What is Dry Ice and How Does It Work? - MYSPARKLEBOX
3 Super Fun and Easy Experiments with Dry Ice

3 Super Fun and Easy Experiments with Dry Ice

dry ice science experiments for kids

What is Dry Ice?

Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide that is frozen at a temperature of -78.5 degree Celsius or less. Amongst the three states of matter, gases have the largest intermolecular spaces, and their molecules possess the highest amount of free kinetic energy. As a result, gases have the lowest freezing point, which is quite clear from the freezing point of carbon dioxide. 

It ice is colorless and non-flammable with a strong sour odour. When dissolved in water, it leads to the formation of carbonic acid, which has a pH value of less than seven. It is a fun science experiment to try at home and can boost your creativity and learning about science.

Make It at Home

You will need:

  • CO2 fire extinguisher or carbon dioxide tank
  • Cloth bag
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Duct tape (optional)
 dry ice experiments

 

Directions:

All you have to do is release the pressure on the gas and collect the dry ice. The reason you use a cloth bag is that it will allow carbon dioxide gas to escape, leaving just the dry ice.

  1. Put on the heavy-duty gloves. You don’t want to get frostbite from the dry ice!
  2. Place the nozzle for the fire extinguisher or the CO2 tank inside the cloth bag.
  3. Either clamp your gloved hand around the mouth of the bag or else tape the bag onto the nozzle. Keep your gloved hand clear of the nozzle.
  4. Discharge the fire extinguisher or, if you are using a CO2 canister, partially open the valve. Dry ice will immediately begin forming in the bag.
  5. Turn off the fire extinguisher or close the valve.
  6. Gently shake the bag to dislodge dry ice from the nozzle. You can remove the bag and use your dry ice.
  7. Dry ice sublimates quickly, but you can extend how long it lasts by storing the bag in the freezer

Science Experiments to Try with Dry Ice

1. SURFACE TENSION BUBBLES

dry ice experiments for kids

 

You will need:

  • A bowl or jug filled halfway with warm water
  • Dish washing liquid
  • A dull blade such as a sharpening steel (this should be longer than the circumference of the bowl)

Directions:

  1. Coat the long blade with dishwashing liquid
  2. Drop a few tablespoons of dry ice into the container
  3. Wipe the blade across the entire surface of the container forming a sealed “bubble”
  4. Watch as the dry ice inflates the bubble!

This is a cool dry ice experiment that explores the concept of Surface Tension. The molecules at the surface of the liquid do not have other molecules on all sides so they form a bond more strongly with others on the surface. The detergent reduces the surface tension of water which allows a bubble to form.

2. BALLOON FIZZERS

dry ice in flasks

 

You will need:

  • 1 litre soft drink bottle
  • 1 balloon

Directions:

  1. Fill the bottle half way with warm water
  2. Drop in about 4 tablespoons of crushed dry ice
  3. Place the balloon over the top
  4. Wait for the balloon to expand. Once at capacity the balloon with either pop or fly off and race around the room

This explores the concept of pressure.  The carbon dioxide emitted when the dry ice is melted in warm water converts to gas which takes up more space and creates pressure inside the container.  The rate at which the pressure mounts is based on the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted.  So,the more dry ice, the more pressure, and the faster the balloon expands.

3. FIZZY JUICE

dry ice in fizzy juice

 

You will need:

  • 1 glass of juice or cordial

Directions:

Drop dry ice into the drink and watch it become a soft drink.  Wait for all dry ice to be completely dissolved before allowing the child to drink

This is a cool dry ice science experiment that explores the concepts of gasses and liquids. When a soft drink is sold, it has dissolved carbon dioxide in it – kept under pressure within the sealed bottle.  When the seal is broken, the gas can then escape, in tiny little bubbles.  Doing it this way does not have the element of pressure so the gas will escape – leaving only a very light fizz once the dry ice is gone.

Your Takeaway

Science experiments are fun and always unleash your creative side. These experiments are safe to perform at home with your kids. If done under proper care, dry ice experiments are always fun and a great way to improve your own knowledge. To make science learning fun for children, try out MySparklebox science kits today!

 

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