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Body in a Bubble

In this demonstration, you’ll stretch a soap film big enough to surround a volunteer! 

Kids (and adults) love to be inside a big bubble.

“Age” your bubble solution overnight and follow the “Tips for Producing Giant Bubbles” for best results. 

Watch the live demo at minute 3:00.

Objectives

  • Use their knowledge of soap films and minimal surface structures to make bubbles of various sizes, shapes, and arrangements.

Materials

Key Questions

  • When does a bubble pop?
  • How does size effect the popping of bubbles?
  • How does elasticity help make bubbles?
  • What would happen if the bubble solution didn’t have elasticity?

What To Do

Preparation

  1. Make 18–23L of bubble solution and store overnight to let it “age.”
  2. Practice soaking and lifting the hula hoop straight up to form a large tube of bubble solution.

Teacher Tip: If you are having trouble finding a small kids’ pool for this activity, try asking for a “dog-washing pool.” They tend to be available in small sizes.


Demonstration

  1. Pour at least 14L of bubble solution into the bottom of the pool and wet the sides with the solution.
  2. Place the hula hoop in the bottom of the pool and the stool in the centre of the pool.
  3. Hold the stool steady (the pool floor is slippery!) as a volunteer carefully steps onto the stool.
  4. Bring the volunteer’s arms down to their sides and with a steady hand, slowly pull the hula hoop straight up out of the pool and over the top of your volunteer’s head, enclosing them in a “bubble tube.”
  5. Bring the hoop down carefully (don’t bonk your volunteer!) and hold the stool steady as he or she dismounts.
  6. Repeat with other volunteers (you’ll have lots!)

Teacher Tip: For best results, run this demonstration indoors as winds will interfere and pop the bubble if you are outside. ​

Extensions

  • Can you touch a bubble without popping it? How?

Other Resources

Exploratorium | Bubbles
Soap Bubbles | Soapbubble.dk