Did you know that May 4th is Star Wars Day? It’s a day to celebrate being a fan of Star Wars, and what’s more fun than getting to say, “May the Fourth be with you!” all day?!?!

With two engineers for parents, my kids have no choice but to love Star Wars. When quarantine began, we started a Star Wars Saturday family movie night. We started with Episode 1 and just watched Episode 7 this weekend (We skipped Ep. 3 because I think it might be too scary for my young kids). 

My kids have LOVED watching the series, and it’s become such a fun family night for us. 

Since we’re so into Star Wars right now, I knew we had to do a special activity for Star Wars Day! Today’s STEAM Activity is Rescuing Han Solo (and other Star Wars friends) from the carbonite! I found this adorable project on FUN-A-DAY, and we made it our own for this post.

As you know, we love any and all baking soda and vinegar reaction experiments and this one is even better because it involves melting ice too. In this activity we get to play Darth Vader and freeze Han Solo (or any Star Wars characters you have) in “carbonite” (baking soda and water in our case), then we play Luke Skywaker and Princess Leia to free him using vinegar!

MATERIALS:

Part I

  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Ice cube tray
  • Star Wars LEGO figures 
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon

Part II

  • Vinegar 
  • Small bowl 
  • Dropper

PROCEDURE:

Part I: You’re Darth Vader

  1. Mix baking soda and water in a 1:1 solution (use 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of water per ice cube). We had 5 Star Wars LEGO figures, so we made 5 ice cubes. We used 5 Tablespoons baking soda, and 5 Tablespoons water.

2. Drop one LEGO figure into each ice cube mold

3. Pour baking soda/water mixture over the LEGO figures. Note: the baking soda will not fully dissolve in the water so you will have to continually stir as you pour into the ice cube tray to ensure each ice cube will have lots of baking soda in it.

4. Freeze for at 2-3 hours or until completely frozen 

I can hear Darth Vader’s theme song in my head as I look at this…

Part II: You’re Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia

5. Place the ice cube in a small bowl

6. Use a dropper to pour vinegar over the ice cube

7. Continue adding vinegar, watching the ice melt and bubbles form 

8. You have freed Han Solo when the bubbles clear and the ice is melted!

Our Heroes! Luke and Leia Skywalker!

STEAM CONCEPTS LEARNED:

  • Science: When baking soda and vinegar are mixed together in water they form sodium acetate (a salt), water, and carbon dioxide. This happens quickly and the carbon dioxide is released as a gas, which is what creates the fizz, foam and bubbles that are observed in the experiment. Meanwhile, the ice is changing state from solid to liquid as it is melted by the vinegar.
  • Math: Encourage your kids to practice counting as you measure ingredients, add vinegar, etc.

How are you celebrating Star Wars Day? I hope you get the chance to try this with your little Star Wars fan today! May the Fourth be with you and don’t forget to keep washing your Hans! 😉

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