Science worms for St. Patrick's Day

These cute green worms wish you a happy St. Patrick's Day!

Warn­ing! Only un­der adult su­per­vi­sion.


  • sodi­um al­gi­nate so­lu­tion with flu­o­res­cein;
  • cal­ci­um chlo­ride so­lu­tion (or cal­ci­um lac­tate);
  • sy­ringe.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Fill a sy­ringe with a so­lu­tion of sodi­um al­gi­nate and flu­o­res­cein and squeeze it out into a cal­ci­um chlo­ride so­lu­tion. One by one, green worms "wrig­gle” out!

Sci­en­tif­ic de­scrip­tion

The sodi­um al­gi­nate so­lu­tion re­acts al­most in­stan­ty with the cal­ci­um chlo­ride so­lu­tion, form­ing an in­sol­u­ble film of cal­ci­um al­gi­nate on the sur­face of the “worms.” Mean­while, the flu­o­res­cein mol­e­cules ab­sorb light en­er­gy, which is re­leased al­most im­me­di­ate­ly as a green glow.

A sim­i­lar ex­per­i­ment is in­clud­ed in the “Chem­istry of ma­te­ri­als” set from the MEL Sci­ence sub­scrip­tion.