Bubble, bubble, no toil or trouble

Connecticut Science Center STEM Educator, Andrew Fotta, wows students with a giant bubble tube.



Stafford School students were enchanted by bubbles on Thursday, Feb. 28, when the Connecticut Science Center hosted the “Science of Suds” program at the Bristol elementary school.

Science center STEM educator, Andrew Fotta, said programs such as the Science of Suds teaches students observation skills, and teaches them to think critically by observing the world around them, and encouraging them to ask questions.

“We go into how a bubble is created with surface tension, and then we talk about the air inside of a bubble – can we put other gases into bubbles?” said Fotta. “We’ll put helium in so they go up, we have dry ice demonstrations to show them that carbon dioxide can be put into bubbles and they go down faster.”

The program was broken into two sections, starting with the kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders, and grades three through five in the second session. As the students filed into the gymnasium, Fotta wowed them by creating giant bubble tubes.

Once the program was underway, Fotta elicited shrieks and laughter as student volunteers attempted to create bubbles shaped like their favorite characters, such as Iron Man and Strawberry Shortcake. Some students were even selected to attempt to catch bubbles in their hands, by using special gloves.

“We have a bubble window where they try to put their hand through a bubble, so they have to realize that they have to have their hand filled with bubble solution in order to get it through because it’ll break if they don’t have it,” said Fotta.

Second grader, Kamdyn Dreannie, acted as Fotta’s assistant during the bubble window demonstration. She said the bubble felt cold and kind of slimy to the touch. Dreannie said being the assistant was her favorite part of the program.

Fotta asked the assembled students various questions, such as what they thought was inside of the bubbles, and if they thought a bigger bubble or a smaller bubble would fall faster if released from the same height. Through this back and forth, students were able to learn about the shape of bubbles, the colors of bubbles, what bubbles are made from, and what is gas is inside of a bubble.

“We learn about different science concepts like surface tension, the solids, liquids, and gases,” said Fotta.

As the questions were met with enthusiastically raised hands, Fotta incorporated learning with fun, saying that having fun is also a goal of the program.

The demonstration concluded with Fotta selecting one lucky student, who got to have a bubble built around them.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.