Fireworks in a Jar is the perfect simple science project to get your kids ready for the 4th of July.  This week’s simple science project only uses 3 ingredients and the results are so much fun!

Fireworks in a jarFireworks in a Jar

This is a great experiment to show the interaction of water and oil and most likely you have all the supplies you need in your pantry right now.  The 4th of July is right around the corner here in the United States and since fireworks are a huge part of our celebration, I thought this would be the perfect experiment to share with my boys this week.

fireworks in a jarFireworks in a Jar

Supplies needed:

  • Water
  • Oil
  • Red, Blue and Yellow Food Coloring

Step 1: Fill a clear vase or jug full of water.  I used a tall vase but any type of see-through container will work.  It is better to use one that is taller for the best effect.

Step 2: Add 2-3 Tablespoons of oil into a bowl and add three drops each of red, blue and yellow food coloring.  Be careful not to mix the colors.  I made sure to leave space between each drop so they didn’t mix.  Don’t add too much food coloring or it will turn black, which we learned the hard way.  But it was really cool and would work perfect for a witches brew or potion. Just not fireworks. 😉

fireworks in a jar

Step 3: Carefully use a fork or spoon to mix the food coloring up into  smaller droplets.

Step 4: Slowly pour the oil/food coloring mixture into the water.  You will see that the oil remains on the top of the water and the food coloring starts to cut through the oil into the water making a beautiful show of colors.

How does it work?  The simple answer is that oil hates water.  Since oil is hydrophobic, it will stay away from water as much as possible.  The food coloring is hydrophilic (It likes water) so it will repel the oil and move through it slowly into the water.

Pretty cool right?

I hope you loved this fireworks in a jar experiment.

Saturday Science

This post is a part of the Saturday Science Blog Hop.  Each week I team up with some of my favorite science-oriented bloggers to bring you some fun science projects.  Check out their posts below and if you have a science project to share, make sure you link it up at the bottom.

Greenhouse Effect from Suzy Homeschooler

10 Summer Science Activities – that rock! from P is for Preschooler

25 Must Follow Pinterest Boards for Science Activities from Lemon Lime Adventures