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  • Gloria Hoffner

Bubble science

If you have a bubble wand and soap you can do a great program on Why are Bubbles round? Ask the residents - have you ever seen a square bubble? Why not? What is happening to make the bubble round? The answer is bubbles are round because air is trying to escaping equally in all directions. You can continue the learning fun - why is the Earth round? Answer - not because it is spinning but because gravity it pulling everything to the center. Why are bubbles colors? Bubbles get their color due to a phenomenon known as iridescence. The bubble isn’t actually colored. It is distorting light. A bubble’s shell is made up of a layer of water surrounded by two layers of soap film. Keep it going with more great brain health fun - why do balls bounce? The reason balls bounce is because of the combination of gravity and energy. Gravity is the force that pulls everything on our planet towards the center of the Earth. In the case of bouncing balls, gravity is what pulls the falling ball towards the ground! As it falls, the ball gains energy from its movement. Why does one ball of a different material bounce higher than another ball? Bouncy balls bounce high because the material of the ball is extremely elastic and can convert the kinetic energy from the fall into potential energy and back again with very little loss in momentum. Keep it going - why can you bounce a ball higher in space? The bouncing of a ball is due to the ball deforming when it impacts a surface. It’s not a consequence of gravity (although on Earth, often times the velocity the ball will have gained will be due to the ball falling in a gravitational field) but of the ball’s momentum when it strikes a surface and the normal force opposing the ball from entering that surface.

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