Exploring the Nature of Bubbles

Schools and Libraries

May 1, 2014


Second-graders at Lindell Elementary School in Long Beach guided first-graders in a hands-on exploration of the properties of water and bubbles. Second-graders instructed the first-graders as they rotated through four different stations, including a tabletop bubble center, a floating lemon station, a "drops on pennies" station and a free exploration station. At each station, they observed and recorded how different variables affected the outcome of their experiments.

            At the tabletop bubble center, first-graders were instructed to take a straw and blow in different ways through one end to try to create one bubble, multiple bubbles or one bubble within another. At the drops on pennies station, students predicted how many drops of water would fit on the surface of a penny, dime, nickel and quarter. Second-graders helped first-graders record and test their predictions, using a medicine dropper to drop one drop of water at a time on each coin. At the floating lemon station, first-graders were given a whole lemon and a peeled lemon, and were asked to predict which one they thought would float, which would sink and why. They then tested their hypothesis and recorded their results. At the free exploration station, students made bubbles with different tools such as spatulas, wands and cans. Second-graders guided first-graders as they observed and recorded the varied results they achieved with each tool.