User login

Underwater Fireworks

Source Institutions

    New York Hall of Science

Add to listGo to activity
Underwater Fireworks

In this activity, learners investigate diffusion by creating underwater "fireworks" using food coloring, oil and water. Learners create the appearance of fireworks by adding drops of red, blue, and yellow food coloring to a cup of oil. Learners add this solution to a soda bottle nearly full with water and observe the bottle closely to witness diffusion in action.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per student)

  • Tray, plate, or dish
  • Pepper
  • Soap
  • Liquid detergent
  • Toothpick (optional)
  • Waxed paper (optional)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection:

  • TryScience


  • All Rights Reserved, TryScience/New York Hall of Science, ©1999


User Lists

This resource is part of these lists: