4th of July Science Projects

Fireworks and Red, White and Blue Science Fun

Are you seeking fun science projects that you can associate with the 4th of July? Try this collection of science projects that involve fireworks and red, white, and blue.

01
of 16

4th of July sparkler
Tetra Images/Getty Images
Sparklers are small hand-held fireworks that don't explode. They are among the safest and easiest fireworks to make yourself.

02
of 16

Firecrackers are small fireworks consisting of gunpowder wrapped in paper, with a fuse.
Firecrackers are small fireworks consisting of gunpowder that has been wrapped in paper, with a fuse. Jeff Harris Photography / Getty Images
It's easy and inexpensive to make firecrackers yourself. This is a great pyrotechnics project, perfect for do-it-yourself types or persons who can't find firecrackers where they live.

03
of 16

Food coloring water 'fireworks' are a fun and safe science project for kids.
Food coloring water 'fireworks' are a fun and safe science project for kids. Thegoodly, Getty Images
This is a project that involves making red and blue food coloring 'fireworks' in a glass of water. It's a project that is safe and easy enough for younger kids to do, though adults will probably get a kick out of it too.

04
of 16

Black snakes or glow worms are a basic non-explosive type of firework.
Black snakes or glow worms are a basic non-explosive type of firework. Anne Helmenstine
Black snakes are another type of firework that doesn't explode. Once you light these pyrotechnic devices they push out columns of black 'snakes'. This is an easy and safe fireworks project.

05
of 16

A homemade smoke bomb is an easy 4th of July fireworks project.
A homemade smoke bomb is an easy 4th of July fireworks project. kayla varley, Getty Images
This is a fun project that only requires a couple of ingredients. When you light the smoke bomb, you'll get lots of white smoke, plus violet flames.

06
of 16

Most smoke bombs produce white smoke.
Most smoke bombs produce white smoke. Anne Helmenstine
This is the non-cook version of the smoke bomb recipe. Since the ingredients don't need to be heated, you don't need to worry about spilling some on the stove and setting off your smoke alarm.

07
of 16

Make a red and blue fire tornado.
At slow speeds, the red and blue flames are distinct. As you increase rotation, your eye perceives the flame to be purple. Anne Helmenstine

 Make a tabletop fire tornado or whirlwind that displays red and blue flames. This is great project to see how a vortex forms, plus it's a nice demonstration of metal salt emission spectra. You can even add white sparks or flames, if you want to go red, white & blue.

08
of 16

Colored smoke bombs work by dispersing dye into the air.
Colored smoke bombs work by dispersing dye into the air. Henrik Sorensen, Getty Images
Colored smoke is easy to make, but you will almost certainly need to order the dye used to make the color from a pyrotechnic hobby shop. The color is produced by vaporizing the dye, not by burning it.

09
of 16

Make a homemade fireworks fuse.
Make a homemade fireworks fuse. Cultura RM/Rob Prideaux, Getty Images
Fuses are handy to have around for firecrackers and smoke bombs. These fuses use common household materials.

10
of 16

You can make a fountain firework using the homemade smoke bomb recipe.
You can make a fountain firework using the homemade smoke bomb recipe. Anne Helmenstine
You can adapt the homemade smoke bomb recipe to make a long-lasting fountain firework that shoots purple flames, plus a lot of smoke.

11
of 16

This red, white and blue density column is easy to make and uses common household materials.
This red, white and blue density column is easy to make and uses common household materials. Anne Helmenstine
You can layer red, white, and blue liquids according to their density. This project is easy and educational.

12
of 16
Red White and Blue Shooter Recipe

This flaming red, white and blue shooter is an example of a density column.
This flaming red, white and blue shooter is a festive drink that doubles as an example of a density column. Anne Helmenstine
Here's a recipe for a density column that's a layered cocktail. It's perfect for the 4th of July or Memorial Day or pretty much any holiday with a red, white and blue theme. You can add gold liqueur for 'fireworks' glitter and you can set the drink on fire.

13
of 16

There are a lot of chemistry projects you can do to celebrate the 4th of July.
There are a lot of chemistry projects you can do to celebrate the 4th of July. Don Farrall, Getty Images
Use electrolysis to change the liquids in a series of beaker from clear-red-clear to red-white-blue. This is an eye-catching chemistry demonstration that is perfect for the 4th of July!

14
of 16

This example of a waterfall firework is from Riverfest in Cincinnati, OH.
This example of a waterfall firework is from Riverfest in Cincinnati, OH. Waterfall fireworks are intended to produce a shower of long-burning sparks rather than an explosion. Lanskeith17, public domain
Make a waterfall firework that shoots out a river of fire, falling in glittering sparks 20-30 feet. This is an easy project that produces a cool effect.

15
of 16

Here is the smoke cannon in action.
Here is the smoke cannon in action. You can make smoke rings in the air or you can fill the cannon with colored water and make colored rings in water. Anne Helmenstine
If you've got fireworks, you've got smoke. Why not collect some of it to shoot smoke rings? This project works with colored water too.

16
of 16

Get away from firecrackers and exploding fireworks as soon as you light the fuse.
Get away from firecrackers and exploding fireworks as soon as you light the fuse. Cultura RM/Rob Prideaux, Getty Images
This isn't specifically a science project, but if you make your own fireworks it is important to know how to light them safely.