Make a Christmas-time glitter globe (aka snow globe)

In this science experiment we will mix molecules to make a glitter globe (i.e. a "snow globe"). We will combine rubbing alcohol, vegetable oil, and a few other tiny, shiny things to make a cool science toy. How to make a glitter globe Fill a clear plastic or glass bottle 1/4 full of rubbing alcohol. Add one drop of food coloring if you want to give the liquid mix some color (and make it easier to differentiate the alcohol layer from the layer of oil that we will add next).Note: if you want to use your snow globe for decorative purposes, skip the food coloring altogether. Fill the remainder of the bottle with baby or vegetable oil (the oil will sit on top of the alcohol).  Leave a

Plastic cups in love – experimental demonstration of Bernoulli’s principle

Plastic cups in love What does a flying airplane and a pitcher's curve ball have in common. Well, besides the fact that both travel through the air at amazingly fast speeds - both are based on a principle called Bernoulli's principle. Bernoulli, (pronounced Burr New Lee) was a Swiss mathematician who liked to piddle around with these types of things. Now we get to piddle too... Out of the string, make 2-1 foot long pieces. Using tape, attach one end of the string to the bottom of one of the cups. Take the other end of the string and attach it to a table. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the second cup. When taping this string to the table, make sure that the cups will

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

Trapped Bird in a cage

[sc:commonscripts] Trapped Bird in a cage Ever wonder how cartoons are created? Basically what happens is the artist draws the cartoon characters in multiple sequential images and presents them to us in a manner that causes our minds to fill in the missing pieces. This experiment helps demonstrate the basic principle of animation. Draw a picture of a tiger on the index card. On another card the same size, draw a picture of a cage. Now tape the two cards, with the drawings facing outwards, on opposite sides of a pen. Spin the pen between your hands or fingers. Does the tiger appear to be trapped in the cage? It appears to be caged because of how your eyes and brain work. When you see the image of the tiger, your brain

Simulating Gravity on Film

Simulating Gravity on Film Zero-G refers to weightlessness and means “zero g-force” not “zero gravity” as some would believe. It’s most commonly envisioned as astronauts floating around in space. You can experience zero gravity in a free falling airplane too and in fact, astronauts use these free falling planes to train in a weightless environment. 300 miles above the earth, where the space shuttle flies, gravity is only about 15% less than it is at the surface of the Earth – not much of a difference. You can think of weightlessness either as the absence of gravity (which is basically wrong) or as gravitational force pulling on an object from all sides equally (which is basically right). In this experiment, we’ll change the direction that the gravitational

The evolution of a spider (or not) – science and religion battle over Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

What is the Theory of Evolution? Being a prominent (ahem) member of the scientific community, Reeko has a lot of scientist friends.  Reeko knows that the thing that bugs scientists more than anything, is when people don’t believe their theories (well, that and burning lab coats). And when it comes to Darwin's Theory of Evolution, scientists treat it almost like a religion. On the flip side, some religions have a big problem with the scientists’ Theory of Evolution making the whole subject of “natural selection” a huge heated debate between scientists and religious groups. Scientists theorize that humans evolved from single cells to fish to monkeys. Some religious groups, called creationists, take offense at this proposal saying it’s silly to think that people magically grew, over time,

Splatter blood for blood spatter analysis

Splatter blood for blood spatter analysis First we will let you in on a little secret. When you or your brother or sister do something wrong, your parents have to figure out who did it. To parents this is like a whodunit game and in fact, they have a secret name for it that they have sworn never to reveal to the kids (breaking this rule can result in loss of their official parenting card). It’s called the “which kid do we smack this time” game. And no, they don’t roll dice or draw straws to figure it out the winner. Parents have an eerie, almost superhero-like ability that allows them to scan human faces to determine the guilty party. It worked so well that a long

Where inside and outside are one and the same

[sc:commonscripts] 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 chain is called a Mobius strip,

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 purpose... Carefully break off the small end of four eggs and pour out the insides.  If you're worried about wasting perfectly good eggs then... uhhh, Reeko's heard they're good for your hair... 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 a table

Making Sparks – Part II

Making Sparks - Part II Ever heard of a Leyden jar?  It's been around for over 200 years and is the forerunner of the modern day capacitor.  The guy who invented it tested it on himself and stated that 'my whole body was shaken as though by a thunderbolt'.  And no, his name wasn't Leyden - Leyden was the town that the jar was invented in.  If we had named the jar after the inventor it would be called a 'Musschenbroeck jar' (now you see why it's called a Leyden jar).  It was once discharged through seven hundred monks who were holding hands.  They flew up into the air simultaneously.  Definitely sounds like a experiment Dad should be involved with... By the way, you might want to