STEAM Saturday – Glowing Flowers! (5/20/2023)

Spring is here and the flowers are blooming!  Let’s get our hands dirty and experiment with three different methods to make our flowers glow. This activity will amaze your children and leave them wondering: how did they make that happen?

Materials needed:

  • Freshly cut white flowers (We have found that mums work best for this experiment but you can try using any white flower.)
  • Blacklight
  • Yellow highlighter
  • Glow water (B vitamin complex crushed and mixed with warm water)
  • Paper towels
  • Tonic water
  • Cups or bowls (to soak the flowers in)
  • Contact paper

There are two different methods that you can try for this experiment.  With the first method, wrap your flower stems with a damp paper towel and soak them upside down in glow water for two hours.  When time is up, check them under the blacklight, and you should have beautiful glowing flowers!

The next two methods are also “soaking methods.”  Grab some more flowers and soak them upside down in tonic water.  You can also try soaking them in highlighter water.  Take your yellow highlighter and smash it open with a hammer.  Then pull out the center and run water through it.  Make sure you squeeze out all the dye.  The more concentrated you can make the highlighter water, the brighter the flowers!

After soaking overnight, take two of your mums and tell your kiddos that they are going to visually see an example of how the plants “drink” and transport water.  Have them split the stems open and put them under the blacklight.  They should be able to see the highlighter dye traveling up the stem!

Don’t waste your flowers… turn them into an art project!  Lay out some contact paper (sticky side up) and place various parts of the flower to create a beautiful suncatcher.

See the full experiment and the science behind it from Fun at Home With Kids HERE.

As always, get as creative as you want, and above all, have lots of fun learning together!

We’ll see you right back here next Saturday for another STEAM Saturday activity!  Scroll through the rest of our website to learn how Critchlow Adkins is Building Brighter Futures for the children and families we serve!

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