Dark and eerie nights can be turned into cool summertime memories for your STEMists with glow-in-the-dark activities. To add an educational spark and light up their summer nights, check out these 3 glow-in-the-dark activities that you and your STEMists can create at home:
Bubbles are fun for everyone, especially when they glow in the dark!
Materials you will need:
- Bubble solution (store-bought, or make your own solution by mixing ½ cup dishwashing liquid, with 4 ½ cups of water and two tablespoons of glycerin).
- Washable glow paint (can be found at any craft store)
To make your glow-in-the-dark bubbles, mix the bubble solution with the glow solution. Start with a 50/50 mix; you may have to adjust this measure depending on the strength of your solutions to obtain the glow you desire. Also note the glow-in-the-dark solution requires exposure to bright light before your bubbles will glow. Groovy Lab in a Box recommends planning as an outdoor activity for easy clean-up. STEMists will have fun chasing and dancing amongst the luminescent bubbles under a dark summer star-studded night sky.
Fun with Duct Tape
STEMists can experience triboluminescence, which is light triggered by mechanical energy or a mechanical action, such as friction with duct tape. This luminating experiment is perfect for a summertime sleepover. Press two pieces of duct tape, sticky sides together, and then turn out the lights. Wait until your eyes have adjusted to the darkness of the room before you quickly pull apart the two pieces of tape. What will your STEMists witness? They should see a streak of blue when the tapes separate. Transparent Scotch™ tape works as well. Results may vary with different brands and types of tape used.
At-home Cosmic Bowling
STEMists compete to see who can knock down the most pins in this nighttime cosmic-colored activity. You can make the bowling pins yourself with water bottles and glow-sticks.
Materials you will need:
- 10 glow sticks
- 10 water bottles
- 1 small-sized basketball
Your STEMists might have as much fun creating the game as they do playing it! First, peel the labels from the water bottles and then remove enough water to leave approximately one inch of space from the top. Next, open the glow-stick packaging and crack your glow-sticks (follow packaging instructions for cracking). Then, add one glowing stick (the thicker the diameter, the better) to each water bottle and recap. Set-up your glow-in-the-dark bowling game in a clear indoor hallway, or on a patio, driveway or clear patch of low-cut grass. Cosmic bowling also works well at a nighttime beach or pool party. Don’t forget the pencil and paper to keep score (although, the true winner of this game is you for providing a unique night-to-remember idea for your STEMists)!
If you are looking for more ways to keep your STEMists entertained this summer, check out Groovy Lab in a Box. There is no better way to educate your STEMist than to keep their minds working to create, design and solve, through the engineering design process and STEM-related activities.