St. Patrick’s Day “Green” Chemistry
St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to go “green” with chemistry. Turn your house water green for the day; burn green flames; make green goo; or have a green breakfast.
Experiments & Activities
- Gold Pennies
Make leprechaun “gold” as you learn about alloys and turn pennies from a copper color to silver to gold.
- Fried Green Egg
Take your St. Patrick’s Day to the extreme—turn even your breakfast food green with a red cabbage juice indicator.
- Glowing Flower
Give your bouquet a secret St. Patrick’s Day glow by allowing flowers to absorb fluorescent ink or tonic water.
- Gluep—Solid or Liquid?
Whip up a batch of green goop by adding green food coloring to the standard gluep recipe.
- St. Patrick's Day Science
Turn science store products like UV beads into a “blarney bead” bracelet and superabsorbent polymer spheres into “leprechaun eggs”.
- Colored Flowers
Use green food coloring with this classic capillary action experiment to create flowers with a St. Patrick’s Day hue.
- Polymer St. Patrick’s Day Snake
Make St. Patrick’s Day snakes by bonding together packing peanuts made from cornstarch using water.
- Flinn Scientific St. Patrick's Day Demonstration
Put a St. Patrick’s Day twist on your laboratory—including your Bunsen burner flame! The flame color changes to green as you bubble the gas supply through a boric acid solution.
- Brilliant Green Flames
Make a long-burning bucket of green flame using household chemicals.
Articles & Information
- Leprechauns Strike Again with Green Water
Learn how one dad faked out his family and convinced his kids that the leprechauns really came to visit.
- Turning Hair Green with the Power of Science
Find out about why a Swedish scientist dyed his beard green and took home an Ig Nobel Prize meant to “honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.”
- The Chemistry of Green: Chlorophyll
Why do shamrock leaves appear green to our eyes? Learn more about the inner workings of plants in this “A Calendar Year of Chemistry” video.
- Green Chicago River
The mix of chemicals used to turn the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Day is a closely guarded secret, but you can learn more about how and why they dye the river.
(all sites accessed Feb 2013)