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Activity

Bubble shapes with pipecleaners

Summary: 
Students make different shapes on the end of their pipecleaner (heart, square...) to try and make different shaped bubbles...but they all come out round!
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Chemistry: States of Matter, Properties of Materials (K-7)
Lessons activity is in: 
Materials: 
  • Two pipecleaners per student
  • Bubble mix
  • Plate per student or tray for a pair
  • Straw per student
  • Pipecleaner/straw frame in a cube to blow square bubbles in
Procedure: 

Are bubbles always round? What happens if you make another shape with your pipecleaner? Make two shapes. (Optional: add straw for handle.)
Blow and watch others in your group - look for bubbles that are not round. Let me know if you see one.

Why are bubble always round? Show structure of a bubble (layer of water molecules trapped between two layers of soap molecules). The soap molecules can move around, so can the water molecules - they are elastic. They move until find most stable shape: for one bubble this is a sphere.

Notes: 

For winter 2011 science club (grades 1 and 2) we did this inside. Students sat around the perimeter of a large blanket and blew their bubbles into the centre of the blanket.

Grades taught: 
Gr K
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Gr 5
Teacher: 
Ingrid
Teaching site: 
CAGIS (Canadian Association for Girls in Science)
General Gordon Elementary Science Club
After School Program at Elementary schools in New York City