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Maker Monday: Amazing Milk Experiment

maker monday
Sally Quinn
September18/ 2017

Science and beauty combine in the Amazing Milk Experiment, this week’s Maker Monday STEM activity. Little kids will find their giggles watching the moving colors swirl across the milk. Older kids might find the science lesson behind the experiment more fascinating.

All liquids, including milk, contain a property known as surface tension. Surface tension is caused by the cohesive forces of the liquid’s molecules. Soap, when applied to any liquid, will reduce the surface tension. In this experiment, the fat and protein molecules in the milk react to the soap. As the soap and fat molecules work to move together in this chemical reaction, surface tension is decreased.   The food coloring allows you to witness this phenomenon as it happens.

It is very cool!

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Pie pan

3/4 to 1 cup of milk

Food coloring

Dishwashing liquid


maker monday

Pour enough milk into the pan to cover the bottom. Dot with a variety of food coloring drops.

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Add 1 drop of dishwashing liquid and watch the colors swirl.

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This color movement will last for a while with more and more intricate and elaborate patterns developing.

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Once the movement ends, give the color swirls a little help by twirling and pulling through the colors with a toothpick.

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It’s quite a sight to see!

For more Maker Monday projects and other fun stuff for kids, visit the Kidsburgh Activities page.

Sally Quinn

Sally Quinn is an award-winning writer and editor who has been covering her favorite city for more than 30 years. She appreciates all that Pittsburgh offers families and has a blast guiding her 10 grandkids to new discoveries. Sally welcomes your comments and story ideas for Kidsburgh.

  • Brynn Tanner Reply
    3 months ago

    This looks really fun!

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