Download Science Experiments...
Walking Water Experiment Here’s what you’ll need:
Two cups or glasses Piece of paper towel Water Food coloring (optional)
Here’s what to do: 1. Fill one cup up with water and color it with food coloring if you want. 2. Raise one glass a few inches higher than the other using books, blocks, etc. 3. Place a strip of paper towel from the top glass, making sure it touches the bottom, down to the lower glass. 4. Watch what happens as the paper towel absorbs and siphons the water through the paper and down into the lower glass. (NOTE: This step will take a while, so keep checking back)
This experiment was found at PlayBasedLearning.com (Walking Water)
Draw or write what happened to the water in the cups.
Here’s the science:
(From A Book of Experiments at ScientiaReview.org)
The water transfers between the two cups because of pores in the paper towels. These air holes are called capillaries. When the pores fill with water, the water moves up through the paper towel until gravity can overcome the forces of the water molecules and the water goes down into the lower cup.
Bubbling Lava Lamp Here’s what you’ll need:
Clean, clear plastic bottle with a lid Vegetable oil Food coloring Water Alka-seltzer tablets
Here’s what to do: 1. Fill the bottle about 3/4 full with vegetable oil. 2. Fill the rest of the bottle almost to the top with water. 3. Add about 10 drops of food coloring (you’ll want the water fairly dark in color). Notice that the food coloring only colors the water and not the oil. 4. When the water is colored and the oil and water have separated, break the Alkaseltzer tablet into several pieces. 5. Drop one of the small pieces into the bottle and watch what happens. When the bubbling stops, you can add another part of the tablet. 6. When you have used up all of the Alka-seltzer and the bubbling has completely stopped, screw on the lid. Tip the bottle back and forth to watch the colored wave appear. Shake the bottle and then watch all the tiny droplets of liquid join back together into a big blob.
Draw or write about what happened in your “lava lamp”.
Here’s the science:
First of all, you confirmed what you already knew... oil and water do not mix. The molecules of water do not like to mix with the molecules of oil. Even if you try to shake up the bottle, the oil breaks up into small little drops, but the oil doesn’t mix with the water. Also, food coloring only mixes with water. It does not color the oil. When you pour the water into the bottle with the oil, the water sinks to the bottom and the oil floats to the top. This is the same as when oil from a ship spills in the ocean. The oil floats on top of the water. Oil floats on the surface because water is heavier than oil. Scientists say that the water is more dense than the oil. Here’s the surprising part... The Alka-Seltzer tablet reacts with the water to make tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. These bubbles attach themselves to the blobs of colored water and cause them to float to the surface. When the bubbles pop, the color blobs sink back to the bottom of the bottle.
Color changing Milk Here’s what you’ll need:
Milk (whole or half and half) Plate or shallow bowl Food coloring Q-tip Dishwashing soap (Dawn works well)
Here’s what to do: 1. Pour some milk onto the plate until it’s about 1/4” deep. 2. Add a drop of each color of food coloring near the center of the plate of milk. 3. Gently touch the q-tip to the food coloring. (Don’t mix it, just gently touch it!). Did anything happen? 4. Next, dip the other end of the q-tip in some dishwashing soap. Place the soapy end of the q-tip into the milk and hold it there for 10-15 seconds. Now what happens? 5. You can repeat it a few times with a little more soap on the q-tip and touching it to different parts of the milk on the plate. You’ll notice that the colors sometimes continue to move in the milk even after you take the q-tip out.
Draw or write about what happened in your plate of milk.
Here’s the science:
Milk is mostly water but it also contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, and tiny droplets of fat suspended in solution. Fats and proteins are sensitive to changes in the surrounding solution (the milk). The secret of the bursting colors is the chemistry of that tiny drop of soap. Dish soap, because of its bipolar characteristics (nonpolar on one end and polar on the other), weakens the chemical bonds that hold the proteins and fats in solution. The soap's polar, or hydrophilic (water-loving), end dissolves in water, and its hydrophobic (water-fearing) end attaches to a fat globule in the milk. This is when the fun begins. The molecules of fat bend, roll, twist, and contort in all directions as the soap molecules race around to join up with the fat molecules. During all of this fat molecule gymnastics, the food coloring molecules are bumped and shoved everywhere, providing an easy way to observe all the invisible activity. As the soap becomes evenly mixed with the milk, the action slows down and eventually stops.
Marshmallow Masher Here’s what you’ll need: Mini marshmallows Pressurizing pump (fizz-keeper) Empty 16 oz. plastic bottle Here’s what to do: 1. Fill the bottle about half full with marshmallows, then screw on the special pressurizing pump. 2. Begin pumping to increase the pressure inside the bottle. Watch what begins to happen to the marshmallows! (NOTE: Do not pump more than 40-50 times!) 3. Slowly unscrew the pump. As you do, watch what happens to the marshmallows again.
Draw or write about what happened to the marshmallows in the bottle.
Here’s the science:
The Fizz Keeper is like a miniature bicycle pump that forces molecules of air into the bottle. The increased pressure, in turn, pushes on the marshmallows. Since marshmallows are just puffy pockets of air, the increased pressure compacts the molecules and the marshmallows shrivel up. We sometimes refer to things as being “light as air,” but the truth is that the air surrounding our planet weighs a lot and exerts considerable pressure on us. The atmospheric pressure at sea level is 14.7 pounds per square inch of surface area. That’s roughly the weight of 2 gallons of milk resting on 1 square inch!
Floating “m’s” Here’s what you’ll need: m&m’s candy shallow bowl warm water Here’s what to do: 1. Put the warm water in the shallow bowl. Place a few m&m’s into the bowl with the “m” facing up. 2. Wait a few minutes. Watch what starts to happen with the colored candy shells. Wait a few more minutes. Do you see anything cool happening with the “m’s”?
Draw or write what happened with the m&m’s in the bowl of water.
Here’s the science:
The white letters on M&Ms (and Skittles) are printed with edible ink that doesn't dissolve in water. When the rest of the candy shell dissolves, the letters peel off and float. Some of the letters break into pieces, but a few should survive intact.
Elephant Toothpaste Here’s what you’ll need:
A clean 16 ounce plastic soda bottle 1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid (20-volume is a 6% solution, ask an adult to get this from a beauty supply store or hair salon)
1 Tablespoon (one packet) of dry yeast 3 Tablespoons of warm water Liquid dish washing soap Food coloring Small cup Funnel Safety goggles Tray or container to catch all the foaming fun!
Here’s what to do: 1. Hydrogen peroxide can irritate skin and eyes, so put on those safety goggles and ask an adult to carefully pour the hydrogen peroxide into the bottle. 2. Add 8 drops of your favorite food coloring into the bottle. 3. Add about 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap into the bottle and swish the bottle around a bit to mix it. 4. In a separate small cup, combine the warm water and the yeast together and mix for about 30 seconds. 5. Now the adventure starts! Pour the yeast water mixture into the bottle (a funnel helps here) and watch the foaminess begin!
Wasn’t that cool? Draw or write about what happened with the foam.
Here’s the science:
Foam is awesome! The foam you made is special because each tiny foam bubble is filled with oxygen. The yeast acted as a catalyst (a helper) to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. Since it did this very fast, it created lots and lots of bubbles. Did you notice the bottle got warm. Your experiment created a reaction called an Exothermic Reaction - that means it not only created foam, it created heat! The foam produced is just water, soap, and oxygen so you can clean it up with a sponge and pour any extra liquid left in the bottle down the drain. This experiment is sometimes called "Elephant's Toothpaste" because it looks like toothpaste coming out of a tube, but don't get the foam in your mouth!
The Exploding Sandwich Bag Here’s what you’ll need:
Sandwich- sized Ziploc bag Warm water Vinegar Baking soda Toilet paper
Here’s what to do: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Tear off a square of toilet paper. Place 1 tablespoon of baking soda in the middle of the toilet paper square. Twist or fold the toilet paper around the pile of baking soda making a small packet. It’s best to have someone help you with the next few steps. Open the bag and Ziploc bag and measure 1/3 – 1/2 cup of vinegar into the bag. Add 1/4 cup of warm water to the bag. 5. Zip the bag closed, but not all the way. You want a small opening just large enough to sneak in the wrapped up baking soda. 6. Move the experiment to the sink, or better yet, OUTSIDE! Remember, it’s all about teamwork. Drop the baking soda bundle into the bag and quickly seal the bag closed. Place the bag on the ground (or in the sink if you’re indoors) and get out of the way. Watch closely as the bag begins to puff up. It will get bigger and bigger until… BAM! Pop goes the sandwich bag.
Draw or write what happened to your sandwich bag.
Here’s the science: (From SteveSpanglerScience.com) When you mix vinegar and baking soda, a chemical reaction takes place producing a gas called carbon dioxide (CO2). If you really want to impress your friends, use the chemical names for each of the ingredients. Acetic acid (that’s vinegar) plus sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) produces carbon dioxide gas and water. The bag puffs up because the carbon dioxide gas takes up lots of space, eventually filling the bag. If there’s more gas than the bag can hold… KABOOM! Wrapping the baking soda in tissue paper or separating the substances in bags is a clever way of slowing down the reaction.
The Disappearing Penny Here’s what you need:
Clear drinking glass Penny Water Saucer
Here’s what to do: 1. Set a penny on a flat surface like a table or counter. 2. Place the base of a clear drinking glass over the penny. 3. Cover the mouth of the glass with a small saucer. Looking in through the side of the glass, you can still see the penny. 4. Now, tilt the saucer back and fill the glass with water. 5. Once you've filled the glass, replace the saucer. Can you still see the penny through the side of the glass? It's disappeared! 6. Take the saucer off of the mouth of the glass. Peer straight to the bottom of the glass through the water. There's that tricky penny!
Draw or write about what happened to the penny when the cup didn’t have water in it and then when it did.
Here’s the science: (From SteveSpanglerScience.com) The trick behind the Disappearing Money experiment is the refraction of light. Images that we see are all light rays that reach our eyes. When these light rays travel through air, they experience little or no refraction. That's why you can still see the penny through the side of the empty glass. When you poured water into the glass, it was as though the penny had disappeared, but it was really just some bending light rays. After traveling through the water and the side of the glass, none of the rays were able to reach your eyes. Refraction occurs because of the molecules in the substance that the light rays are passing through. Gas molecules are spread out. This is why little to no refraction occurs. However, when light rays pass through a substance such as water, the refraction is greater because the molecules are closer together. So when the light rays are traveling from the money through the water, they are refracted and cannot make it to your eyes. In fact, the glass also refracts the light even more! The image ends up being projected near the top of the glass after the light refraction it has undergone. You would be able to see it... if the saucer were not strategically placed atop the glass.
Ivory Soap Explosion Here’s what you need: Bar of Ivory Soap Plate Microwave Here’s what to do: 1. Cut your bar of soap into thirds. Put one piece on a plate and put it in the microwave. 2. Cook the soap on high for 2 minutes. Keep watching the whole time, you’ll see something amazing happen! 3. Let your “exploded” soap cool for a minute or two. Then you can touch and examine it. Pretty cool, isn’t it? 4. Don’t throw your experiment away. It’ll work just fine in the shower or bathtub!
Draw or write about what your soap did in the microwave.
Here’s the science:
Ivory soap is one of the few brands of bar soap that floats in water. But when you break the bar of soap into several pieces, there are no large pockets of air inside. If it floats in water and has no pockets of air, it must mean that the soap itself is less dense than water. Ivory soap floats because it has air pumped into it during the manufacturing process. The air-filled soap was actually discovered by accident in 1890 by an employee at Procter and Gamble. While mixing up a batch of soap, the employee forgot to turn off his mixing machine before taking his lunch break. This caused so much air to be whipped into the soap that the bars floated in water. The response by the public was so favorable that Procter and Gamble continued to whip air into the soap and capitalized on the mistake by marketing their new creation as "The Soap that Floats!" Why does the soap expand in the microwave? This is actually very similar to what happens when popcorn pops or when you try to microwave a marshmallow. Those air bubbles in the soap (or the popcorn kernels or the marshmallow) contain water. Water is also caught up in the matrix of the soap itself. The expanding effect is caused when the water is heated by the microwave. The water vaporizes, forming bubbles, and the heat causes trapped air to expand. Likewise, the heat causes the soap itself to soften and become pliable. This effect is actually a demonstration of Charles' Law. Charles' Law states that as the temperature of a gas increases, so does its volume. When the soap is heated, the molecules of air in the soap move quickly, causing them to move far away from each other. This causes the soap to puff up and expand to an enormous size. Other brands of soap without whipped air tend to heat up and melt in the microwave.
Bending Water Here’s what you need: A plastic comb (or ruler) Faucet with running water Someone with hair (it can be yourself!) Here’s what to do: 1. First, go to a sink and turn the cold knob until a slow, thin and steady stream of water is pouring out. 2. Then, take the plastic ruler and run it through your hair twenty to thirty times 3. Now, making sure not to touch the ruler to anything, slowly move the edge of the comb which is farthest from your hand, towards the stream of running water. 4. Watch what happens to the water!
Draw or write what happened to the water when you held the comb up to it.
Here’s the science:
(From scientiareview.org ~ Book of Experiments)
Well, everything that you see around you is made of lots and lots of tiny little things called atoms. Each of these atoms has protons, which are positively charged, and electrons, which are negatively charged. When the atoms of an object have more electrons, then the object also has a negative charge. When the atoms have more protons, then the object is positively charged. Things that have opposite charges are attracted to each other. When you run the comb through your hair, it makes some of the electrons in your hair “jump” to the ruler. That causes the comb to have more electrons, which means it has a negative charge. Water is made of groups of two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom which have combined to make molecules. Each water molecule has a positively charged side near the hydrogen and a negatively charged side near the oxygen. The positive sides of the water molecules are attracted to negatively charged things, like the comb. Because of this attraction, the water bends when the comb moves closer to it.
Spinning Penny Here’s what you need: Round Balloon (clear would be great, otherwise any lighter color will do) Penny or other coin Here’s what to do: 1. Squeeze a penny through the mouth of a clear balloon. Make sure that the penny goes all the way into the balloon so that there is no danger of it being sucked out while blowing up the balloon. 2. Blow up the balloon. When properly inflated, the balloon will be lighter in the middle and cloudy at the area near the neck and at the end opposite the neck. The cloudiness at the ends is unstretched latex, which provides stress relief. If the balloon is lighter all over, it is overinflated. 3. Tie off the balloon and you’re ready to go. 4. Grip the balloon at the stem end as you would a bowling ball. The neck of the balloon will be in your palm and your fingers and thumb will extend down the sides of the balloon. 5. While holding the balloon palm down, swirl it in a circular motion. The penny may bounce around at first, but it will soon begin to roll around the inside of the balloon. The best orbit or path for the coin is one parallel to the floor. 6. Once the coin begins spinning, use your other hand to stabilize the balloon. Your penny should continue to spin for 30 seconds or more.
Draw or write about what your penny did inside the balloon.
Here’s the science:
The Spinning Penny is almost like scientific poetry in motion. To understand how and why it works, you have to look at the forces that are acting on the penny. The shape of the balloon makes the penny move in a circular path - otherwise the penny would want to continue to move in a straight line. Another force to consider is friction. There's very little friction between the edge of the penny and the balloon. More friction would cause the penny to slow down and stop. The real force in action here is called centripetal force, which means center-seeking. This is a force that is always directed toward the center of the circle and is actually responsible for keeping the penny moving in a circular motion inside the balloon.