DIY: A Successful GLOW

When I decided to make glow sticks, I was being adventurous. Chemistry is not by anymeans my thing so I was definitely tackling the unknown. The search to find what could possibly work for home-made glow sticks was a little difficult. At the beginning, I found a bunch of tutorials using everyday items. These all got me to thinking that I could make these ever-so-fun sticks without making a trip to a chemical store. So I dove head first into the possibility of a glowing future.


Once fully committed to the idea of a glow stick, I began trying to find specific tutorials. I found two videos, one how-to website, and two forum posting. The two videos included the NurdRage video posting on You Tube and Weird Science with Chad Hardwick from PBS (he was very amusing), both viedos seemed trust worthy. One of the forum postings did not have any type of resources to help prove their credibility ( I tried both the Mountain Dew and the Matches/Bleach and failed miserably). The second forum posting, Science had multiple entries of chemical based glow stick ingredients.

The last instructional site (ehow) was my last hope. After tracking down the chemicals at Analytic Scientific (the guy was extremely helpful) I followed the instructions and got a slight glow out of the reactions. I was sooooooooooo excited that something was finally working that I drove to HEB to buy more hydrogen peroxide. The second attempt was much better when I switched what mixture to pour into the other. The directions of the how-to guide were not as effective as the trial and error method I used to find the correct method to get a wondrous glow. Finally, there was a bright blue glow emitted from my concoction. Although the mixture only glowed for about 1 min, it was incredibly fulfilling to have finally got a reaction from my efforts.

The instructional guide was probably the best to fit with my learning style. I sometimes need to repeat the instructions to make sure about what exactly I need to be doing and it was easier to read the instructions again than to play a video. I kept losing track of measurements and instructions during the videos. The forums weren’t helpful at all. They left a lot of questions unanswered. It is true that when you finally succeed it is the most amazing feeling.

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