'Super Science with Drew': Create giant bubbles at home with these DIY science activities

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Super Science with Drew: Feeling bubbly
Here's how to create huge bubbles at home with common household items.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Whether you've seen them at parks, festivals, or simply floating through the sky on sunny days, bubbles are a quintessential part of the summer season. These sudsy spheres are exciting to see, but they're even more fun to create.

Think of bubbles as a soapy water sandwich, with two outside layers of soap molecules around an inner layer of water. Scientists call bubbles "minimal surface structures" because they hold gas or liquid inside with the least possible surface area.

ABC7 meteorologist Drew Tuma caught up with Exploratorium Science Educator Kelsey Lipsitz to discover the science behind these colorful orbs, plus learn tips on how to produce your own at home!

"Bubbles are caused by surface tension, the strong mutual attraction of water molecules to each other is known as surface tension, " explains Lipsitz. "Normally, that surface tension prevents water from making that thin film, but by adding soap, the soap allows it to reduce the surface tension creating this thin film."

Once a thin film of soapy water is created, air can pass through, yielding bubbles of varying sizes.

You can make a variety of devices to develop large bubbles at home. For example, try threading string through two drinking straws, with the ends tied to make a loop of any size you want.

Watch the video above for more DIY ways to create bubbles at home using soapy water or the following recipe:

Homemade Bubble Recipe

  • cup dishwashing liquid
  • 1 tbsp. glycerin
  • 1 gallon (3.8) liters of water
  • Shallow tub or tray about 18 inches

The Exploratorium is now open! Visit here for more information.

Go here for more at-home science crafts and activities.