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The Ineffective Drinking Straw experiment

How to discover how air pressure affects the operation of a drinking straw? 1) Please a straw in your mouth with the other end in the glass of water. 2) Place a second straw in your mouth, but do not place the other en in the water. 3) Attempt to drink from the first straw. Are you successful?   Science behind it. You do not actually suck liquid through a straw. Air pressure pushing on the surface of a liquid forces liquid up the straw and into your mouth. SAY WHAT?   This happens when you reduce the pressure inside…

Homemade Water Thermometer Experiment

Materials: Stove, Drill, Jar with lid, clear straw, frying pan and food coloring.   Safety Precautions: Perform only under adult supervision. Excise caution with hot water. Handle jar bottle with pot holders as the water is very hot.   Procedure: Drill a hole in the in the top of the jar lid so that a drinking straw will fit snugly through it. Fill the jar with water to the brim. add a few drops of food coloring. Place lid on the jar. Insert straw through the hole in the jar lid so that it touches the bottom of the jar….

Magic Breath Experiment

Procedure 1 Fill cup A with 200 mL of water. 2 Put 10-12 drops of phenolphthalein solution in cup A with water 3 Add Sodium Carbonate to cup B 4 Pour cup A into cup B 5 Insert the straw into the cup and blow OUTWARD. 6 The color will start to change back to colorless.   Explanation Phenolphthalein is an acid/base indicator. It is colorless when it is an acid and pink when it is a base.   Phenolphthalein is added to water, which is then poured into a second cup B containing a base (sodium carbonate). If the…

Slingshot Straw Rocket Experiment

To launch, hold the rocket by the straw right below the paper clip or if you leave room on the bottom. Hook the rubber band with the paper clip and pull back. Point it straight up in the air. Never point at other people. As you let go of the rocket, flick the craft stick forward.   The energy the rocket needs for flight comes from the rubber band. Rubber bands are a great example of potential energy. Potential energy is energy that is stored up, not being used, just waiting to be unleashed. Think about when you stretch a…

Boyle’s Law in a Bottle experiment

Materials: Balloon, Straw, Bottle, Safety goggles & Fizz-keeper   Safety Precautions: Wear safety goggles. To avoid over pressurizing the bottle, do not pump up the bottle with the fizz-keeps more than 100 times. When releasing the pressure, unscrew the Fizz-Keeper slowly from the bottle. Never aim the Fizz-Keeper at another person, and never place your face directly over the Fizz-Keeper, especially when unscrewing it from the bottle. Never use the Fizz-Keeper with a glass bottle.   Procedure: Blow up balloon inside of a 2-liter bottle and tie it off. The balloon can be of any size. You must insert a…

Straw mister Experiment

As you blow through the straw, the air rushes out with great speed. So the air goes over the other straw with even greater speed. This leads to a low pressure over the other straw in the water and water rises in this straw. The Rising water hits the air and becomes a mist/spray.   The creation of low pressure due to high speed air is according to Bernoulli’s principle. This is the same principle which says that we should not stand near a fast moving train, as low pressure created there can suck us towards the train and consequences…

Homopolar motor experiment

SAFETY NOTE: Neodymium magnets are extremely strong and MUST BE KEPT OUT OF REACH OF SMALL CHILDREN! Do not give them to any child who might put them in their mouth, they are dangerous if swallowed and must be surgically removed!   For more about neodymium magnets safety and precautions go here Additionally neodymium magnets can interfere with electronic devices so please keep them away from phones! Also please note that these motors do heat up. See our TIPS section for safety precautions.   TIPS & PRECAUTIONS: • MONITOR THESE FOR HEAT! Some of the motors that got going really…

Copper pipe with neodymium Experiment

It is 1834, and you have just heard of this marvelous new phenomenon called eddy currents. Some fellow named Lenz discovered them, and you’re curious if you can find out something special about them yourself.   When you drop your magnet through a copper tube, it slows down. The magnet will also slide down the cookie sheet slowly.   Magnetic fields are the result of electric currents. Changing a magnetic field next to a non-magnetic metal will induce an electric field in the metal, which subsequently generates a magnetic field with an opposite orientation with respect to your magnet.  …

Use Staples to see the Magnetic Field Experiment

PROCEDURE 1) Squeeze your stapler with no paper in it, and collect 20 bent staples. 2) Put staples on piece a paper (I use card stock). 3) Then pull paper over a magnet just so the magnet and paper do not touch.   Place a bar magnet under a piece of paper. Sprinkle the staples around the magnet. What happens to the staples? How do they align themselves with respect to the magnet? They align themselves according to the direction of the magnetic field. At the poles of the magnet, the staples are straight up and down; in the middle…

Dry Ice Bubbles Experiment

Instead of the dry ice just bubbling in the water to make foggy vapor, add a couple drops or so of dish soap (I use Dawn) in the water which will trap the carbon dioxide and water vapor in a soapy bubbles. Then you squeeze your hands it will explode the bubbles in your hands releases the gases in a fun fog.  

Bouncing Smoke Bubbles experiment

Bubbles are cool and bubbles filled with fog are even cooler! Steve Spangler created Boo Bubbles as an easy and safe way for parents and teachers to explore the science of dry ice with fog-filled bubbles.   Just fill the bubble generator with warm water and a few pieces of dry ice, dip the bubble blower in the solution and get ready to make the most ghostly and exciting bubbles you’ve ever seen.  

Dry Ice Floating Bubbles Experiment

When you break the dry ice into small pieces it starts to make a cloud of carbon dioxide. But unlike smoke from a candle or fire, the dry ice smoke doesn’t float. Instead, it settles onto the ground or, in this case, on top of the dry ice. Why is that? The smoke is actually a combination of carbon dioxide gas and water vapor.   Dry ice smoke is heavier than the air around it, so it sinks in the air rather than rising. This explains why the bubbles float on top of the dry ice smoke. The air exhaled…

Dry Ice Screaming Quarters experiment

So why is dry ice called dry ice? Dry ice is the “frozen” form of the gas, carbon dioxide. While it may be called ice – it never melts – it goes right from being a solid to being a gas. This is called SUBLIMATION. When I put the quarter on the dry ice, it cause it to turn into a gas very quickly. As the gas escaped around the sides of the quarter, it caused it to vibrate quickly and make that cool screaming sound.   SAFETY NOTE: DRY ICE is extremely dangerous. ADULT SUPERVISION REQUIRED.   Handling Dry…

Tea Bag Rocket

This cool experiment is a fun after dinner experiment with the family. Your guest won’t believe their eyes as the Rocket shoots to the ceiling.   Steps 1) Take your tea bag out of its container, and look for a small staple that connects the paper and string to the actual bag. 2) Carefully pull back the staple and remove it from the bag. 3) Unfold the tea bag and empty out the tea leaves. 4) Put your finger in the middle of the cylinder. 5) Place the cylindrical tea bag upright on a non-flammable surface such as a plate….

Fire Tornado Experiment

When I start to spin the garbage can the center the fire created the perfect fire tornado. It all starts with the heat from the flame that causes the surrounding molecules of air to rise. Couple this with the rotational motion of the screen and you have the perfect storm, so to speak. The rotating screen gives the air molecules an initial spin (called angular momentum). The vertically rising hot air molecules collide with the rotating screen, and the angular momentum of the screen is transferred to the rapidly rising air molecules, giving them a “twist.” Fresh air fuels the…

Steel wool and 9 volt battery Experiment

Here is a great how-to science experiment that you can try at home: burning fine steel wool with only a battery. The reaction from your friends will have them speechless and the visuals is enough to get anyone excited.   Steps 1) Pull the steel wool apart into thin strips. 2) Place the steel wool in the baking pan with aluminum foil. 3) Touch the ends of the battery to the steel wool.   We used a 9-volt battery to light the steel wool because the terminals are close together. Touching the battery to steel wool sends a current through…

Raising Matchstick Experiment

How it works? The reason we light it in the middle, is most of the weight of the match is burned up by the flame before it lights the highly flammable match heads.   Since the match heads are leaning together they ignite at the same time under very high intense heat.   This high heat then fuses the match heads together. As the flame continues to burn the propped up match, it starts to curl up and you can remove the coin.   Because of the weight of the match being burnt, the fusing of the match heads with…

Pinwheel Spiral Spinner Experiment

Spiral Spinner – Hot air moves moves faster. Because the molecules now have the energy to move around more, they do and as they do they spread out and the gas becomes less dense. This lighter gas now rises up away from the heat source.   If a pinwheel is free to move and constructed correctly, the rising heat can now make it turn. The heat rises relatively straight up so to get the pinwheel to turn the blades need to be orientated in a way that causes the moving air to push them. As the hot air continues to…

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