Properties of Matter

Bubbles Squared

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14

What you need

  • Six pipe cleaners or coated wires
  • Six straws
  • Scissors
  • Soap solution
  • Bubble wand


  1. Cut the pipe cleaners in half to make 12 pieces. Twist the ends of three pieces together to make a pyramid shape – make four of these
  2. Cut the straws in half to make 12 pieces and slide these over each leg of the pyramids. Twist the ends of each leg together to form a cube
  3. Submerge the cube in the soap solution for a few seconds then lift it out and move it gently till you have a horizontal square in the middle. Blow a bubble and drop it onto the square

Results and Explanation

The centre becomes a bulging cube!
Attractive forces in the soap mixture pull the film into a shape that minimises distances, creating the central square. These forces also pull the cube in the centre into a more spherical shape.

These experiments have not been specifically safety tested for home use but we believe them to be safe if the instructions are followed. Adult supervision or direction is recommended as appropriate. All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

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