Last week at the Williamsbridge Family Residence’s Recreation Program, children learned to make “lava lamps” using simple items such as vegetable oil, food coloring, and Alka-Seltzer.

The purpose of the activity was to teach participants about the properties of liquids. The kids learned that water sunk to the bottom of the bottle, while the oil remained on the top, because the water had a higher density than the oil.

They were able to observe, for themselves, the chemical reaction of the Alka-Seltzer as it was introduced to the liquid. And by adding different amounts of food coloring, they were able to see how the colors interacted with each other to form different shades.

Each child left not only with their new creation, but with a new appreciation for science. But the real genius of the activity is in the joy in their smiles.

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