Foam Activity


(for 25 people)


  • about 15 bowls for beating foam (it may be useful to have more on hand)
  • 6 to 8 hand beaters, 1 per person for the guided activity. You may want additional beaters for the challenge and inquiry activities.
  • 8 to 10 electric beaters
  • 50 plastic coated plates - 11" or 12" size
  • 50 plastic coated plates - 6" dessert size
  • 8 pint bottles of Joy and/or Dawn detergent (it's nice to have some of both)
  • 4-6 cans of shaving cream
  • plastic covering for tables - or newspapers
  • 12, 1/4" dowels - cut to 5", 7", 9" and 12" and sharpened to a point (can be done in an electric pencil sharpener)
  • 4 yardsticks and 4 rulers
  • plastic spoons
  • tongue depressors
  • several magnifying glasses
  • 6 measuring spoons (teaspoons)
  • water containers (like pitchers) for each activity
  • 12 eight-oz paper cups
  • 2-4 qt. bottles of root beer
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • cream of tartar
  • 3 pints of vinegar for clean-up
  • binocular dissecting microscope (optional)
  • three 5-gallon buckets for clean-up

Spoons and tongue depressors are used to contour the foam, but you can ask people to use their hands. The root beer, shaving cream, eggs and cream of tartar are used at the inquiry center. In the text below, the above list is broken out into three materials lists for the three activity centers.

We've found that asking participants to bring in materials (like egg beaters and bowls) from home works well.

Materials lists for each activity are within the description of that activity.

Foam Activity

Institute for Inquiry