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How to Make a Science Ornament: Laminar Galaxy Ornament

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Combine a love of Christmas and a love of the galaxy in a STEAM exploration of galaxy Christmas ornaments. Kids will love this science ornament!

We watched a video the other day of a color mixing laminar experiment  a few days ago, and I was completely fascinated by the process.

I tried recreating the experiment as part of our christmas STEM challenge ideas, but I wasn’t able to and we ran out of corn syrup.

But all the experimentation reminded me of a galaxy, which is how this experiment was born!

Combine a love of Christmas and a love of the galaxy in a STEAM exploration of galaxy Christmas ornaments. Kids will love this simple STEM activity!

The kids loved both the “failed” experiment and the Christmas galaxy ornaments. 

Laminar Science

christmas stem challenge cards

This lesson starts with viscosity.

You add in corn syrup dyed different colors into the laminar machine. Then, when the laminar is turned, the colors spread out into solid layers.

The longer the laminar is turned, the more the colors spread and mix.

Then, when you turn the handle the other way, the colors unmix!

It’s a super cool science experiment that has mind-blowing results.

According to Wikipedia, the machine works like this:

In fluid dynamics, laminar flow is characterized by fluid particles following smooth paths in layers, with each layer moving smoothly past the adjacent layers with little or no mixing. At low velocities, the fluid tends to flow without lateral mixing, and adjacent layers slide past one another like playing cards.

How to Make a Science Ornament

Combine a love of Christmas and a love of the galaxy in a STEAM exploration of galaxy Christmas ornaments. Kids will love this simple STEM activity!

Try this experiment to make your own galaxy in a Christmas ornament!

Please note, these ornaments are for play only and are not meant to be hung on the Christmas tree.

What you’ll need to make a science ornament:

Step-by-Step Directions to Make a Galaxy Christmas Ornament

Combine a love of Christmas and a love of the galaxy in a STEAM exploration of galaxy Christmas ornaments. Kids will love this simple STEM activity!

Fill your Christmas ornaments with vegetable or mineral oil. Place the ornament inside a mason jar for support.

Combine a love of Christmas and a love of the galaxy in a STEAM exploration of galaxy Christmas ornaments. Kids will love this simple STEM activity!

Dip the pipette into the color of your choice and place the tip near the bottom of the oil-filled ornament.

Release the color into the oil. The oil will slowly spread out and fall, creating a galaxy-like effect.

Add as many colors as you like.

Combine a love of Christmas and a love of the galaxy in a STEAM exploration of galaxy Christmas ornaments. Kids will love this simple STEM activity!

Eventually, the food coloring will fall to the bottom and mix in with the oil (at least, that’s what ours did).

But it took quite a long time and the girls were able to create a lot of different patterns with their Christmas ornament globes.

Combine a love of Christmas and a love of the galaxy in a STEAM exploration of galaxy Christmas ornaments. Kids will love this simple STEM activity!

We hope to try laminar flow again one day, but the girls thought our substitute was cool enough.

They were fascinated with how slowly the color moved through the oil and how they could make different patterns by adding different amounts of color to the oil.

christmas stem challenge cards

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