Rainbow In A Jar: Experiment

“Rainbow in a Jar” is a fun and colorful science experiment demonstrating the concept of density and layering of liquids.

Materials Needed:

  • A tall, transparent container (like a glass jar)
  • Honey
  • Corn syrup
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food coloring (different colors)
  • Spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Dropper or syringe

Steps to create Rainbow In A Jar:

  1. Prepare the Liquids: Measure out equal amounts of each liquid (about 1/4 cup each). 
  2. Add Food Coloring: Add a few drops of food coloring to each liquid to make them colorful. Use different colors for each layer to create a rainbow effect.
  3. Layering: Carefully pour the liquids into the jar, starting with the heaviest liquid and ending with the lightest liquid. The order should be honey, corn syrup, dish soap, water, and vegetable oil.
  4. Observe the Layers: After adding each liquid, allow it to settle before adding the next one. You should see distinct layers forming in the jar, each liquid having a different color.

Science Behind Rainbow In A Jar

Let’s learn about some basic properties of liquids:

  • Mass: Mass is the amount of matter in a liquid measured in units like grams or kilograms.
  • Volume: Volume is the amount of space a liquid takes up measured in milliliters (mL) or liters (L).
  • Density: Density is how much mass is packed into a certain volume. It tells us how heavy a given volume of liquid is.

In this experiment, the liquids have different densities, forming layers. 

Heavier liquids, like honey and corn syrup, have more matter packed into them, so they sink to the bottom. 

Lighter liquids, like vegetable oil, have less matter packed into them, so they float on top. 

Fun Facts

Here are some interesting facts about liquids:

  • Some things float in liquids because they are less dense than the liquid. Boats float on water based on density!
  • Liquids can help cool things down. When you sweat, the liquid on your skin evaporates, removing heat and cooling you down.
  • Liquids can change into solids (like ice) when cold and gases (like steam) when they get hot.
  • Some liquids, like mercury, are very heavy and dense. Others, like rubbing alcohol, evaporate quickly.


Let’s quickly recap what we learned about liquids:

  • What is the amount of matter in a liquid? Mass
  • What is the amount of space that a liquid takes up? Volume
  • What property indicates how much mass is packed into a certain volume? Density
  • What type of liquids sink to the bottom in the experiment? Heavier Liquids
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