• Museum Hours:
    Please note: Online ticket purchasing is required for Members & Nonmembers for entrance to the Children’s Museum.

    Tuesday – Saturday: 9:30am-2:30pm. Last admission at 2pm.
    Please note Tuesdays & Thursdays: The Discovery Room is CLOSED at 11:30am for classes. Outside play area is CLOSED at 1:30pm for classes.
    Sunday-Monday: Closed

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Winter Fun: Incredible Expanding Soap “Snow”

December 18, 2020

We’re counting down to our Virtual Countdown to Noon with new winter and holiday activities! Tune into our blog SPARK! for a new fun and educational blog everyday until New Year’s Eve.

Do you wanna build a snowman? Do this experiment and you can! Plus you only need three items to execute! What will happen when you put Ivory soap in the microwave? (Besides a nice smelling kitchen.)

And don’t forget to enter our Countdown to Noon Contest. Your family could win the special privilege of being the ONLY in-person attendees at the Balloon Drop and get to release all the balloons! Raffle tickets available at: https://Countdown2020.givesmart.com 🎈🎉

Materials

  • A bar of Ivory soap (other bar soaps don’t work)
  • Microwave
  • Large microwavable plate

Instructions

1. Cut soap in half or quarters depending on how large you want your soap souffle to be. (If you’re going to use a whole bar, it helps to shave off some of top layer for a faster result.)

2. Place soap in the middle of a very large microwavable plate.

3. Microwave soap from 30 seconds to 1 minutes depending on its size. For our whole bar we microwaved it for a little over a minute. You can play with your new soap “snow” afterwards, but please allow a bit of time to cool. Try making a snowman!

But why?

The expanding effect is caused by the heating of the water that is inside the soap. The water vaporizes, forming bubbles; the heat also causes trapped air to expand. Likewise, the heat causes the soap itself to soften and become pliable. This effect is actually a demonstration of Charles’ Law.

– from the scientific mind of Miss Rita

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