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STEM Fest Interactive: Milk Color Explosion

Materials Needed For Experiment:

  • Milk – the higher the fat content the better
  • Food coloring – a few different colors
  • Q tips
  • Liquid dish soap


  1. Pour enough milk in the dinner plate or bowl to completely cover the bottom to the depth of about 1/4 Allow the milk to settle before moving on to the next step.
  2. Add one drop of each of the four colors of food coloring—red, yellow, green, and blue—to the milk. Keep the drops close together in the center of the plate of milk but do not mix the colors.
  3. Find a clean q tip for the next part of the experiment. Predict what will happen when you touch the tip of the q tip to the center of the milk. It's important not to stir the mix—just touch it with the tip of the q tip. Go ahead and try it.
  4. Now place a drop of liquid dish soap on the other end of the q tip. Place the soapy end of the q tip back in the middle of the milk and hold it there for 10 to 15 seconds. Look at that burst of color! It's like the Fourth of July in a plate of milk.
  5. Add another drop of soap to the tip of the q tip and try it again. Experiment with placing the q tip at different places in the milk. Notice that the colors in the milk continue to move even when the q tip is removed.

Learn more about Tender Care Learning Center here!

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