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Engineering Week - DlY Doll Bunsen Burner and Test Tubes - Doll STEM Camp 2018

You just can't have a science lab without a Bunsen Burner! This popular invention has become a classic icon of in the field of chemical engineering.

While this common science instrument bears the name of German scientist Robert Bunsen, he was not the first to invent the burner. Michael Faraday was the original developer, but Robert Bunsen made significant improvements to the device, hence the name "Bunsen Burner".

The Bunsen Burner is used for the heating of chemical solutions, purification through heat, and combustion (the process of burning). It runs on a special gas to safely and effectively create heat. The burner can produce three different flames:

  • The "safety flame" at 300° Celsius indicates that the Bunsen Burner is turned on.

  • The medium flame is the most commonly used flame at 500° Celsius.

  • With a temperature of 700° Celsius is the hottest roaring blue flame, and the only one to make a sound while burning.

During Engineering Week, we will be observing three different types of engineers as we count down to our very own rocket launch! A chemical engineer can help with the first necessary step- developing the correct type of fuel to send a rocket off into space. Our dolls will need a Bunsen Burner to complete that task, so let's get crafting!


  • Large bottle cap

  • Small bottle cap

  • White Paint

  • Other paint colors of your choice

  • Paintbrush

  • Toothpicks or skewers

  • Hot glue

  • Wax paper

  • Large wooden bead

  • Wood axle pegs from Hobby Lobby (Woodpile Fun brand)

1. Cut toothpicks or skewers to measure 1 inch in height. Hot glue them in a square pattern on top of the large plastic cap.

Sketching a small square on the bottle cap can help when gluing the skewers/toothpicks.

2. To create the flame, make a drop of hot glue on wax paper and swipe off at the end to create a raindrop shape.

3. Once the hot glue is fully dry, paint the flame any color of your choice.

4. Paint the base of the Bunsen Burner, then glue the flame in the middle.

5. Paint the small plastic cap to match the base, and attach on top of the legs with hot glue.

6. To create the beaker, paint one half of your wooden bead white, and the other half the color of your choice. Cut a straw to measuring 1 inch, and paint it white as well. Glue on top of the wooden bead.

For the test tubes, I am using Wood Axle Pegs from Hobby Lobby. The tubes were painted in various shades of colors.

To represent the measurement marks, I used a toothpick to paint small white lines.

Camp Conversations - Episode 5

Ella didn’t see Meg until the chemistry experiment the next morning. Meg and Johanna were gathering supplies by the science table when Ella walked in with Luciana.

“Meg,” Ella began.

Meg turned at the sound of her sister’s voice. Her small face was solemn and looked somewhat nervous as she waited for Ella to speak.

“I- I’m so sorry.” Eyes shining with tears, Ella continued. “I’ve been a terrible sister… and friend. I know it may take time for me to earn back your trust, but I… I love you, Meg.”

Before she could say anymore, Meg smiled and ran up to Ella, flinging her arms around her sister in a giant hug. “Oh, Ella. Don’t worry. I forgive you!”

Johanna clasped her hands, and Luciana sighed happily. “Awww!”

Ella laughed and Meg giggled.

“Thanks, Meg.” Ella sniffled and grinned. “Ok, I think- I mean, we should probably get started. Developing fuel for a rocket takes a good bit of time.”

For the rest of the morning, Team Odyssey worked tirelessly to create the fuel for their rocket. After two minor explosions and a mixture spill, Ella finally announced, “Well, here it is, girls. Team Odyssey’s very own model rocket fuel!”

Cheers and happy shouts filled the room. At the sound of screams, the lab supervisor quickly entered the room and rushed over to the four campers. “Is everything alright, Team Odyssey?” Her eyes then traveled over to the beaker that Ella held containing neon green fuel that. “Ah, I see you’ve completed your fuel mixture. What is the main propellant ingredient?”

“KNO6!” Meg declared, proud of herself for remembering.

“KNO3,” Luciana whispered in Meg's ear.

“Oh, yes.” Meg grinned sheepishly. “KNO3.”

“And what temperatures did you use for your Bunsen Burner?” questioned the supervisor.

“We started at 500 degrees…” Johanna said.

“And then raised to 700 degrees for the roaring blue flame.” Luciana finished.

The supervisor raised an eyebrow. “I must say, girls, that I am very impressed. You kept your solution within the guidelines, yet you managed to create an efficient fuel. Good job! I’ll see you on launch day.”

As the group began to disperse, Johanna shouted, “Wait, wait! We must do a cheer. You know, like team spirit?”

All the girls gathered in a circle, four hands outstretched in the middle.

“Let’s count down,” Ella said. “Together.”




Go Team Odyssey!”

Astro Alternatives

When crafting, improvise and create using what works best for YOU! At the end of each camp craft, we'll be sharing ideas for alternative materials.

  • Use clear drink straws for test tubes instead of wooden pegs

  • A flameless tea light candle would work wonderful for the base of the Bunsen Burner, and can actually "light up"!

  • Use a small clear Christmas ornament and clear drink straw for the beaker

Don't forget to enter our American Girl STEM Prize Package Giveaway!

If you complete a craft or want to share a photo of your doll at camp, snap a picture and send it in or share on Instagram using the hashtag #DollSTEMCamp2018 to be featured in the Camp Recap each Sunday!Email:

#stem #stemdoll #STEMCamp #DollSTEMCamp2018 #stemcampforkids #girlsinstem #dollstemcamp #DollSTEMCamp #americangirlSTEMdoll #STEM #bunsenburner #agcrafts #crafts #AmericanGirlcrafts

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