In this science experiment we will mix molecules to make a glitter globe. We combine
rubbing alcohol, vegetable oil, and a few other goodies to make a cool science toy.
- Rubbing Alcohol (isopropyl)
- Vegetable oil or Baby Oil
- Clear Plastic Bottle or Glass Container
- Small Beads, Sequins, Glitter, or Other Tiny, Shiny Things
- Food coloring
- Clear tape
Watch Video: Make A Glitter Globe
Process To Make A Glitter Globe
1) Fill 1/4 of the plastic bottle with rubbing alcohol.
2) Add a drop of food coloring.
3) Fill the rest of the plastic bottle with baby oil. Notice the oil sits on top. Leave about 1/2
under the rim of bottle.
4) Add glitter, sequins, beads or other shiny objects.
5)Fill the rest of the bottle to the rim with baby oil.
6) Screw the lid on tightly. You can tape it up if you want as well.
7) Gently shake and roll the plastic bottle. The oil and alcohol will eventually mix and turn a
milky color, and the beads and glitter will float and spin.
8) Allow the oil to settle and separate from the alcohol. That will take about 5 or 10 minutes.
This time spin the bottle instead of shaking it. What happend?
The Science Behind Make A Glitter Globe
Why doesn't the oil float on top of the alcohol? We all know that oil floats on top of water, so
you might think that oil would float on top of alcohol as well. However the oil sank to the
bottom and the alcohol floated to the top of the oil. Although water and alcohol are both clear
liquids, they have different densities. The Alcohol floated to the top of the oil because alcohol
is lighter than oil.
Why don't oil and alcohol mix? Why don't oil and water mix?
The reason has to do with the molecules that comprise oil, water, and alcohol. Molecules are
comprised of atoms, and atoms are comprised of positively charged protons, negatively
charged electrons, and uncharged neutrons.
Atoms in water molecules and alcohol molecules are arranged so that there is more positive
charge in one part of the molecule and more negative charge in another part of the molecule.
These are called polar molecules.
On the other hand, the charged particles in an oil molecule are distributed more or less
evenly throughout the molecule. Molecules like this are called non-polar molecules.
Polar molecules like to stick together because positive charges attract negative charges.
Positive parts of a polar molecules attract the negative parts of another polar molecule, and
the two molecules usually stick together. When you mix water and oil or alcohol and oil, the
polar molecules stick together, keeping the oil molecules from getting between them-and the
two don't mix. When you try to mix water and alcohol, they mix fine, since both are made of
Creating a Glitter Globe illustrates two liquids that won't mix with each other: alcohol and oil.
The Glitter Globe gives you an opportunity to see how liquids flow. And in the process, you
make something cool. Now go and make a glitter globe with some friends.
Weird Science Kids
fun cool exciting easy science experiments and
Eduacational Toys for kids