It has the same color as corn syrup.

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A Big Bubble

Question

OMy question was how to make the best bubbles. I went to City Market and picked Joy and Palmolive for soap and bought corn syrup. Joy is yellow like lemonade, but Palmolive is green. I had to go to Ben Franklin to get a small bottle of glycerin. Mommy let me taste the corn syrup and glycerin. They tasted good. You should not taste the soap because soap tastes nasty. I decided to find out if only soap and water make the best bubbles. So my question was "Do soap and water make long-lasting bubbles?"

OI used two recipes in my experiment:

Recipe #1
3 cups of water
1 ounce of soap
1 ounce of sweetener
Mix well. Set overnight.

Recipe #2
3 cups water
1 ounce soap
No sweetener
Mix well. Set overnight.

OI made six kinds of bubbles for my experiment. I wrote numbers on white labels. I stuck the labels on old yogurt cups so I would know which recipe was which. I followed the six recipes and shook each yogurt cup 30 times. I left them on the counter all night long and did the experiment the next day.

OI blew bubbles with the same wand every time. I measured the tallest bubble for each recipe with a ruler. I measured the longest lasting bubble for each recipe by slowly counting. Here are the six different recipes:

1. Recipe #2, Palmolive, water
2. Recipe #2, Joy, water
3. Recipe #1, Palmolive, corn syrup, water
4. Recipe #1, Palmolive, glycerin, water
5. Recipe #1, Joy, glycerin, water
6. Recipe #1, Joy, corn syrup, water

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More Counting

Experiment

OI blew a bubble and caught it on my wand. If I blew a bubble, but could not catch it, I had to dip the wand back into the bubble mixture. If I caught the bubble, we started to count until the bubble popped. I did not do the experiment by myself. If I did, I might drop the wand when I tried to measure how tall the bubble is. My job was to blow the bubble, catch it on the wand and hold it. Mommy's job was to measure the bubble and write the data. We both counted together. I blew 20 bubbles for each recipe. Mommy figured out that we blew 120 bubbles. That is a lot of bubbles!

OI had to decide on rules about what bubbles counted and what did not count. Here are the rules: it does not count:
- if you blow two bubbles (or three, four, . . .),
- if the bubble is too small,
- if you touch the bubble,
- if the bubble falls to the ground and
- if the bubble pops before Mommy measured it.

OMommy helped me make graphs. I read the data to her while she typed it into the computer. She set up the graphs and then I looked at each one to figure out what it means. Then she printed them out and I colored them with markers. Mommy had me use a calculator to figure out averages too. My mother helped me in these ways:
- as my secretary: typing my report and what I learned in my research and experiments,
- as my math coach: helping me with math above my level (computer graphs, fractions and doing averages) and
- as my photographer: taking pictures of my experiment.

OI thought of the subject, question and kind of ingredients. I made the recipes. I printed everything that is written by hand. I did the subtraction problems, colored the graphs and figured out the answer to my question. I made many graphs, but here is the graph which gives the answer:

Graph

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Tired Arms

Answer

OMy question was "Do soap and water make long-lasting bubbles?" The answer is no! Glycerin makes bubbles more powerful and long-lasting. If you add glycerin to your soap and water, you will get better bubbles.

OI learned many things about bubbles. My arm got very tired holding the wand still. Joy works much better than Palmolive. Corn syrup does not make bubbles better, but glycerin does. You should not use Palmolive or corn syrup. They make bad bubbles. This was the best recipe for making bubbles:
3 cups of water
1 ounce of Joy
1 ounce of glycerin
Mix well. Set overnight.

OIf my bubbles had a race, here are the winners:
First Place - Joy, glycerin, water
Second Place - Joy, water
Third Place - Palmolive, glycerin, water
Fourth Place - Joy, corn syrup, water
Fifth Place - Palmolive, water
Sixth Place - Palmolive, corn syrup, water

OI saw some neat things. Every time I used corn syrup, the bubble popped and let go of a tiny piece of syrup that looked like sticky plastic. It did not do that with plain soap or glycerin. One of the bubbles made of Joy and glycerin did not pop. It melted into glycerin like a balloon losing air. One bubble made of Palmolive and glycerin shrunk, stayed the same for awhile and then popped.

OI learned other things too. I learned how to do an experiment. I got to read graphs and use a calculator to do the math. I sorted my data by height too.

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Aspen

Mommy's Other Pages

Little Homeschool in the Rockies
Homeschooling Children Who "Aut" to Be Home
Learning Styles: How to Reach your Challenging Learner
Charlotte Mason Homeschooling: Reflections on the 20 Principles
Pamela Glaser: Her Interests, Therapies and Progress
Pamela Glaser: Her Science Project on Mule Deer
David Glaser: His Interests

Images of David made by Tammy.
Border and bar images courtesy of Windy's Design Studio.
Bullet bubbles courtesy of All-Free Graphics.


Last updated 4/29/01.
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