Experiments with KVRR Meteorologist Scott Sincoff: Tie-Dye Picture

Fun, Easy, Kid-Friendly Science Experiments

This week, Meteorologist Scott Sincoff works with Concordia Science Academy Coordinator, Dr. Graeme Wyllie on a messy experiment that shows the attraction food color has for paper.

What You Need:

  • Food Coloring
  • Shaving Cream
  • A Piece of Paper
  • Popsicle or Mixing Stick
  • Clean Surface

How to do the Experiment:

The first thing we’re going to need to do this is a clean surface. I’m going to use a protective shield to use as my surface, but it is perfectly ok to do this on your kitchen counter.

The next thing you do is take the shaving foam and draw a shape onto the surface and then take a mixing stick or popsicle stick and spread the shaving foam across the surface. Make sure the shape of the shaving foam is big enough to cover your piece of paper. The main reason we’re using shaving foam is that it’s easy to scrape off and it’s easy to clean up.

It wouldn’t be science without some color — we’re going to use some food color and take a few drops across the surface with the shaving foam. Use your imagination with the color and have fun with it.

Once the food color is dropped in, take the mixing stick and make patterns with the food coloring and shaving cream and just go wild with it!

We’re going to try to rely on the fact that the food coloring really wants to stick to paper, but the shaving foam doesn’t…so we’re going to transfer the pattern with our food coloring onto a piece of paper.

So take a piece of paper and put it face down onto the shaving cream/food coloring mixture, and then press down on the paper into the shaving foam. Give it about 10 seconds to soak in.

What’s going to happen is that the food color is going to stick to the paper and the shaving foam is going to stick to the paper a little bit.

Lift the paper off of the shaving foam, take a ruler and scrape the remaining shaving foam to reveal a really cool patterned piece of paper. This shows the attraction of food color to paper.

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