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Daily Classroom Special: Bubble Fun

About this Daily Classroom Special: 
Science to Go
provides easy yet meaningful science activities for grades k-8. Science to Go was written by Barbara Smith, Magnet Coordinator at Harvard Elementary, Houston (TX) and former Teachers Network web mentor.

Bubble Fun


  • Make measurements.
  • Using standard and non-standard measurements.
  • Make observations and record data.
  • Graphing.

Which brand of dishwashing soap will make a bubble solution that will blow the biggest bubbles?

I/We think ____ brand will blow the biggest bubbles, because....


  • water
  • 3 brands dishwashing soap
  • glycerine
  • eyedropper
  • 3 containers to hold solutions
  • straws (one per child)
  • ruler or meter stick
  • sponges for cleanup


  1. In one container, gently mix water, first brand of soap, and glycerine, in the following proportions:

    10 parts water
    1 part dishwashing soap
    20 drops glycerine per gallon of water/soap mix

  2. Pour about a tablespoon of this bubble solution on a table and smear it into a solid plate-sized wet spot.
  3. Dip straw in solution, then touch it to the wet spot on the table.
  4. With straw at a 45 degree angle, gently blow a bubble on the table. Keep blowing until it pops.
  5. Quickly measure the soapy ring left on the table, where the perimeter of the bubble is still apparent.
  6. Record data.
  7. Blow and record at least 3 bubbles with this solution.
  8. Repeat with other brands of dishwashing soap.

Record bubble data, determine averages for each brand, graph the results.

Was your hypothesis right or wrong?
Which brand made the largest bubbles?
What does this have to do with "real life"?

Have children test regular and "ultra" types of soap.
Build different geometric figures with pipe cleaners, dip in solutions and observe results.
Test different variables: straw size, amounts of glycerine, water temperature, solutions without glycerine, dry v. wet table, size of spot on table, speed of bubble inflation, type of soap or detergent.

Websites to try:
The Bubblesphere Recipes, games, history of bubble-blowing.

APOD: November 8, 1999 - Lunation Astronomy Picture of the Day, AMAZING slide animation of the moon's changing appearance over a month's time. See the shadow move, and the moon's wobble. Takes a while to download, but well worth it!

You Rule School General Mills' site for students. Science Room, contests, recipes, games. A bit commercial, but has a lot for kids to explore. Science experiments are VERY simple, but the career and MIR space station links are decent. Requires registration and sign-in.


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