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Paper Cup Bubble Machine

Activity Type: STEM Engineering

Objective

Learn about bubbles and build a bubble machine with a cup and straw.

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Lesson

Fun Facts about Bubbles

  • When many bubbles join together it’s called foam.
  • On May 16, 1999, 23,680 gathered at a soccer field in London for a mass bubble-blowing event.
  • Children have been blowing bubbles for at least 400 years.
  • It’s possible to freeze bubbles.

Instructions

  • Poke a hole with a pencil in your paper cup, about 1 inch from the bottom.
  • Stick the straw through the hole and push forward, but don’t let it touch the other side. Have the bendy portion on the outside of the cup, facing up.
  • Use masking or duct tape to secure the straw on the outside. Make sure you’ve plugged any cracks so the straw doesn’t leak.
  • Pour  dish soap into the cup, enough to cover the straw. Make sure the bendy part of the straw is pointing up or the soap will pour out.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of water.
  • Add a few drops of food coloring if you’d like colored bubbles.
  • Gently blow through the straw and watch the bubble overflow (this is best done outside).
  • You may choose to decorate your bubble machine with markers, stickers, etc.

Meets Common Core Standards:

  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.G.B.5

    Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., sticks and clay balls) and drawing shapes.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3

    Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.7

    Conduct short as well as more sustained projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.