Chemical Reactions

Blow up balloon

Blow up balloon with baking soda and vinegar When vinegar is mixed with baking soda, a double replacement reaction takes place. The end result is carbon dioxide but behind the scenes, there is more than one reaction taking place. Put a tablespoon of backing soda on to the center of a paper towel. Fold the paper towel over the baking soda a few times. The objective is to create a “time release” mechanism for our reaction. Pour ½ cup vinegar into a plastic bag. Pour ¼ cup warm water into the back with the vinegar. Hold the baking soda filled paper towel in the mouth of the plastic bag by pinching the sides to hold it. Don’t let the paper towel touch the solution yet.…
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Chemical Reactions

Amazing melting properties of salt

How and why salt melts ice Ever wonder why people pour salt on icy sidewalks to make the snow melt? Usually the result is a big pile of slush made of melted snow and ice crystals. And why do the lakes and streams freeze over solid while the ocean always remains flowing? Is there something magical about salt? Are there other uses for salt other than flavoring our food and raising our blood pressure? Let's try this experiment and see for ourselves. Test #1: Take 2 cups of water. Place about a tablespoon of salt in one of the cups. Place both cups in the freezer. Check each cup about every 10 minutes. Can you guess which one will freeze first?   Test #2: Now…
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Atomic/Electric

Waxing poetic – soda can, balloon, and static electricity experiment

NEWSFLASH - Soft drink cans HATE balloons! How many times have you snickered at Dad walking around the house with a sock stuck to his back? Or watched as he ran his hand up his shirt to scratch and pulls out one of those antistatic dryer sheets? The reason these items sticks to Dad has nothing to do with his popularity in the laundry world. It’s simply due to the fact that the laundry items are chock full of electrons and Dad, well, he’s just not. Take a soda can and lay it on its side on a smooth flat surface. Now rub the balloon back and forth on the top of your head. Yes, Reeko agrees that you look pretty silly rubbing that balloon…
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Atomic/Electric

Piezo Explosive Popper

Piezo Explosive Popper Kids love things that go boom. Throw in some flames and you've got one of the most popular experiments in Reeko's Mad Scientist Lab. The piezo popper, also known as the film cannon, binaca bomb, or photo flash, lets us release energy from a rapidly combusting fuel-air mixture and use that expanding air to blow the top off a film canister. The force of the mini-explosion will be so great that we'll be able to propel the canister over 3 stories in the air! Take apart the fireplace lighter and look for the "igniter" part. The igniter is the "clicker" mechanism and will have a button that is pressable and two metal connection points. The clicker button will be used to trigger…
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Atomic/Electric

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 By the way, you might want…
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Atomic/Electric

Making Sparks

Making sparks with Styrofoam and a metal pie pan In this experiment we'll create an object called a electrophorus.  Using the materials listed above, we'll charge the object and then discharge it creating a snap, a little electrical shock, and a bright spark.  If you're afraid of a little electrical shock then get Dad to discharge the object for you.  And for grins, don't tell Dad beforehand about the resulting spark and shock.  After all the amateur garage projects Dad has worked on, he's bound to be used to electrical shocks by Use the pliers to remove the pen cartridge from the insides of the BIC pen.  This will be our 'handle'. Place the pie pan upside down on the table. Push a thumbtack down…
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Atomic/Electric

Magical Attracting Tape

Magical Attracting Tape In this experiment we will magically force electrons from Scotch Tape to pass to and from a table (note - we'd use Dad in this experiment but you know how stingy Dad is with things like, Ohhh, his tools for instance.  So if you think Dad's stingy with tools try asking him if you can transfer some of his ).  Of course, you won't be able to actually see the electrons transfer but you will definitely see the affects of the hopping electrons.  The device we will create can further be used to test the charge of any object you want. Fill the 2 film cans about 3/4 full of clay. Place 2 straws, side by side, in each of the film…
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Atomic/Electric

Magic floating orb of tinsel

Magic floating orb of tinsel Science can often times seem like magic. In this mind bending experiment, we’ll demonstrate a very basic scientific principle with an experiment that will astonish your friends and confuse your Dad – and all you’ll need is a PVC pipe, Christmas tinsel, and a head of clean, dry hair to create a “magic wand” that will float a colorful orb. It won’t float your little sister or little brother out the window but it’s still pretty cool. Start with the Mylar Christmas tinsel (the thinner the tinsel the better the result). Take six strands of the Mylar tinsel and bundle them together by tying one end of the tinsel in a single knot. Tie the other end of the tinsel…
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Atomic/Electric

Look Ma, I’m a Battery

Look Ma, I'm a Battery In a nutshell, a battery uses a chemical reaction to produce an electrical current.  In this experiment, we will create an electric current using nothing more than our own bodies (Reeko promises this won't much). Mount the copper and aluminum metal plates to two separate pieces of wood. Connect one plate to one of the DC microammeter's terminals using an alligator clip and the hookup wire.  Connect the other plate to the second terminal.  A DC microammeter, which is an instrument that measures the electric current in a circuit, can be purchased from your local Radio Shack, electronics hobbyist, or auto store. Now place one hand on each plate. You should see an electric current generated on the meter.  If…
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Atomic/Electric

Lemon battery experiment – if life gives you lemons, make a battery!

Lemon battery Batteries store chemical energy that can be transmitted as electrical energy through various components in a circuit. You can think of the circuit as the path the electrons (electricity) take. The path has to have no breaks in it and it much be a path made of a material that will allow the electrons to flow ( most metals although some are better conductors than others). Batteries, such as the one we are about to build, have electrodes, or the connection points on the battery. The anode is the electrode at which electrons leave the cell and oxidation occurs, and the cathode is the electrode at which electrons enter the cell and reduction occurs. In our battery, the lemon juice acts as the…
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