Chemical Reactions

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

In this science experiment we will mix molecules to make a glitter globe ( 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…
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miscellaneous

How to create a terrarium (or vivarium or self-contained bottle garden)

Making a terrarium, a self-sustainable ecosystem with a living, growing plant inside a sealed bottle, is a pretty easy project and the plant growing inside can survive for decades without any watering or other care.  Here’s how you can build a terrarium on your own. How to make a terrarium, vivarium, or garden in a bottle First, find a suitable sealed glass bottle or jar. A bottle with a wide mouth will be much easier to work with. Make sure the bottle has a lid or cork which can be sealed tightly. Fill the bottom of the bottle with pebbles. You need at least enough pebbles to cover the bottom of the bottle but can add more if the bottle is taller. Try to fill…
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Sound

Make chicken sounds with a cup

Make chicken sounds with a cup Long, long ago, instead of mice and monkeys, Reeko used chickens for all of his experiments (Reeko switched to lab rats and monkeys when one of his chicken experiments went terribly wrong). Chickens proved to be perfect for scientific exploration! They didn’t each much, they were easy to find, and when you were done with them, well, we all know that chicken soup is good for your health (unless, of course, you are the chicken). In fact, the only difficult thing Reeko found when using chickens for science experiments was catching them but even that Reeko solved with science. In this experiment, we’ll use a cup, a piece of string, and a paperclip to make a chicken caller. Oh,…
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Sound

Make a homemade hearing aid – collect sound vibrations using a paper cone

Make a homemade hearing aid Everything that moves makes a sound by causing vibrations or movement of air.  If you don't believe this, next time Dad is kicked back in his easy chair watching TV, sneak up behind him with two metal pots and bang them together real hard.  Now listen carefully to the whooshing sound as Dad flies out of his chair and runs towards the door.  By the way, if Dad offers no reaction and instead lies incredibly still, throw some water on The vibration or movement of air is the basis for sound.  Our ears collect these air movements and change them to nerve signals that are sent to our brain.  Our brain interprets these signals as sound. So what if we…
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Sound

Make a homemade Kazoo musical instrument

Homemade Kazoo Ah, the sound of beautiful music. But what some will call music, others will call noise. The lab rats and monkeys are partial to Metallica while Reeko is more of a Beethoven aficionado. Put the two groups of musical tastes together and well, you have a big fight over what radio station to listen to. In this experiment, we’ll create a musical instrument called a Kazoo. With it, we’ll make beautiful music… or noise, depending upon your musical preference. 1 – Cut a small square of wax paper, about 1 inch larger than the end of your cardboard tube. 2 – Center the wax paper square over the end of the tube and wrap the edges. 3 – Put the rubber band around…
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Sound

Have you lost your marbles?

Have you lost your marbles? Sound surrounds us all the time.  You may awaken in the morning to the sound of an alarm clock or Dad snoring.  During the day you may hear the cacophony of auto traffic or the hustle and bustle of city life.  But all sounds have one thing in common.   They are formed by the movement or vibration of an object. The sounds we hear every day are formed by the vibration or movement of air.   Basically what happens is sound makes tiny particles in the air, called molecules, bump into each other.  The molecules bump into each other compressing and then expanding to cause the wave to move like a falling column of dominos.  This vibration of molecules is passed…
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Sound

Good, good, good vibrations – sound and vibrations experiment

Good, good, good vibrations Sound is actually nothing more than moving air and the way we perceive that moving air with our ears. Now you may be saying "Wait a minute sound is made by moving air?". Sure.  Think about it.  Your dad moves a lot of air - right?  And he makes a nasty sound when he moves it - yes?  Let Reeko Cut off a piece of two foot string (2'). Using a rubber band, attach a metal spoon to the midpoint of the string. Wrap the ends of the string around your fingers. Rest your fingers in your ears (don't stick 'em in too far or you'll poke your brains out!). Standing next to a table, rock your body back and forth…
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Pressure

Sucking an egg into a bottle – heat and pressure experiment

Sucking an egg into a bottle Here's an interesting experiment that we promise you'll be talking about at school the next day. Find a bottle with a long, narrow neck and set it on the table.  The opening should be just small enough to keep the egg from falling inside. Boil and peel a egg. Have Mom or Dad drop 3 lit matches into the bottle (if Dad does the 'dropping' then make sure the fire extinguisher is handy). Quickly place the egg over the mouth of the bottle. What happens? The lit matches heat the air inside the bottle. When air is heated it expands (and takes up more room). As the heated air expands, some of it escapes out the bottle. When the matches…
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Pressure

Skating on thin ice pressure experiment

Skating on thin ice   Pressure - you feel it at school, your teacher feels it during class (yes, a room full of little scientists can be stressful for some teachers), and your dad feels pressure when Mom asks him for the tenth time to take out the trash. Here's an interesting experiment that demonstrates a different kind of pressure - the forces of scientific pressure and how it can affect other objects. Place the corked bottle on a table. It helps if the bottle has a small neck. Balance an ice cube on the cork. Cut off a 12 inch section of wire. Tie two hammers or other heavy objects to both ends of the wire. Balance the wire across the middle of the…
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Pressure

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 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…
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