Four Dry Ice Experiments

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Contributor: Carla Avitabile

Description: Experiment with dry ice, learn about sublimation, and have fun!


  • 3-4 Pounds of Dry Ice – Purchased at my local supermarket
  • 1-2 Packages of Balloons
  • Double Batch Bubble Solution
    • 1 Bottle of Dawn Dish Soap
    • 3 oz Glycerin
    • 1 Box Corn Starch
    • 1 Container Baking Powder


  • 4 Medium – Large Plastic or Metal Bowls with a Lip
  • 4 2-Liter Bottles
  • 4 12oz. Water Bottles
  • 4-5 Tongs
  • 4 Spoons
  • 4 Funnels – Look for these in the cooking section of your local dollar store
  • 12′ Rubber Tubing – wide enough to fit over the funnels
  • 20-25 Goggles – You can probably do without these but if you have budget likely they can be used for other programs
  • 1 Hammer – for breaking up the dry ice, make sure you do this while ice is wrapped in a towel
  • 10-20 Towels – I asked my co-workers to bring in their grubby towels for me to use
  • 1 Five Gallon Bucket – for use as a slush bucket for cool water, unless your program room has a sink
  • 1 Coffee or Tea Urn – optional – this program requires a significant amount of hot water

Number of People: 20 (you can do it with more, you just need to add another set up for each station)

Target Audience: All Teen

Cost: $75-$100 depending on how much equipment you have to purchase

Prep Time: 3-4 hours – including set up, clean up and shopping

Program Time: 1-1.5 hours – I did 15 minutes for 5 kids per dry ice station, .5 hour is the wiggle room

Instructions: Here are links to the instructions for each dry ice experiment

Some Important Notes About This Program:

  • The dry ice sublimation process slows the cooler the water gets. It is good to have some hot water on hand so you can refresh the water. The water should be hot, but not burn your hand hot.
  • There is a lot of water, I do this in a carpeted room with no problem but it does get wet, towels are essential.
  • Make sure you wrap up the dry ice in a towel before you hammer it into small pieces.
  • I had parents sign permission forms for this program because of the dry ice handling. Having had this program I think you could get away with no permission forms. If you read everyone the riot act on dry ice handling most of the kids will listen.
  • I used 4 volunteers for this program one for each station.

Website Sources: Steve Spangler Science and Continental Carbonic

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