Fourth of July Science Project: Using Color to Observe Density in Liquids

This Fourth of July science project brings some color to chemistry as students learn about density in science. Doing this project will help students to understand what density is and how it applies ti liquids in the natural world. To complete this project, read the information below.

Fourth of July Science Project Preparation

To prepare students for this Fourth of July science project, talk with them about the concept of density. Let them know that density can either help or hinder an objects ability to float. Oil is a great example because oil will float to the surface of water since it is more dense than the water is.

Talk with students about how this can effect our environment. For instance, does the fact that oil floats on water help people that try to clean up oil spills in the ocean? Once the students understand what density is, gather together the materials that are listed below and begin working on this fun Fourth of July science project.

Science Project Materials Needed

  • one bottle that measures 24-32 oz.
  • one measuring cup
  • blue food coloring
  • red food coloring
  • one cup clear corn syrup
  • one cup vegetable oil
  • one-half cup water
  • one-half cup of bleach

Follow the instructions below to complete this fun Fourth of July science project.

Fourth of July Chemistry Activity

  1. Put the red food coloring in the corn syrup and mix it up.
  2. Pour the red mixture into the bottle.
  3. Pour the oil into the bottle.
  4. Discuss what happens with your students. Did the two liquids mix? Why or why not?
  5. Put the blue food coloring in the water and mix it up.
  6. Pour the blue water into the bottle. Does is mix with the other liquids?
  7. Discuss the following question with the class: Why or why not these liquids did or did not mix. Where did the blue water go? Why did it go there?

There should now be 3 different layers of liquids in the Fourth of July bottle. Talk about this with the students. Discuss where each layer is and why it is there. Discuss the density of the liquids in the bottle. Which liquid appears to have the most density? Which liquid appears to have the least density?

To finish off this Fourth of July science project, pour the bleach into the bottle. The blue water should change colors. Discuss why this happens with your students.

Students can actually do this science project with any colors they choose. The colors used in this particular experiment were used as a way to integrate science in with the Fourth of July celebrations. Students can integrate it with other holidays by using different colors that coincide with the holiday!