Return to SMILE Plus Index
Victor M. McFarlane Kanoon Magnet School
2233 S Kedzie Ave
Chicago IL 60623
Juliette Walker Crown Elementary
Angela Patrick Crown Elementary
This lesson can be adapted to any grade level.
The main objective of the Mini-teach, is for student to understand why
we use dish washing liquid to wash our soiled eating utensils.
Container with flat bottom (baking sheet).
Dish washing detergent.
(Note:a plastic petri dish may be substituted for the baking
1. Pour the milk into the container until the bottom is completely covered.
3. Sprinkle a drop of each food color on the milk.
5. Add a few drops of detergent in the middle of the largest blob of color and
watch what happens.
1. What happens when the food color is drop in the milk?
2. Why do the colors explode?
3. What causes the colors to explode?
Milk contains drops of fat, which do not mix with the water-soluble food
coloring. The Cohesive force between milk molecules allow the food coloring to
hold its dropped shape. Whenever the dish washing liquid touches the milk it
breaks up the drops of fat which the spread out, allowing the food coloring and
milk to mix.
Penrose, Gordon: "Dr. Zed's Exploding Colors"; Owl Magazine; March 1989; p. 8-9.