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Snow Storm in a Jar

Snow Storm in a Jar

January 23, 2020
Learn about some simple science concepts while creating a your very own Snow Storm!

Items Needed:

  • Oil (vegetable oil or baby oil)
  • Washable school paint (white if you want it to be realistic snow)
  • Alka Seltzer Tablets
  • Cup, Jar or Bottle (see-through is best)

How to Make a Snow Storm in a Jar:
  • Add 1 cup of water to the vase or jar
  • Mix in 1tsp of paint (acrylic glitter paint works well too)
  • Pour the oil in almost to the top of the container
  • Break the Alka seltzer tablet into pieces and drop one at a time into the oil. You may want to add additional pieces for a blizzard!
  • Observe the reaction that takes place
The Science Behind the Snow Storm:

The first scientific concept is that of density of liquids.  Notice that the oil sits on top of the water.  Is water lighter or heavier than the oil?  What happens to the paint?

The next concept is that of the reaction once the tablet is dropped into the cup.  This is what creates the awesome snow storm effect.  The tablet contains both an acid and a base that when mixed with water, creates the bubbles.  The bubbles are a result of the carbon dioxide gas that is released during the chemical reaction.  To make the snow effect, the bubbles pick up the white paint and carry it to the surface.  Once the bubbles reach the surface they pop and the paint/water mixture drops back down.