Featured Activities

Discover Science World Resources: Winter-Themed Activities

At Science World, we do our best to up-cycle materials when we are creating science demos:

Use recycled wrapping paper to— Make Paper, Tumblewings, and Helicopters

Make snowflakes out of recycled drink can holders— Snowflakes

Play a holiday tune— Musical Bottles


More hands-on fun:

Warm up and explore melting and solidification— Candles

Make beautiful, festive trees— Crystal Trees and Gardens

Explore properties of super-absorption— Fake Snow

Use changes of state to create chilly architecture— Ice Cube Towers (and before you make ice cubes check out our blog post Can I Freeze Ice Cubes Faster?)

Trick your eyes with a snowman thaumatrope— Dress a Snowperson Thaumatrope

From our Family Science Night packages:

Make a crystal snowflake— Crystal Chemistry

Do some holiday baking— Kitchen Chemistry


Teachers and parents, for additional free activities visit our  Resources pages.

 

Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere!

Bubbles are scientific?

That was the question I had when I first realized there was a Bubbles show at Science World at TELUS World of Science. Then, after watching the show and learning more about bubbles leading up to doing my own first Bubbles show performance, I learned that there is actually a lot of science and math involved. Even more, there’s a special chemistry and geometry when it comes to making bubbles.

What's bubble chemistry?

Well, bubbles are more than just a soap solution filled with air. Bubbles are actually made from a bubble film that looks like a sandwich with soap on the outsides and water on the inside. The soap works to reduce the surface tension of water so that the water can stretch. This means that bubble film is elastic and stretches out and snaps back to its original shape.

Why are bubbles round?

This is where the math comes in. Forming a bubble takes energy and bubbles want to form a shape that is the least stretched out. This shape must have the least amount of surface area for its size. The shape that results is a sphere. This is why bubbles are round when they are floating through the air around us!

What's bubble geometry?

While playing with bubbles, I had a chance to investigate the geometry of bubbles. I took a close look at how bubble film forms at specific angles. For example, three bubbles on a flat surface form a Y-shape and the angle between the connecting walls of each of the three bubbles is 120°. 

Bubble geometry is also involved if you want to make a cube-shaped bubble. That's right, bubbles are not always round! Well, it’s possible to make a cube-shaped bubble if you use a cube-shaped frame. When the 3 dimensional frame is placed into the bubble solution, the bubble film that forms in the frame meets at angles of about 109°. Then, when you use a straw to form a bubble where the film meets, it becomes a cube!

Playing with Bubbles!

Science and math are involved when it comes to making bubbles, but most importantly, bubbles are fun for everyone. Whether it’s using a straw to make a bubble caterpillar or trying to catch a bubble with a soapy hand. You can even use toys to make bubbles. For example, I learned that a hula hoop makes a nice, large bubble wand—one that’s even big enough to put an entire person in a bubble!

Want more info?

If you want to play with bubbles at home or at school, check out Science World’s bubble recipes so that you can make your own bubble solution. Hint: adding glycerine to your soap and water solution helps the bubbles hold water so that they take longer to burst. This means your bubbles will stick around for longer, giving you more time to play with them!

Teachers and parents, for additional info on the chemistry and math of bubbles visit our Resources pages for lots of free, bubble-themed, teacher-tested activities.

Family Science Nights

Not just another boring pizza! Take the Science World approach to family evenings at home with Blood Juice, Cartesian Divers, Jelly Eyeballs, and a whole lot of fun, hands-on learning.

These packages include great movie suggestions, tasty recipes, fun activities and shopping lists to make your family science night a success.

Rocket Science

The Human Body

Under The Sea

Kitchen Chemistry

Hopping Frog

Bubble Recipes

Ever wonder why Science World’s bubbles are thicker, bouncier and more amazing than the rest? It isn’t a secret; it’s science! Check out our very own bubble recipes.

All-Purpose Bubble Solution

This solution is great for most bubble tricks, activities, and experiments. Johnson’s Baby Shampoo produces much better bubbles than any of the dish detergents we tried. Mix the ingredients gently and let the solution stand for a couple of hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 part water to 1 part Johnson’s Baby Shampoo
  • glycerine*
     

Bouncy Bubble Solution

You can bounce these bubbles off your clothes! Dissolve the gelatin in the hot water. Add the shampoo and glycerine. Stir gently. This solution will gel as it cools. Reheat it carefully in the microwave (about two minutes).

Ingredients:

  • 1 package unflavoured gelatin (e.g. Knox brand)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) hot water (just boiled)
  • 50–70 ml glycerine*
  • 250 ml Johnson’s Baby Shampoo
     

Thick Bubble Solution

This goopy solution makes bubbles strong enough to withstand a puff of air. When you make a bubble with this solution, try puffing at it to make a bubble inside a bubble.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 to 3 parts Johnson’s baby shampoo to 1 part water
  • glycerine
     

What does the glycerine do?

Glycerine helps soap bubbles hold water, so that they last longer. It’s very helpful if you’re doing bubble tricks, but less important if you’re mixing up a bucket of bubble solution for preschoolers to mess about with. Most pharmacies carry glycerine. You’ll only need a small bottle—try 1–3 teaspoons for about a litre of bubble solution.

 

Check out various activities investigating the geometry and chemistry of bubbles:

Science World Resources