Underwater Fireworks

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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. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org. Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

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


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • TryScience