Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

Fun with Dry Ice

Posted on: March 18, 2009

Long story short, we went to Penn State, visited the nuclear reactor, toured the school, ate lunch, and purchased two coolers full of ice cream.  It’s a 3+ hour ride home, so we also purchased dry ice for $0.75 per pound.

The next day, there was still quite a bit of dry ice left over, so I did this demo for each of my classes.  I put the dry ice in water and watched the “smoke” pour out.  I had another beaker with water and some dish soap.  Adding dry ice to that makes a huge pile of bubbles that are cloudy and evaporate on contact.

The best part was that the kids suddenly had a ton of questions.  They wanted to know what would happen if they inhaled the gas, if the water was safe after the dry ice was gone, and lots more.  Don’t forget to play, it’s a great way to learn.


1 Response to "Fun with Dry Ice"

In a physics classroom dry ice is a great way for students to see nearly frictionless motion. If you have a piece of dry ice with a flat edge try sliding it across a table. The result is pretty amazing. It’s even more dramatic if you slide an entire 10-pound block across a table. It just gliiiides. I’ve done this before and kids have enjoyed seeing what “frictionless” looks like.

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