Month: August 2013

Magical expanding soap – the microwave and soap experiment will bend you over with laughter

Magical expanding soap Ivory soap differs from most other brands in that it floats in the water. The reason – there is air whipped into the soap which makes it lighter than water. The small air pockets in the soap make for a very interesting effect when the soap bar is heated up. Take a bar of ivory soap and place it on a paper towel Place the bar in the microwave and microwave for 2 minutes If your microwave has a window, watch the soap bar as it microwaves. Allow the bar to cool for 1 minute before taking it out of the microwave Weird huh? The bar of soap will expand into a huge, billowy, puffy mass of white stuff – looks like clouds! The

Look Ma’ – no hands – air pressure experiment

Look Ma' - no hands The pushing force of air is called air pressure. The closer you are to Earth, the greater the air pressure. The farther away from Earth (in other words the higher your altitude), the less the air pressure. And remember, pressure is coming from all around us. Take the coffee can and punch 3 small holes in the bottom. Also punch one hole in the plastic lid. Now fill the coffee can about 1/2 full of water and put the lid on. Place your hand over the hole and press down on the lid. Notice how the water streams out of the holes on the bottom due to the pressure you are exerting on the lid. Now slowly stop applying pressure to

How capillary action makes water go up…

How capillary action makes water go up... Even though we usually think of water as running downhill, it can indeed flow upwards using a process called capillary action. This is the very scientific principal that explains how water goes from the soil upwards into the stem of plants. Plants contain many vein like tubes that carry water from the plant's roots upwards to the plant's highest leafs via capillary action. Try this experiment to see capillary action in action. Wrap the plastic wrap around the knitting needle and then tape the edges so that you have formed a tube. Remember, the narrower the tube, the more pronounced the capillary effect will be. Once you have taped the plastic wrap, pull out the knitting needle. Make sure that the

Homemade Barometer experiment

Homemade Barometer The air pressure around us greatly affects our weather. Notice how your weatherman always mentions various pressure systems (low pressure system, high pressure system, etc.) and how they will affect tomorrow's weather. In this experiment, we will create a tool that lets you gauge the pressure of the air around you. Fill the measuring cup or glass with water and add some colored dye to it. Flip the empty soda bottle upside down into the glass measuring cup. Make sure that you use a bottle that is just the right size. The thicker body of the bottle should fit snugly in the measuring cup so that the mouth of the bottle does not touch the bottom of the cup. Make sure that the level of the water extends

Extracting life from a plant

Extracting life from a plant Plants are living creatures just like Dad (OK, so plants are a little smarter). Plants need food and water just like people. But how do plants get food? Plants get their nutrients via the water they take in. Nutrients from the soil get mixed up with the ground water. The plant takes in the ground water with the sneaky nutrients concealed inside. OK Reeko, so how do plants take in water, I've never seen them slurping it up with a straw? This experiment should shed some light on this question. Fill the bottle with water. Take a freshly cut leaf or flower, wrap clay around the stem and place the stem into the bottle. Make sure the clay fits snugly around the mouth

Homemade clouds in a bottle experiment

Homemade Clouds in a Bottle The clouds you see in the sky are formed when water vapor is cooled enough to form tiny water droplets. When moist, cool air rises to a higher altitude, it cools, water droplets are formed, and voila - you have clouds. In this experiment we'll duplicate this same process by causing air in a bottle to rapidly cool. Put a small amount of water into the jar. Just enough to cover the bottom. Place the glove into the jar with the fingers pointing down. Stretch the mouth of the glove over the top of the jar. Carefully insert your hand into the glove being careful not to break the seal. Pull your hand (with the glove still on it) outward quickly. Make sure you

Can we please lower the pressure in here?

Can we please lower the pressure in here? Named after Daniel Bernoulli, the Bernoulli Principle states that as the velocity of a fluid increases, a decrease in pressure occurs. The mathematician Daniel discovered many new ideas regarding fluids and pressure. For instance, Bernoulli, who had earlier begun to study medicine, wanted to know about the relationship between the rate of blood flow and its pressure. He poked a hole in a pipe and stuck a straw in it and noticed that when the fluid sped up, the liquid rose higher in the straw. Soon doctors all over Europe were poking holes in patient’s arms and sticking little glass tubes in them to test their blood pressure. Ouch! This practice continued for nearly 200 years until an

Build a real working hovercraft!

Build a real working hovercraft! So you want your very own hovercraft. Well once again, Reeko is here to help. Of course it's only big enough to hold a mouse (maybe two if the first one scrunches down real low) but hey, we're not old enough for a driver's license anyway... Cut a 4 inch square out of the cardboard. Punch a hole in the cardboard - you may need to get an adult to do this part. If you attempt it yourself be very careful. Make sure you punch the hole in the center of the cardboard. The hole should be the same size as the hole in the spool. Glue the spool to the cardboard on top of the hole. Make sure you glue it real good.

A sucker’s bet – atmospheric pressure experiment

A sucker's bet Funny how we take every-day activities for granted. Take for instance - sucking through a straw. Have you ever stopped to think about how we are able to suck liquids through a straw. What exactly makes the liquid climb up the straw and into our mouths. Well, I know you're just itching to know so here we go... Fill the jar with water. Poke a hole in the lid just big enough for the straw to fit through. Put the straw through the hole. Seal the hole with clay. Make sure it is sealed tight! Try to suck water through the straw. What happens? When you drink from an open glass of water, air pressure allows the water to travel up the straw. By

Vibrating pennies – conduction experiment

Vibrating pennies Take a bottle with a narrow opening. The opening should be just about the size of a penny. Dip a penny in a bowl of ice water. Hold the neck of the bottle in the ice water for a few seconds too. Place the penny over the mouth of the jar. Place some oil around the bottles opening or on the penny in order to provide a completely air tight seal. Now hold bottle in your hands and carefully observe the penny. It should begin bouncing around. Rubbing the bottle will increase the heat even more. Remember - heat causes things to expand (or get larger). Cold causes things to contract (or get smaller). The heat from your hands is transferred through conduction to the