Halloween Party Science—more fun with dry ice
Last week we used dry ice to create a “smoke-breathing jack-o-lantern.” This week we will be using dry ice for more Halloween science fun perfect for parties.
Dry Ice and you—a science safety review:
Dry ice is available at most major grocery chains. Just ask for it at customer service. Before your experiment, keep the dry ice in a cooler with the lid slightly open. Don’t store it in a tightly closed container, or the rapidly expanding carbon dioxide could burst the container.
It’s also important to remember that you should never touch dry ice with your bare hands—always handle it with tongs or special gloves. Dry ice is so cold that it can freeze your skin on contact, and it feels like a very bad burn. Your best bet is to recruit an adult assistant to do the dirty work. You’ll be making fizzy Halloween drinks by adding dry ice. DON’T drink the liquid until the dry ice has all disappeared. You don’t want to freeze your insides!
Brew a Bubbling Beverage—Try it!
This experiment is especially fun because it doubles as both a decoration and a drink! Dry ice can carbonate a liquid in just a couple of hours. This means it can turn a boring old everyday drink into a fizzy Halloween brew, just like a soda.
Carbonating a drink is easy. Just pour the liquid into a large bowl, pot, or (best of all) cauldron, and add some dry ice (remember to use tongs!) You’ll need about a pound of dry ice for every gallon of tasty beverage. The bubbling cauldron will be a great decoration for your Halloween party while it bubbles and smokes, and afterward your guests can enjoy some delicious homemade root beer or sparkling cider. Here is a picture of dry ice in action, fizzing up a witches brew.
For a mad scientist take on a Halloween party, try adding a drop or two of food coloring to white grape juice in individual mason jars, and adding a chunk of dry ice to each. After the drinks stop “smoking” and the dry ice has totally disappeared, you can offer the solutions to your friends along with your best mad scientist laugh: “Here, have a drink…if you dare…Mwah-ha-ha-ha!”
Do you have science ideas or questions? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at Science.firstname.lastname@example.org