Twinkl Education Blog
14 Mar '17

British Science Week: St Patrick's Day Science Activities

This is a guest post from Emma who blogs over at Adventures and Play.

As St Patrick's Day (March 17th) falls within the British Science Week (10-19th March) why not combine the two celebrations with St Patrick's Day inspired science activities. We have put two science experiments to the test. Both experiments are taken from the St Patrick's Day Discovery Sack. This is a handy pack of St Patrick's Day themed resources which can be laminated and used year after year. As this year’s British Science Week theme is “Change”, both experiments complement the theme perfectly.

Walking Rainbow Science Experiment

In the Walking Rainbow Science Experiment children can experience colour mixing. We tend to use paint for colour mixing activities but this experiment uses food colouring and has an additional wow factor. The experiment requires minimal preparation time and uses kitchen cupboard resources.

Resources needed for the Walking Rainbow Science Experiment

* Food colouring - we used Wilton Gel Food Colouring
* Water
* Three clear containers
* Two pieces of kitchen roll paper

Walking Rainbow Science Experiment


How to set up the Walking Rainbow Science Experiment

You can use the experiment to mix together any two colours. We opted to mix yellow and blue. Adjust the instructions depending on which colours you decide to use.

Walking Rainbow Science Experiment

1. Pour water into two clear containers and add a different food colour to each.

2. Place an empty clear container between the two colours.

3. Fold the kitchen roll paper until you end up with a long thin strip. Place one end in the yellow water and the other end into the empty container.

4. Fold the other piece of kitchen roll paper into a strip and place one end in the blue water and the other end into the empty container.


Watching the Walking Rainbow Science Experiment

Watch as the yellow and blue water “walks up” the kitchen roll paper and into the empty container. My son couldn’t contain his excitement watching the coloured water slowly creep up the paper. We discussed what he thought would happen once the two colours reached the end of the paper towel. He predicted that the water would drip into the empty container but would remain half yellow and half blue.

Walking Rainbow Science Experiment

It didn’t take long before the water started to drip into the empty container. My son couldn’t quite believe that the colour of the water was different. “But it’s not yellow or blue. It has turned to green water” he kept telling me.

Throughout the afternoon we kept returning to the Walking Rainbow Science Experiment to see how it had progressed. It took about two hours for the water to transfer and all three containers to have the same amount of liquid.

Walking Rainbow Science Experiment

This would be a great activity for children to explore on their own. Provide them with small pots and a small amount of coloured water so they can colour mix independently.

The St Patrick's Day Discovery Sack has a useful Walking Rainbow Science Experiment prompt sheet to print out. This contains questions to get your class thinking about colour mixing and how to take the science investigation further.

Magic Leprechaun Rocks Science Experiment

We then turned our attention to another science experiment found in the St Patrick's Day Discovery Sack. This required some overnight preparation and a large quantity of bicarbonate of soda. Unfortunately I only had enough in our cupboard to make one rock but this didn’t detract from the wow factor for the activity.

Resources needed to make the Magic Leprechaun Rocks Science Experiment

* Coins - we used a large gold pirate coin

* Bicarbonate of soda

* Green food colouring

* Water

* Distilled vinegar

How to set up the Magic Leprechaun Rocks Science Experiment

1. Combine the bicarbonate of soda with green food colouring and a few drops of water to form a dough. Ensure that the mixture is not too wet.

2. Place a coin in the middle of the mixture and mould the green dough around it until you have formed a rock.

3. Leave the rock to dry overnight.

4. Hide the leprechaun rocks for the children to find them.

British Science Week: St Patrick's Day


Completing the Magic Leprechaun Rocks Science Experiment

I hid our single rock underneath a daffodil growing in the garden for my son to find. I explained that a leprechaun had hidden something special. After discovering the green rock it took some time before I could persuade him to clean it. I am sure he wanted to keep it forever.

We took the rock inside where I had a bowl of distilled vinegar in a small pot. As distilled vinegar is clear by son assumed it was water. We popped the magic leprechaun rock into the pot and watched what happened.

Magic Leprechaun Rocks Science Experimen

The bicarbonate of soda and vinegar reacted together and created bubbles which fizzed over the edge of the container. As the bubbles slowly calmed down my son discovered that the rock had “disappeared” and in its place was a gold coin.

Magic Leprechaun Rock Science Experiment

You could extend the activity by creating a story based around the magic leprechaun rocks. Who did the rocks belong to? Why were the rocks left? The coins could also be used for different mathematical activities. Endless possibilities!

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