How-To: Milk Planets

Hi, I’m Amy Koester, the youth and family
program coordinator here at Skokie Public Library. One experiment you can try at home is to make
milk planets. Here are the materials that you are going
to need for the experiement: liquid dish soap, two percent or whole milk, liquid food coloring,
a Q-tip or cotton swab, a small container for your dish soap and a medium size bowl
for your experiment. First, we’re going to pour a little bit of
liquid dish soap into our small container and we’ll set it to the side until we need
it later. Next we’re going to pour some of the milk
into the bowl. Next we’re going to add the color to our experiment. Take the liquid food coloring and drop just
a couple of drops of your preferred colors into the milk in the bowl. Next take your cotton swab and dip it into
the liquid dish soap. Now take the cotton swab, the end with the
dish soap, and touch it gently into the center of the milk. As soon as the dish soap touches the milk,
you should see the colors spread throughout the milk. Once you’ve done this experiment, you can
repeat it as many times as you want, trying different colors, different places to drop
the food coloring, whatever you want. So, how does this experiment work? Molecules of dish soap have bipolarity, which
means that each side of the molecule has a slightly different property. It’s similar to a battery where one side has
a positive attraction, the other a negative. When we’re talking about a dish soap molecule,
one side is attracted to water and the other is attracted to fat or protein. The milk that we’re using in this experiment
has plenty of fat and proteins that the dish soap molecules want to connect with. When the dish soap touches the milk, the dish
soap molecules want to attach to the fat and the proteins in the milk. We can see this happening because we have
food coloring in there. The food coloring is in the way when the dish
soap is trying to connect with the fats and proteins in the milk. Since it’s in the way, it get pushed around
creating this interesting milk planet effect. My name is Amy and we’ll see you next time
for more science at Skokie Public Library.

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