If your kids love science, glitter, and space, they will love this fun glitter vortex science experiment! In this experiment, kids will learn how vortexes work and how they can make their own inside a glass beaker. Using just a few supplies, kids will make their own vortex model. This science demonstration is the perfect activity to go along with the study of vortexes in life, including the galaxy, weather, and water science. When you look for them, you can find vortexes all over the world!
Glitter Vortex Science Experiment
Can you make a vortex inside a beaker?
- Dish soap
- Food coloring
- Round beaker
Fill the beaker’s bulb up with water, leaving the top open. Add a few drops of food coloring.
Add about a quarter of a cup of glitter to the beaker, along with a couple of drops of dish soap. This helps the glitter go down and create the vortex.
Ask your kids to see if they can make a vortex. You do it by shaking the beaker in a circular motion, but it takes some time.
Once you have a good rotation going, set the beaker down and watch the glitter swirl!
Discuss where vortexes appear in everyday life, including the ocean, tornadoes, air currents, and anywhere else they show up! It’s fun to see the visual of how a vortex works up close.
Glitter Vortex Science Explained
Vortexes work with gravity. As the water is swirled around, it is drawn to the center by gravity. The glitter is held in place by centrifugal force until the vortex slows and the glitter falls back to the bottom of the beaker. Even entire galaxies are vortexes and operate with the same concept, which is how we get our planetary orbits.