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Science World Resources: Bubbles

Ever wonder about bubbles? In this video, Science Facilitator Charlotte shares demonstrations from her favourite Science World stage show, Bubbles, and shows you how to be a bubbleologist at home!

Bubbles are soap films wrapped around air. Soap films are made from soap and water. When you play with bubbles, you'll notice that they come in predictable shapes. That's because deforming a bubble takes energy. The bubble tends to spring back to the shape that is stretched as little as possible – the minimum surface. Floating around in the air, a bubble will become a sphere, because a sphere has the least surface area for a given volume of air. Another way to think about this is that the bubble is stretched most evenly as a sphere (as compared to an egg shape, or a cube). A shape with corners or edges means that the soap is stretched unevenly.

Tips for Producing Giant Bubbles!

Big bubbles are fun for all ages. Follow these tips for the best results:

  • Make giant bubbles in an outdoor area to avoid slippery floors.
  • Use gentle, smooth, strong, confident and fluid motions.
  • Hold the wand fully open (strings tight) to make starting a bubble easier. Any breeze needs to be from behind you to help fill your bubble.
  • Use shorter strings on large bubble wands, or raised platforms for smaller children as using large wands can tire their arms.
  • Clear off the foam from the top of the bubble solution before using it as foam wrecks big bubbles.
  • Make sure your hands are "wet" with bubble mix so they do not pop the bubbles as they are being made.
  • Wet the inside of the whole container with bubble mix. If there is a dry spot it could pop your bubbles.

Try out these fun science activities that you can do at home or in the classroom. For more great, free activities, check out Bubbles on Science World Resources.