fueled by STEM

STEM, which is short for science, technology, engineering and math, is a field which people study to be things like doctors, astronauts, engineers and even a paleontologist! There are so many cool things to work for within the STEM fields, which the people who work at Valero do every day — it’s a big part of finding ways to fuel our daily lives.

For all of our future scientists here, we’ve got a great experiment for you… slime! This gooey concoction can be made with a few ingredients from around the house, using some that even come from petroleum, which is in things like plastic, glue, and even oil for your car. So, let’s take a look at how this playful project helps fuel an interest in the STEM field.

Lava Lamp Ornaments 

The bubbly, psychedelic and spontaneous world that exists inside of lava lamps have transfixed our imaginations since the 1960s. With this simple chemical reaction experiment, you can bring a little retro fun to your holiday home by making DIY lava lamp Christmas ornaments. Festive yet funky! Collect the materials listed below, set up your lab (i.e, your kitchen table) and get down with your groovy, nerdy, creative self! 

 What You Need

  • Food coloring
  • Mineral oil
  • Mixing bowl
  • Nylon string
  • Plastic Christmas ornaments
  • Plastic funnel
  • Sodium bicarbonate tablets
  • Small cup
  • Water

 What You Do

  • Remove the metal thread cap from your ornament.
  • Break sodium bicarbonate tablets into small chips and set aside.
  • With the opening facing up, secure the ornament placing it in a small cup, empty paper towel roll or anything that will hold it steady.
  • Use a funnel to carefully fill about 75 percent of the ornament with mineral oil.
  • In a separate cup or bowl, add food coloring to tap water and stir.
  • Add colored water to the ornament.
  • Drop a few of those sodium bicarbonate chips into the ornament. 
  • Reattach the metal thread cap to your ornament.
  • Use nylon string to secure and your hang your ornament.
  • Watch the “lava” bubble up!

Gak Bubbles

Let’s start with a mind-blowing scientific fact: Under a powerful microscope, you can see that good old white glue is made up of millions of strands of molecules all linked together like chains. It’s a petroleum-based goop we call a linear polymer. When liquid starch is mixed into the glue, a chemical reaction occurs as it connects to those long strands of glue molecules, taking on the qualities of a cross-linked polymer that we call gak. This slippery mixture is fun to play with and quite moldable. In this experiment, we’ll use it to create giant bubbles with the help of a household plastic straw.

What You Need:

  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowl
  • Liquid starch
  • Plastic straws
  • Rubber spatula or spoon
  • Water
  • White glue

What You Do:

  • Pour 1.5 cups white glue into the bowl
  • Add liquid starch and mix
  • Add water and mix
  • Keep adding small amounts each to the glue until a solid mixture forms
  • Remove gak from the bowl and mold into a blob
  • Insert straw and blow!

Ghost Rockets

Halloween fun is fueled by these “STEMtertaining” ghost rockets you can assemble using a few very-not-scary items you probably already have in the house. This experiment teaches us a lesson about chemical reactions and inertia. Add varying amounts of ingredients to explore the effects they have on the rockets — what happens if you use more or less of that sodium bicarbonate? What about a little more or less cornstarch? 

Declare a scientific hypothesis and start experimenting!  

Here’s what you need:

  • Black permanent marker
  • Cornstarch
  • Plastic film canisters
  • Plastic spoon
  • Plastic squeeze bottle 
  • Plastic straw
  • Rubber bands
  • Scissors
  • Sodium bicarbonate tablets (that’s baking soda-based antacid, folks)
  • Toothpicks
  • Water
  • White fabric

Here’s what you do:

  • Use the scissors to cut your piece of fabric into a large circle
  • Create ghostly fringe by cutting out small triangles around the fabric
  • Place the film canister in the center of the fabric, lid side out
  • Secure fabric around the canister with a rubber band
  • Draw a ghost face with the permanent marker
  • Open the canister and add a spoonful of cornstarch 
  • Add a squirt of water to the cornstarch, and mix together with the toothpick
  • Add a sodium bicarbonate tablet, and QUICKLY replace the cap
  • Set your ghost on a flat surface outside and stand back
  • Watch your ghost take off!

Propeller Car

Whether we’re jumping on a bike, boat or toboggan — or maybe pushing a truck around a sandbox — making things go makes for timeless and exciting fun. This DIY propeller car project is the perfect activity for the budding engineer at home — a kid who’s looking for a little more power than pushing their toy car around by hand. Using some easy-to-find petroleum products — plastic straws, a food container, glue and some simple electronics — we can build an assembly line and make a propeller-fueled car. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • AAA batteries
  • DC motor
  • Dowels
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue stick
  • On/Off switch
  • Plastic bottle caps
  • Plastic container
  • Propeller
  • Scissors
  • Straws

Here’s what to do:

  • Create the axles by carefully attaching the straws to the bottom of the plastic container using the hot glue gun.
  • Build the wheels by gluing a plastic bottle cap to one end of a dowel. Once dry, slide the dowel through the straw and glue another bottle cap to the other side. Do this for each axle.
  • Connect the switch and battery pack to the motor using your hands or pliers. Place batteries into the pack.  
  • Glue the battery pack and motor onto the top of the container. 
  • Attach the propeller. 
  • Flick the switch and let go!

Slime

Slime is what we call a non-Newtonian fluid, meaning it has things that make it both a liquid and a solid. The glue in the slime is a large chain of molecules called a polymer. When we add the borax solution, it changes the structure of the chain making the slime thicker, which then allows us to twist, twirl, and manipulate our awesome slime!

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup white school glue
  • 1 squirt foaming shaving cream
  • 2 pumps foaming hand soap
  • 3 pumps lotion
  • Glitter
  • Borax (although it can be found in all-purpose cleaners and laundry detergent, you’ll need the powdered kind which can be found at grocery and hardware stores)
  • Food Coloring
  • If slime becomes too sticky after playing, add in more Borax solution.
  • If things get a little messy, vinegar will take the slime out of clothes and mayo will take it out of hair.

Instructions:

  • Pour ½ cup of white school glue into a bowl.  
  • Add one 1 squirt of shaving cream, 2 pumps of foaming soap and 3 pumps of lotion to the bowl.
  • Mix well.
  • Add in your favorite color glitter and food coloring to the slime mixture.  
  • In a separate container, mix both the borax and the water, but make sure you’re using the same amount of both to create our borax solution.
  • Slowly pour in borax solution into the slime while working through with your fingers to find the right consistency.
  • Have fun!  

Helpful tips:

  • If slime becomes too sticky after playing, add in more Borax solution.
  • If things get a little messy, vinegar will take the slime out of clothes and mayo will take it out of hair.

Balloon Car

While chemistry and engineering play an important role in the STEM field, there’s still so much more to master on your way to becoming the future face of medicine or the next astronaut to orbit the earth. Let’s play with some elements of STEM to propel a Styrofoam car — using just a little bit of air and a whole lot of physics!

Sir Isaac Newton developed the ideas behind modern physics and called them Newton’s Laws of Motion. This balloon-powered car experiment uses his third law, which states that every action must have an equal and opposite reaction. We see it at work here as the car zooms down our flat surface. Thanks to Newton and physics, experiments like this have never made STEM so fun…and fast.

What You’ll Need:

  • Styrofoam trays
  • Bendy straws
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Balloons
  • Straight pins

Directions:

  • Cut a rectangular body out of the Styrofoam tray.
  • Cut out eight wheels. Make four of them the size of a quarter, and four of them double that size.
  • Tape the opening of the balloon around the short end of the straw so that no air can escape.
  • Next, tape the long end of the straw down the middle of the rectangle car piece. The open tip should be hanging out so that you can blow up the balloon later.
  • Push the straight pins through the center of the hubcaps and two wheels. Be sure to leave space between so that the wheels can spin.
  • Push the straight pin into the sides of the car to create wheels. Test pushing the car with your hand to make sure the wheels are able to spin. Otherwise, your car might not go very far.
  • Blow up the balloon through the straw, and then pinch the end so no air can escape. When you’re ready, unleash the power of your balloon-powered car, and let it race down the track!  


Magic Balloon

We all know popping candy is fun to eat, but did you know that you can inflate balloons with it? Let’s take a look at one of the cool ways that the STEM field can be brought into your house, using a few ingredients that are easy enough for the littlest of scientists to do.

In this experiment, balloons inflate because of a gas called carbon dioxide, or CO2 for short. The chemical reaction happens when the popping candy starts to dissolve in the soda — all of a sudden there’s a bunch of extra CO2 from the candy-soda mix and the balloons start to inflate. Pretty neat, huh? The next time you want to show someone a really cool way that you can be an at-home scientist, just grab these ingredients and follow our instructions to make a candy-powered inflating balloon!

Ingredients:

  • Small kitchen funnel
  • Balloons
  • Popping candy
  • Pop bottle

Directions:

  • Place the narrow end of the funnel into the mouth of the balloon, and slowly empty the packet of popping candy into the balloon. Make sure the funnel is empty by gently tapping the top.
  • Stretch the opening of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle of soda. The balloon should hang down beside the bottle.
  • Grab the balloon at its lowest point, lift it up, and release the popping candy into the soda. Then watch the balloon magically inflate! 


It’s important that our future scientists are smart and ready to learn all about things like chemical reactions and physics. Who knows, one day you might be working alongside some of our best at Valero coming up with new solutions to things that we want to make. Until then, have fun — and keep your brain fueled by always wanting to learn something new! 

Bouncy Ball

How high can your homemade bouncy ball go? Let’s put our next STEM experiment to the test — putting chemistry and physics at play. So throw on your lab gear, and get ready for some high-flying, ultra-bouncy STEM fun! 

We’re going to create these bouncy balls using just a few simple ingredients. Unlocking the power of petroleum, we’re able to manipulate the recipe we used to make gooey slime (which was mega fun in case you missed it) for another awesome experiment! This time, the addition of corn starch changes the composition of the mixture, so we don’t get the gooey texture of slime. The starch results in a more solidified version that can be molded into a ball — and bounced! Fuel your passion for STEM, and see how high your ball will bounce.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tbsp. white school glue
  • Food coloring
  • ½ tsp. borax
  • 3 tbsp. corn starch
  • 4 tbsp. warm water

Directions:

  • In a small cup, mix together the corn starch, borax and warm water.
  • In separate cup, mix together the glue and the food coloring of your choice.
  • Pour the mixture of water, borax and corn starch into the cup of glue and food coloring. It will immediately start clumping up. Don’t panic. Take a breath and continue to stir until a slimy glob forms in the middle. That extra liquid pooling around the glob? Yeah, that’s normal.
  • Use your hands to grab the glob out of the liquid, and start to roll it into a ball between your palms. As needed, roll the ball on a paper towel to soak up some of the moisture and continue rolling.
  • Once the stickiness is gone, give it a go and see how high you can bounce it!

Tips:

  • If the ball isn’t bouncing right away, let it sit for a few minutes on a flat surface. Then take the glob and reshape it. This allows for “ultra-bounciness” to be achieved.


Elephant Toothpaste

Have you ever heard of an exothermic reaction? Well, it’s okay if you haven’t, our elephant toothpaste experiment will teach you all about them. Get your goggles on scientist, you’re in for quite the eruption…of elephant-sized proportions! 

Elephant toothpaste may sound like something to brush an elephant’s teeth with, but it’s actually quite the scientific feat (for viewing purposes only, definitely don’t use this as toothpaste). The foam that’s created by hydrogen peroxide, yeast and some dish soap, combines to create this exothermic reaction, which means that heat is being released as our “toothpaste” expands! The addition of food coloring makes it look like toothpaste when coming up the cylinder, but be advised, this is something that you will want to steer clear of your pearly whites. 

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 clean plastic bottle
  • ½ cup of 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid (you can find the crème variation at any beauty supply store)
  • 1 packet of dry yeast
  • 3 tbsp. of warm water
  • liquid dish soap
  • food coloring of your choice
  • funnel (for optimal pouring ability)
  • safety goggles
  • vinyl safety gloves
  • a small cup

Directions:

  • Put on your safety gear. Your goggles will protect your eyes from any overflow, and the gloves will protect your hands from any of the chemicals you are about to use.
  • Carefully add in the hydrogen peroxide into the clean bottle using a funnel (if you’ve got one)
  • Add in the dish soap to the bottle, and then carefully swish it around until the ingredients are well combined.
  • Add 8 drops of your food coloring of choice to the sides of the bottle.
  • In a separate cup, combine warm water with yeast, and mix together for 30 seconds.
  • Place the funnel at the top of the bottle, and then quickly pour the yeast mixture in.
  • Remove the funnel quick, your elephant toothpaste will be rising up soon fast!
  • Put on your safety gear. Your goggles will protect your eyes from any overflow, and the gloves will protect your hands from any of the chemicals you are about to use.

Tips:

  • The foam that is produced by the elephant toothpaste is just a mixture of water, soap and oxygen. You can easily clean it up with a sponge, and pour any extra liquid left in the bottle down the drain.
  • Remember, this isn’t real toothpaste, it’s best to let the other brands do their best to keep your teeth shiny and clean.

Want a bigger reaction:

We’ve got an alternative way to make an even greater reaction than before, but just be careful, this one requires a bit more scientific expertise to do it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large glass container or beaker
  • 1 empty plastic bottle with a cap
  • ½ cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid (you can find the crème variation at any beauty supply store)
  • potassium iodide
  • 3 tbsp. of warm water
  • liquid dish soap
  • food coloring of your choice
  • safety goggles
  • vinyl safety gloves

Directions:

  • Take your potassium iodide, and pour it into a plastic bottle. Measure out the same amount of iodide to water, so that we create a solution of equal parts. Set it aside.
  • Pour 160 ml of 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid into the glass cylinder.
  • Add in 80 ml of liquid dish soap to the hydrogen peroxide. Swirl the glass container so that they mix thoroughly.
  • Add 8 drops of food coloring to the sides of the jar.
  • Quickly add the solution of potassium iodide and water to the cylinder and stand back. Move your hands quickly away, as your elephant toothpaste is going to make an explosive entrance out of the top of the cylinder!

Tips:

  • Be sure you don’t stand directly over the cylinder, because in this variation, the exothermic reaction occurs very rapidly resulting in a higher spout of elephant toothpaste!
  • This foam will stain clothes, skin, and carpet. Do your best to keep any valuables out of the way of the toothpaste’s reaction area.
  • Leave the gloves on while cleaning up. The foam and solution left in the graduated cylinder may be rinsed down the drain with a little extra water.


Crunchy Slime

Calling all future scientists — we’ve got another ooey-gooey STEM experiment for you to do! This time, our slime goes crunchy. Get ready to make twisty, gooey, swirly slime with an added layer of crunchiness. 

Our slime acts as a non-Newtonian fluid, which means it’s technically both a liquid and a solid at the same time! With our glue acting as a large chain of molecules, called a polymer, reacting to borax, we get our gooey concoction. But what would happen if we made it crunchy using a rather tactile petroleum-based ingredient, like Styrofoam beads? Thanks to petroleum-based products, we’re able to make STEM experiments possible for every at-home scientist!

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup ok white school glue
  • 1 squirt of foaming shaving cream
  • 2 pumps of foaming hand soap
  • 3 pumps of lotion
  • Glitter
  • Borax
  • Food coloring
  • Foam beads

Directions:

  • Pour a ½ cup of white school glue into a bowl.
  • Add 1 squirt of shaving cream, 2 pumps of foaming soap and 3 pumps of lotion to the bowl.
  • Mix together.
  • Add in glitter and your favorite food coloring to the slime mixture (feel free to use Valero blue and yellow — our favorite colors!).
  • In a separate container, mix the borax with water, but make sure you’re using the same amount of both to create the perfect borax solution.
  • Slowly pour the borax solution into the slime, working it through with your fingers to find the right consistency.
  • To make your slime crunchy, add in some foam or plastic beads. Make sure you mix them in well to make your slime extra-crunchy!

Tips:

  • If slime becomes too sticky after playing, add in more borax solution.
  • If things get a little messy, vinegar will take the slime out of clothes, and mayo will take it out of hair.
  • Make sure to clean up your lab when you are done! To remove slime easily, just pour a little bit of borax on the tabletop to make it pliable.  


Oobleck

What’s liquid when you hold it in the palm of your hand, but turns into a solid if you ball it up in your fist? If you guessed Oobleck — you’re right! Let’s learn how to make this rapidly changing mixture in the comfort of your kitchen.

Like slime and crunchy slime, Oobleck is also a non-Newtonian fluid, which means it contains most of the properties most other liquids and solids do. When you squeeze Oobleck, it feels rock-solid, but try picking it up and it runs through your fingers. You can take your Oobleck over-the-top by adding Styrofoam balls to make it feel like a solid block. Go forth, future STEM professional, and get to experimenting! 

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 part water (add as much, or as little as you’d like, as long as you’re consistent with the cornstarch)
  • 2 parts cornstarch
  • food coloring of your choice
  • Styrofoam balls for some added crunch

Directions:

  • Start by adding your two parts of cornstarch into your favorite mixing bowl.
  • Add in some water, just a little bit at a time, stirring it in to the cornstarch until the consistency reaches maximum awesomeness.
  • Add in the food coloring of your choice.
  • Stir the food coloring into the cornstarch and water mixture. Things might get messy. (use a spoon if you’re more of a neat freak).
  • Now you have Ooblek!
  • Add in the foam balls for some extra texture. Optional, but recommended. Like wearing deodorant.
  • Now grab a handful of your Oobleck, and watch in wonder as it goes from a solid to a liquid!

Tips:

  • Store in an air-tight container when you’re finished, and make sure to mix occasionally to keep the water and cornstarch concoction combined.
  • If you put in food coloring and mixed it in with your hands, don’t worry, it’ll wash away with a good scrub in a day or two!
  • To dispose of your Oobleck, mix in a lot of hot water to make it loose and watered-down. Pour a small amount into the drain while the hot water is running to ensure that it goes down easy.
  • Oobleck, when it’s dried, is easy to be vacuumed. But be careful, when it’s wet, it’s not easy to remove from couches, decks, or wherever you’re showing off your new gooey goodness.
  • Oobleck is made mostly with edible ingredients, but whatever you do, don’t give it a taste. It’s gross, and Styrofoam balls aren’t meant to be eaten. Ever. No matter what.     

Thermochromic Slime

This STEM experiment gets its color changing super powers from thermochromic pigment. After absorbing a certain amount of light or heat, the crystalloid or molecular structure of the thermochromic pigments reversibly change in such a way that it absorbs and emits light at a different wavelength than at lower temperatures – thus creating new colors.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup white school glue
  • 1 tbs. water
  • 3 teaspoons thermochromic pigment
  • 1/4 cup liquid starchhttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=lefbracrabra-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B0042SWOHI
  • Food coloring

Directions:

  • In a bowl, mix together the school glue and water.
  • Add food coloring of your choice and stir until color is incorporated.
  • Slowly add the thermochromic pigment and stir until well combined.
  • Add the liquid starch and mix until thick and slimy. Then knead the slime with your hands. If the mixture is too sticky, add more liquid starch.
  • Time to play! Watch how the color changes with the heat of your hands or the cold temps of a frozen water bottle. 
  • Store slime in a sealed container for up to one week. 

Dry Ice Bubbles

When you drop a piece of dry ice in a bowl of water, the gas that you see is a combination of carbon dioxide and water vapor. See what happens when you add dish soap to the equation with this fun STEM experiment.

Ingredients:

  • 3 feet of rubber tubing
  • dish soap
  • plastic funnel
  • 2-liter size plastic bottle
  • scissors
  • dry ice
  • water
  • tape
  • plastic spoon

Directions:

  • Fill a medium sized glass bowl halfway with room-temperature water.
  • Add dish soap to the water and mix thoroughly with plastic spoon. Set bowl aside.
  • Connect the plastic tubing to the plastic funnel. Secure well with tape. Set aside.
  • Ask an adult to help cut the plastic bottle in half and place dry ice in the bottom half of the plastic bottle. Be sure to use a pair of leather gloves to protect your hands against the cold temperature of the dry ice.
  • Pour water over the dry ice and watch the mixture start to smoke.
  • Cap the funnel over the plastic bottle filled with dry ice. The smoke will now start to flow through the plastic tubing.
  • Place the open end of the tubing into the dish soap mixture and watch the bubbles rise!

Safety:

  • Use dry ice only with adult supervision.
  • Dry ice must be handled using heavy gloves or tongs. It will cause severe burns if it comes in contact with bare or unprotected skin.
  • Always wear safety goggles when handling dry ice. The debris and shards are extremely dangerous to your eyes.
  • Never put dry ice in your mouth.
  • Never store dry ice in an airtight container. As the dry ice sublimates, gas pressure will build and the container will explode. Make sure your container is ventilated or has a loose-fitting lid.
  • Do not store dry ice in your freezer. It will cause your freezer to become too cold and the freezer may shut off.
  • In the unlikely event of a dry ice burn, treat it the same as you would a heat burn. See a doctor if the skin blisters or comes off. Apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection and bandage mild burns.

Straw Roller Coaster

It’s true: What goes up, must come down. But how and when it comes down, where it lands, and how successfully is entirely up to us! Let’s make a “roller coaster” for a ping-pong ball while learning all about structural engineering. Remember to start high, end low, and consider speed! 

What You’ll Need:

  • Foam core board
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pencil or pen
  • Plastic multicolored drinking straws
  • Scissors
  • Small plastic cup or bowl
  • Table tennis ball
  • Tape

Words To Know:

  1. Beams: Two straws placed vertically, an inch away from each other, to support the rails.
  2. Connector: An inch of plastic straw that connects the top of two beams.
  3. Rails: Straws fixed between beams horizontally, sloping downward from beam to beam. 

Steps:

  • Place your foam core board on a flat surface.
  • On the corner of the board, use the pencil or pen to slowly punch a small hole into it — perfect for fitting a straw.
  • Make another hole an inch away from the first one.
  • Pinch the tip of one straw and fit it into the end of another one, connecting them together. 
  • Repeat that step, creating the first two beams of your coaster.
  • Set the beams aside.
  • Next, make the connector by cutting an inch-long piece of a third straw to fit between beams.
  • Secure the connector near the top of your two straw beams with hot glue.
  • Place hot glue into the holes of the foam core board, and place the bottom of the straws into them, hold in place for a few seconds until secure.
  • Note, these will be the tallest beams you make. All others have to be sequentially shorter.
  • Repeat this process, creating successively shorter beams that will serpentine down the board.
  • Use tape to connect rails to your beams — they should slope downward from beam to beam.
  • Test proper widths and slope with the table tennis ball as you go to ensure the ball stays on the track.
  • When your coaster is complete, drop the ball from the top rail and let gravity do its thing! 

Snake Bubbles

Usually we’re working in our lab (the garage or kitchen), when we undertake a new science, technology, engineering or math experiment, but this time we’re headed outside. Trust us – it’s better this way. Things are going to get delightfully messy. Making a bubble snake is a pretty quick activity that promises tons of fun for kids of all ages. Plus you probably have all the supplies on hand.

We’re engineering our self-powered bubble machine using common household items by incorporating some simple engineering and chemistry methods. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Dish soap
  • Food coloring
  • Plastic drinking bottle
  • Rubber band
  • Scissors
  • Spare sock
  • Water

Here’s what you do:

  • Cut off the bottom end of the plastic bottle.
  • Now wrap the sock around the bottom of the plastic bottle.
  • When it’s taut, secure the sock to the bottle using the rubber band. 
  • In a mixing bowl, combine about a cup of water with a quarter cup of dish soap. 
  • Apply a few drops of food coloring to the bottom of the sock. 
  • Dip the sock in the soapy water.
  • Hold the drinking end of the bottle to your mouth, and blow air through the bottle. 
  • Watch the snake bubbles come alive! 


The world is your canvas with this DIY puffy paint. Not only is it fun and easy to make, but this petroleum-based puffy paint helps bring art to life through its incredible three-dimensional power. This isn’t just an arts and crafts project, folks. It’s pure alchemy. Here’s what’s going on, scientifically speaking: Shaving cream is a soap, but it’s unlike any other soap. The combination of compounds such as glycerin, lanolin, stearic acid and triethanolamine (say THAT three times fast!) make the foam of canned shaving cream extra creamy and dense. Move over sidewalk chalk…

In this experiment, we’re mixing shaving cream with glue and food coloring to create outdoorpuffy paint that you can easily wash away!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Dish soap
  • Food coloring
  • Mixing bowl
  • Plastic squeeze bottle
  • Shaving cream
  • Spatula or spoon
  • White glue
  • In a mixing bowl, combine half a cup of white glue with half a cup of shaving cream
  • Add one good squirt of dish soap
  • Whisk together, adding a few drops of food coloring
  • Pack the concoction into a plastic squeeze bottle
  • Shake it up! Go outside and find a concrete canvas

Here’s what you do:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine half a cup of white glue with half a cup of shaving cream
  • Add one good squirt of dish soap
  • Whisk together, adding a few drops of food coloring
  • Pack the concoction into a plastic squeeze bottle
  • Shake it up!
  • Go outside and find a concrete canvas

Puffy Paint

The world is your canvas with this DIY puffy paint. Not only is it fun and easy to make, but this petroleum-based puffy paint helps bring art to life through its incredible three-dimensional power. This isn’t just an arts and crafts project, folks. It’s pure alchemy. Here’s what’s going on, scientifically speaking: Shaving cream is a soap, but it’s unlike any other soap. The combination of compounds such as glycerin, lanolin, stearic acid and triethanolamine (say THAT three times fast!) make the foam of canned shaving cream extra creamy and dense. Move over sidewalk chalk…

In this experiment, we’re mixing shaving cream with glue and food coloring to create outdoorpuffy paint that you can easily wash away!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Dish soap
  • Food coloring
  • Mixing bowl
  • Plastic squeeze bottle
  • Shaving cream
  • Spatula or spoon
  • White glue
  • In a mixing bowl, combine half a cup of white glue with half a cup of shaving cream
  • Add one good squirt of dish soap
  • Whisk together, adding a few drops of food coloring
  • Pack the concoction into a plastic squeeze bottle
  • Shake it up!
  • Go outside and find a concrete canvas

Here’s what you do:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine half a cup of white glue with half a cup of shaving cream
  • Add one good squirt of dish soap
  • Whisk together, adding a few drops of food coloring
  • Pack the concoction into a plastic squeeze bottle
  • Shake it up!
  • Go outside and find a concrete canvas

Solar Oven Snack Box

We’re surrounded by energy and the amazing things that it helps produce. From the petroleum that fuels us to go to amazing places to the sun that lights up our life, when we harness the power of the elements, it’s amazing what we can accomplish. Using solar power — and a few household items — we can construct a D.I.Y. oven capable of making a most delicious treat. This is a lesson in the science behind solar power — absorption and insulation — and scrumptiousness (yes, that is a scientific term).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Box cutter
  • Cardboard box 
  • Glue stick
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Plastic wrap Small stick (or other prop item, such as a knitting needle, ruler or skewer)

Here’s what you do:

  • Leaving a one-inch border around the sides of a box, cut a three-sided flap out of the top of the box. Use a ruler or straight edge for precise cuts. 
  • Tear a piece of aluminum that can cover the bottom (inside) of the flap and attach it using your glue stick.
  • Coat the inside of the box with glue from your glue stick and — as smoothly as possible — line the entire box with aluminum foil. 
  • Cover the opening of the box lid with two layers of plastic wrap. One layer should be taped to the top of the lid and the other should be affixed to the bottom.
  • Set the box in direct sunlight and use a stick, a ruler or something else around the house to prop open the lid so sunlight can reflect on the aluminum.
  • Place your s’more in the center of the box.
  • Depending on the strength of the sun, the oven should be hot enough to make the marshmallows gooey in 30 to 60 minutes.
  • When it’s just about done, close the lid on the box for a couple of minutes to help melt the chocolate.
  • Enjoy!  


  • fueled by the feast

    fueled by the feast

    11/19/2018
    Let's fire up the grill —it's time to talk turkey!
  • fueled by the craft

    fueled by the craft

    3/28/2018
    Let’s get crafty.
  • fueled by

    harmony

    fueled by

    harmony

    11/7/2017
    Step to the rhythm of the Centennial High School Marching Band.