Dry Ice Experiment #1: Concoct a witch’s brew!

12 10 2009

Double, double, toil and trouble….

With some dry ice and punch, you can make your own smoking witch’s cauldron full of tasty brew.

witch's cauldron

This is the first experiment in a three-part series using dry ice. Dry ice experiments are great for Halloween or anytime you feel like being a mad scientist!

What you need:

-Ingredients for your favorite kind of punch or Kool-aid mix

-Two punch bowls so that one can fit inside the other (try using a Halloween cauldron for the outside container to make it look more like a witch’s brew!)

-Dry ice (Both Central Market stores and the HEB on Congress and Oltorf carry dry ice)

-A hammer or other tool to break the dry ice into smaller chunks

-Tongs, oven mitts, or thick hand towel to touch the dry ice—the chemicals in dry ice can burn your skin so never use your bare hands to handle it!

What to do:

1. Put the smaller bowl in the bigger bowl. Mix your punch in the inner bowl. You can snap some some non-toxic glowsticks and drop them into the punch to make it look more eerie!

2. Break the dry ice into chunks so they fit in the outer bowl and around the inner bowl. Make sure you pick up the pieces using the tongs, oven mitts, or thick hand towel, not your hands!

making the smoke

3. Pour warm water on the dry ice. Continue to pour warm water if the smoke slows down. Hot water will make more smoke come out, but the ice will disappear faster.

4. As your cauldron smokes, serve your magical concoction to people!

ooh, witch's brew

Dry ice is different from regular ice because it is made from frozen carbon dioxide. (Carbon dioxide is the air we breathe out!) When regular ice breaks down, it melts from a solid to a liquid. Dry ice doesn’t turn into a puddle when it breaks down because it goes through sublimation. Sublimation is the process of a  solid changing into a gas. That means the dry ice transformed directly into carbon dioxide gas, creating the smoke effect.

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