April 23, 2009

Soap Bubbles: Another Way to Explore Water

Photo and quotes below from:
A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder
by Walter Wick

"Bubbles are delicate and beautiful. They may be a near perfect sphere. Spheres and circles are mathematical shapes that burst as fast as they are made. Adding soap to water changes the surface tension and permits water to stretch."

As Cecil blows a bubble, the "shimmering liquid skin is 500 times thinner than a human hair."
Cecil loves to bend copper wire. After reading a section about surface tension in the book above to her, she had an idea to make her own bubble blowing dipping sticks. She tested them in our front yard. When she dipped her frame into the soapy water and pulled it out, the wire edges were connected with a bubbly film. She blew gently and a bubble formed a sphere, a shape of nature.

Take a look at the photographs of the wire shapes in the book; they are artistic and scientific examples of the expandable nature of soap and water. The wire shapes Cecil made were not as complex as these, but they worked. The Exploratorium in San Francisco has enormous bubble making instruments which kids compete to use.

Speaking of wire, Chet the Jet, twelve, got new grills and his brother gave him a hair buzz recently.


Susan said...

We have that wonderful book! Clem loves to bend copper wire, too. I love that Cecilia made her own bubble blowers. That much more satisfying! By the way, the eggs were so good!

Kristin said...

Hi Susan,

I'm glad you know about that book. It's one of my favorites due to the photography and the explanations.

Thanks for buying our free range organic eggs at our homeschooling park day. Cecilia was thrilled to sell them and she is totally into saving the money she earns for a horse, which I'm figuring is such a long way off, that I don't really have to acknowledge this interest yet, do I?

patrice said...

Wow! I didn't know bubbles were THAT thin! I love to play with them. And your son looks so handsome with his cut and his braces. I'd like to know what dentist you guys are choosing...
We're looking at some orthodontia (sp?)too.

Stefaneener said...

Chester's friend was wondering where that particular style came from. Thanks for the book recommendation. I may have to check it out for my crew.

patricia said...

I haven't seen that book, but I'll look for it.

I also loved reading that C made her own bubble blowing wands. She's always been a very crafty girl!