Before the Science Carnival

Fluorescent Solutions:

A spatula will be used to added each fluorescent molecule to a chemical solution it is soluble in. Add enough of the chemical so that the solution is concentrated enough, and will glow when exposed to UV light.

  • Ethyl Acetate:
    • 9,10-diphenyl anthracene
    • Rubrene
  • Methanol:
    • 9,10-bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene
    • Rhodamine B
    • Fluorescein


  1. Add shavings to flask with distilled water.
  2. Add drop of NaOH to flask and allow it to sit for 1 hour.
  3. Shavings can be removed or left in the flask. Solution can then be capped and left to sit until demo day.
    • Solution can be stored in sunlight for weeks or in darkness for months.

Day of the Science Carnival

Fluorescent Solutions:

  1. Using a funnel, fill the five volumetric flask with the chemical solutions.
  2. Cap each of the volumetric flasks
  3. Label the volumetric flask and funnel with the chemical they were used for.
  4. Place the flask on the UV table, to allow solutions to glow.  

Glow Sticks:

  1. Fill the first container with cold water
  2. Fill the second container with room temperature water
  3. Fill the third container with hot water
  4. Place a glow stick into each of the containers

Tonic water:

  • Does not need prep just ensure it’s in a container the kids can see into.


  • Doesn’t need prep, just mix a little to stir things up a bit.

Make sure that you have a waste bottle to dispose of solutions that is labeled with the chemicals to be used in this experiment.