The 4th of July is the perfect time to mix science and celebration! Here are 4th of July science projects you can try and explanations of how different fireworks work:
Kick off the 4th of July learning experience by printing this fireworks periodic table. It tells you how different elements are used in fireworks and the colors they produce.
Black snakes are non-exploding fireworks that make black or gray columns of ash that resemble slithering snakes. You can make black snakes for a 4th of July science project using 2 ingredients from your kitchen.
Sure, you can buy smoke bombs. You can also make them. Here’s a quick and easy recipe that does not require any esoteric ingredients. All you need is a chemical cold pack and some newspapers.
Like black snakes and smoke bombs, sparklers are 4th of July fireworks that don’t explode. They go give off a shower of sparks, though, so they are banned in some places. Check your local laws to make sure you’re in the clear and then give one or both of these easy homemade sparkler recipes a try.
Unlike the preceding 4th of July science projects, homemade firecrackers do go “boom”. However, you control the size of the bang by the amount of ingredients you use and how much you restrict the explosion. For example, you can explode baking soda and vinegar in a plastic bag and the pop isn’t going to hurt you. Similarly, if you wrap a firecracker in paper rather than cardboard, you’ll limit its force. Keep physics in mind when you make your firecrackers and have fun experimenting!
While not a traditional fireworks project, this tabletop pyrotechnic burns in patriotic red and blue (and even white, if you like). Apply science to color the flames and to turn a fire into a vortex of flames.
Learn more about 4th of July science: