Oct
25

Kitchen Chemistry: Spooky Science Edition

Learn how to make your own glow-vomit jack o’ lantern!

Learn how to make your own glow-vomit jack o’ lantern!

By: Richard Miles, SCI Programs Coordinator

This Saturday is Spooky Science, SCI's annual Halloween event featuring hair-raising experiments, bubbling potions, visual illusions and more!

Join us from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm to meet creepy crawly critters and explore live experiments that fizz, bubble and ooze. Wear your costume and trick-or-treat throughout the building. Plus, experience two new live science programs: Glow-in-the-Dark Science and Bump In The Night!

We hope you'll join us, but we also encourage kids (and adults) to continue learning and experimenting after you leave our building.

Here are four Spooky Science-themed Kitchen Chemistry recipes to try at home!

Remember: Always make sure you have supervision and/or permission before trying new experiments!

 

Glow Water

Glow water is the basis of many Spooky Science experiments!

Supplies:

  • Water
  • 20 oz. empty soft drink bottle (labels removed)
  • Yellow highlighter ink tube (obtain this by removing the bottom of a yellow highlighter and removing the ink tube inside)
  • Black light

Procedures:

  1. Pour water into a 20 oz. soft drink bottle
  2. Drop yellow highlighter ink tube into bottle
  3. Cap the bottle and shake
  4. Shine a black light onto the bottle
  5. Turn off lights

 

Glow-in-the-Dark Geyser

This is a fun variation of the Mentos + Diet Coke reaction made famous by the Mythbusters.

Notes: This experiment should be done in a room that will become completely dark once the lights are turned off, and it is a good idea to have an aquarium or similar bucket/bowl to contain the experiment! See demonstration.

Supplies:

  • 1 unopened bottle of tonic water with quinine listed as an ingredient
  • 6 mint-flavored Mentos candies
  • 1 10 gallon aquarium or 1 large bowl with plastic or newspaper underneath
  • Black light

Procedures:

  1. Unscrew the lid from the bottle of tonic water
  2. Place the bottle into a 10 gallon aquarium or in a large bowl with newspaper or plastic underneath
  3. Shine a black light on the tonic water (Careful that the black light is not too close to the tonic water)
  4. Turn off lights
  5. Quickly drop 6 Mentos into the tonic water (Be sure your face is not directly over the opening)
  6. Stand back - tonic water will erupt into a glowing geyser!

 

Glowing Slime

A variation of our traditional slime recipe!

Notes: This experiment should be done in a room that will become completely dark once the lights are turned off. Ratio of cornstarch to glow water is approximately 4 parts cornstarch to 1 part water. If the slime is too runny, add more corn starch. If it is too thick, add more water.

Supplies:

  • 1 plastic baggie
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch
  • 1/8 cup of glow water (see instructions for making glow water)
  • Black light

Procedures:

  1. Fill plastic baggie with 1/2 cup of corn starch
  2. Pour 1/8 cup glow water into plastic baggie
  3. Seal baggie
  4. Shine a black light onto the baggie
  5. Turn off lights
  6. Knead baggie with fingers

 

Glow-Vomit Jack o’ Lantern

Your jack 'o lantern's last hurrah! As seen in the photo above, this experiment is a perfect way to add a slightly spooky touch to your Halloween decoration. Try it before you dispose of your pumpkin!

Note: This experiment should be done in a room that will become completely dark once the lights are turned off.

Supplies:

  • 1 carved jack o’ lantern
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • Glow water (see instructions for making glow water)
  • 1 small, shallow plastic bowl (must fit inside jack o’ lantern)
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 large plastic garbage bag
  • Garbage can
  • Black light

Procedures:

  1. On a table, place the large carved jack o’ lantern on top of a large plastic garbage bag
  2. Place a garbage can in front of the table, and drape the end of the garbage bag into the garbage can (this will funnel the "glow vomit" from the mouth of the jack o’ lantern into the garbage can)
  3. Fill plastic bowl with mixture of glow water and vinegar
  4. Place plastic bowl in the jack o’ lantern
  5. Shine a black light onto the jack o’ lantern (be careful that the black light is not too close to the jack o’ lantern’s mouth)
  6. Turn off lights
  7. Pour cup of baking soda into plastic bowl
  8. When the reaction slows, pour more vinegar into the bowl

 

Richard Miles is a Programs Coordinator at SCI and our resident astronomy expert. As part of his job, Richard presents live science programs to SCI participants and helps develop new programming. He studied physics and astronomy at Drake University and Iowa State University. Richard worked at SCI from 1992-2002 and returned to SCI in September of 2011.

Category: General SCI