My youngest son, Kellen, is on a Cars kick. We run races every day, pretending we are Lightning McQueen and The King. We read Cars books. We listen to the soundtrack. We play with the toys. We live Cars.
Kellen asked if he could have a drink that was colored like The King. It reminded me of a density experiment from Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments by Mike Adamick.
The experiment is titled “Rainbow Water Stacks” and Adamick shows it three different ways, one of which is a red, blue, and clear layered drink- perfect for both Lightning McQueen and King fans.
Before we moved on to the delicious part, we did a more traditional rainbow stack. You’ve probably seen these a hundred different ways. The key is to pour each layer SLOWLY and layer the liquids according to density. If you need help explaining density (I did) and ideas for liquids and the order to stack them in, check out this post from Steve Spangler (of course).
We opted to stack corn syrup, dish soap, water, rubbing alcohol and vegetable oil.
A turkey baster was suggested to help pour the liquids, but I didn’t have one. We put our ingredients in squeeze bottles. I advised Kellen to squeeze the liquids SLOWLY and against the side of the glass, but Kellen is not quite there as far as impulse control. A few of our colors got a bit mixed together, but we were able to create levels and display the property of density.
The part Kellen liked the best was dropping things into the completed stack to see where they would end up- some floated on top, some fell to the bottom, others got trapped in the middle.
All that science built up a thirst. Time to make drinks!
We talked some more about density as we prepared our beverages. We filled glasses with lots of ice- this helps slow the liquids down. We put cranberry juice cocktail on the bottom, blue Gatorade in the middle, and sparkling water on the top (although the sparkling water sort of blended with the Gatorade).
It was time to taste our Cars themed concoction, and boy, was it a hit!
It’s still hot here in Arizona. Cool off with some science. Happy experimenting!