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Activity

Dry ice bubbles

Summary: 
Use detergent with dry ice bubbling in water, to produce bubbles filled with carbon dioxide gas.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Chemistry: States of Matter, Properties of Materials (K-7)
Physics: Heat (3)
Science topic (2005 curriculum connection): 
Physical Science: Properties of Matter (grade 2)
Lessons activity is in: 
Resource: 
Materials: 
  • dry ice and gloves to handle
  • warm water
  • large empty drink bottle
  • plastic tubing
  • small styrofoam cup
  • dish soap mixed with water in a small container
Procedure: 

Push one end of the tubing through the base of the polystyrene cup.
If a funnel is available attach to the other end of the tubing, using tape if necessary to seal any gaps.

Add warm water and a (gloved) handful of dry ice pellet to the bottle, to start the bubbling.
Place the funnel over the bottle, so that dry ice is pushed along the tubing.

Once dry ice gas is coming out of the tubing at the end with the styrofoam cup, dip the rim of the cup into the container of detergent.
A large bubble should form with swirling dry ice inside.

The dry ice bubbles will fall quite rapidly, as carbon dioxide is heavier than air.
They are fun to have pop on your hand, when the dry ice cloud flows out of them.

As the dry ice bubbling in the bottle slows, replace the now cold water with more warm, and add more dry ice pellets if necessary

Grades tested: 
Gr 2
Gr 3
Teacher: 
Mona Francis
Ramona Smith
Teaching site: 
Champlain Heights Annex
Activity originally developed and delivered: 

Champlain Heights Annex