Light

An enlightening experiment

Using a mirror to check out the properties of light Light traveling in a straight line appears colorless. But there's more to light than just colorless nothingness. When light passes through a wedge shaped piece of glass called a prism, the light is separated into 7 different and unique colors. You see these colors when light passes through rain or moisture producing a rainbow. Place a mirror in the glass of water at an angle (let it lean against the side of the glass). Turn the glass so the mirror is facing the sun. Hold the paper at a slant in front of the glass. Move the paper around until you see the rainbow colors. You may need to move the paper around slightly until…
Tell me more Reeko! »
Inertia/Momentum

Shiver me timbers, blow me down

The Coanda Effect experiment Believe it or not, scientist are still arguing (debating would be a better word, I guess) as to exactly what scientific principle should be used to explain why an airplane can fly. One explanation, the Bernoulli Effect is commonly used to explain the phenomenon of flight . In this experiment we demonstrate the second explanation - the Coanda Effect. Light a candle and place it on a table. Place an oatmeal or salt container in front of the candle. Blow against the other side of the container (the side opposite from the lit candle). Be sure to keep your mouth even with the flame of the candle. Bet ya didn't guess that was going to happen - did ya? The Coanda…
Tell me more Reeko! »
Inertia/Momentum

Rock and roll records that just won’t swing

An old record (or CD) demonstrates gyroscopic principles Gyroscopic inertia - a strange, complicated word - is a force common all around us. It explains how we are able to ride a bike, how planes navigate, and how a figure skater is able to do those lightening fast spins. Here's a simple experiment that'll clear up this confusing concept. Note: the hardest part of this experiment is going to be finding one of those old LP records. Tie one end of the string to the middle of a matchstick or pencil. Pull the other end of the string through the center of a LP record (so the matchstick is centered underneath the hole). Swing the record back and forth like a pendulum in smooth, even…
Tell me more Reeko! »
Geometry

Where inside and outside are one and the same

Mobius strip experiment Think you've seen it all. Just when you thought you understand the simple little concepts like up and down, forwards and backwards, and inside and outside, Reeko comes along and throws a curve ball at ya' - in this case, a curved piece of paper that will blow your mind. Cut a 2 inch strip of paper. Holding the strip out straight, give it a half twist (180 degrees) and attach the two ends together. Take a pen and draw a line along the center of the strip. Surprised? Where do you end up? Is the line drawn on the inside or outside of the paper? Now cut the strip along the line you drew. How many chains do you get? Your…
Tell me more Reeko! »
Geometry

Super hero egg shells

Super hero egg shells Ever wonder why igloos are dome shaped and not square? Ever been amazed at how a suspension bridge can hold the weight of hundreds of passing cars with little or no apparent support underneath it? This experiment demonstrates how arches are used in architecture not only for aesthetic appeal but for a very useful and needed Carefully break off the small end of four eggs and pour out the insides.  If you're worried about wasting perfectly good eggs uhhh, Reeko's heard they're good for your Wind a piece of cellophane tape around the center of each eggshell. Cut through the center of the tape to make four dome-shaped shells (discard the broken end of each shell). Lay the four domes on…
Tell me more Reeko! »
Floatation

The homemade pen cap sinker

Make a pen cap sinker to demonstrate Pascal’s law Fill the plastic bottle with water. Attach a piece of clay to the arm of a plastic pen cap. Put the cap in the bottle so that it floats. Put the lid on the bottle and tighten so that it does not leak any air. Squeeze the sides of the bottle. What do you think causes the pen cap to sink when you squeeze the sides of the bottle? By squeezing the bottle, you increase the pressure inside, thus forcing more water up into the pen cap. The added water in the cap increases its weight and causes the cap to sink. A submarine works along these same principles. If the average density of the submarine…
Tell me more Reeko! »
Floatation

Principles of Flotation science experiment

What makes a heavy ship float? How does a boat or ship carrying hundreds of pounds worth of stuff float while that same stuff would sink to the bottom of the ocean if dumped overboard? How come when you're in a pool and you stretch your body out flat you float. But, if you wrap your arms around your legs and curl up into a ball you sink? Well, it all has to do with how much water is pushing against you and a little scientific principle called buoyancy or floatation. When you stretch out flat more water pushes against you since your body is laid out flatter. When you curl up into a ball, less water is pushing against you. Want to test this…
Tell me more Reeko! »
Floatation

Make a homemade Lava Lamp experiment

Make a homemade Lava Lamp Lava lamps were very popular in the 1970’s. For some reason, your parents thought it was very fun to sit there and watch colorful liquid in a bottle swirl aimlessly around. They probably even chanted “Oh wow, the colors, the colors.” They became popular again a few years ago but as we know, kids today are much smarter, and thought that lava lamps were cool because they knew they demonstrated the scientific principles of immiscible liquids (liquids that just won’t mix). In this science experiment, we’ll create a real working lava lamp and explain to your parents why they really should be thought of as cool. Fill a glass jar with 3 inches of water or until it is 2/3…
Tell me more Reeko! »
Floatation

Floating eggs in salt water experiment

Floating eggs in salt water Density is a measure of how much matter takes up a certain amount of space or volume. The more matter you can pack into a certain space, the denser it is. Although we often confused the two, density and weight are actually two different measurements. Weight is defined as the mass of an object times the force of gravity. In our world where we have gravity forcing things downward, a denser object will be heavier too. Clear as mud? Well, let’s do this experiment and at least make it as clear as, err… salt water. Since density is defined as how much matter takes up a certain amount of volume, we can take ordinary water, add salt to it, and…
Tell me more Reeko! »
Cohesion

The ‘Am I Dense’ experiment

The 'Am I Dense' experiment In our floating experiment, we touched on the topics of buoyancy. But in reality, flotation is also affected by other scientific principles as well. Here, let Reeko Pour one-third cup of syrup into the glass jar. Now pour one-third cup of cooking oil into the jar. Finally, pour one-third cup of water into the jar. Let the contents settle for a few minutes. Drop a piece of plastic, a grape, and a small cork into the liquid. Notice how the objects you dropped in settle down to different layers of the mixture. The liquids have different densities. The most dense (syrup) will be at the bottom, the least dense (oil) will be at the top, with the water in between.…
Tell me more Reeko! »