Let’s Do Science – Glow Stick Jars

Science is truly fascinating, especially when you are watching it happen before your very eyes.

Today’s project you can do in a matter of minutes – it’s going to be “illuminating” fun!

Let’s make Glow Stick Jars!

What You Need

  • 5 thin Glow Sticks download (11)
  • 1 jar with a tight-fitting lid
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Scissors

Let’s Make Some Science

Step # 1 – Wearing gloves, cut the glow sticks into the jar – these sections can be any length, but around 2 inches gets the liquid out nicely.

Step # 2 – Once all the glow sticks are in the jar, tightly screw on the lid.

Step # 3 – Shake.  

Now get ready for some “glowing” fun!

download (12)Turn out the lights or take your jar into a dark place. You should see plenty of tiny glowing dots covering the inside of your jar.

Experiment Some More

For a different look, try using different colored glow sticks.

If you don’t want to cut your glow stick, find one that will fit inside your jar. Break. Shake. Put in jar. Enjoy!

Fun Science Facts

Glow sticks aren’t just practical, and festive, there’s some cool stuff going on in there. When you “break, then shake” a glow stick you are activating a chemical reaction called “chemiluminescence.”

PHEW! That’s one long word!

There are three main chemicals found in a glow stick; hydrogen peroxide, tert butyl alcohol, and fluorescent dye.

$_32Simply put, when you crack the glow stick, you allow the chemicals to mix which causes a chemical reaction. The side effect of this is glowing light (without heat).

You may notice that sometimes your glow sticks don’t glow as brightly. This is because the chemicals inside are sensitive to temperatures. Cold or freezing temps result in a dull glow that lasts longer, while high temps will make your glow stick brighter, but it will die out faster.

Tip: If you want your glow stick jar to be the brightest use green or yellow glow sticks. These shine the brightest. Orange is the next “glowiest!”

Use your glow stick jar for evening fun. These are great for camping, or to use as decorations on a patio or deck.

Happy Science!

Categories: Crafts, Science

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