Do your kids enjoy playing with glow sticks? Check out this quick and simple glow stick experiment you can do while you enjoy some night time fun with glow sticks. We love to do cool science experiments and even one on the spot like this glow stick science activity. Is the glow of a glow stick affected by it’s surrounding temperature? Let’s check out a little bit more about chemiluminescence.
Classic Glow Stick Experiment for Kids
What happens in a simple glow stick experiment?
How do a glow stick glow? It’s called chemiluminescence meaning the glow occurs from the chemical reaction that happens when the stick is snapped. Electrons within the stick increase in energy level when the reaction occurs.
When the electrons settle back down, the energy released comes out in a form of light which is the chemiluminescence part. Hint chemo as in chemical and lumi as in light.
SUPPLIES FOR GLOW STICK EXPERIMENT:
You guessed it. GLOW STICKS. (2 of the same color is best)
ICE or Freezer
SET UP FOR GLOW STICK EXPERIMENT:
Step 1. Snap the lights and shake according to directions. Are they glowing?
Step 2: Play with them for a little bit. Check out their glow, light level, and color.
Step 3: Place one glow stick in the freezer or a container of ice.
Step 4. Place one glow stick in a container of hot water.
Step 5: Set a timer for a few minutes.
STEp 6: Bring the glow sticks out of their containers and compare their colors. This is why the same color will work best. However, you could have a few sets of different colors for your glow stick experiment.
Step 7: Talk about your findings. Which temperature gives a brighter light? Dimmer light?
Here are the two glow sticks. One is still in the warm water and one we just took out of the freezer. As you can see the freezer glow stick is dimmer. Why is this? The cold temperature slows down the chemical reaction resulting in a dimmer light. The hot water speeds up the reaction resulting in a brighter light.
Glow stick experiment side by side. We popped the freezer stick into the warm water just for comparison. As you can see, the colors or brightness are quite different! What else can you try for this glow stick experiment? Try different temperatures of water to see if you can get varying stages of brightness.
When you are finished with your glow stick experiment and play, pop them into the freezer and see if they are still glowing in the morning. The colder temperature will slow down the reaction potentially making it last longer.
Quick Glow Stick Experiment and Play for Kids
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