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Bubble colour

Students blow bubbles on a plate to observe the colours in a bubble. Can also just look at the colours as bubbles are blown any time.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Chemistry: States of Matter, Properties of Materials (K-7)
Chemistry: Atoms, Molecules (3-7)
Physics: Light and Sound (1)
Lessons activity is in: 
  • Bubble mix, about 20ml per student
  • One straw per student
  • One black (paper) plate per student
  • Piece of white paper to show colours better

Pour your bubble mix onto a black plate (about 20ml each). Use a straw to blow as large a bubble as possible (blow long and slow).
Look at the colours. Hold a sheet of white paper behind the plate at an angle to see more colours.
Why are they there? Made by the layers of soap molecules - refer drawing of structure to explain. (Light is made of many colours - when white light bounces of the first layer and the second layer the colours interact with each other and some colours are taken away leaving the others - called interference). So see all the colours in white light.

The colours in oil or on a CD are formed in the same way. Rainbow colours and colours from a prism are also formed from the separation of white light into its component colours, but by a different mechanism (refraction).

Grades taught: 
Gr K
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Teaching site: 
General Gordon Elementary Science Club