4th of July Science Projects

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.

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Make a Sparkler

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.

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Homemade Firecrackers

Firecrackers are small fireworks consisting of gunpowder 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.

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Make Black Snakes

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.

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Classic Smoke Bomb

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.

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Safe Smoke Bomb

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.

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Bue & Red Fire Tornado

Make a red and blue fire tornado.
Anne Helmenstine

Make a tabletop fire tornado or whirlwind that displays red and blue flames. This is a 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.

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Colored Smoke Recipes

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.

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Homemade Fuses

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.

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Fountain Firework

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.

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Patriotic Density Column

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.

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Patriotic Colors Electrochemistry Demo

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 beakers from clear-red-clear to red-white-blue. This is an eye-catching chemistry demonstration that is perfect for the 4th of July!

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Waterfall Firework

This example of a waterfall firework is from Riverfest in Cincinnati, OH.
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.

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Smoke Ring Cannon

Here is the smoke cannon in action.
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.

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How to Light Fireworks Safely

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.


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