Pressure

Homemade Barometer experiment

Homemade Barometer The air pressure around us greatly affects our weather. Notice how your weatherman always mentions various pressure systems (low pressure system, high pressure system, etc.) and how they will affect tomorrow's weather. In this experiment, we will create a tool that lets you gauge the pressure of the air around you. Fill the measuring cup or glass with water and add some colored dye to it. Flip the empty soda bottle upside down into the glass measuring cup. Make sure that you use a bottle that is just the right size. The thicker body of the bottle should fit snugly in the measuring cup so that the mouth of the bottle does not touch the bottom of the cup. Make sure that the…
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Pressure

Homemade clouds in a bottle experiment

Homemade Clouds in a Bottle The clouds you see in the sky are formed when water vapor is cooled enough to form tiny water droplets. When moist, cool air rises to a higher altitude, it cools, water droplets are formed, and voila - you have clouds. In this experiment we'll duplicate this same process by causing air in a bottle to rapidly cool. Put a small amount of water into the jar. Just enough to cover the bottom. Place the glove into the jar with the fingers pointing down. Stretch the mouth of the glove over the top of the jar. Carefully insert your hand into the glove being careful not to break the seal. Pull your hand (with the glove still on it) outward…
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Pressure

A sucker’s bet – atmospheric pressure experiment

A sucker's bet Funny how we take every-day activities for granted. Take for instance - sucking through a straw. Have you ever stopped to think about how we are able to suck liquids through a straw. What exactly makes the liquid climb up the straw and into our mouths. Well, I know you're just itching to know so here we Fill the jar with water. Poke a hole in the lid just big enough for the straw to fit through. Put the straw through the hole. Seal the hole with clay. Make sure it is sealed tight! Try to suck water through the straw. What happens? When you drink from an open glass of water, air pressure allows the water to travel up the straw.…
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Motion/Energy

Off to the races (with jars – that is) – friction experiment

Off to the races (with jars - that is) In this experiment we race two jars - one full of water and the other empty (actually it's full of air). Before racing the jars, take a guess as to which jar will finish first. Maybe make a little wager with Fill one of your jars with water. Put lids on both of the jars. Make sure the lid on the jar full of water is on tight. Place a three-ring binder on a level floor and start both of the jars from the top of the 'ramp'. Which one gets to the bottom of the ramp first? Which one rolls the farthest? Were you surprised at the outcome? When the race begins, the jar full…
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miscellaneous

Yep, you heard right. Make a homemade tornado

This tornado experiment will blow you away! A tornado is a powerful, twisting windstorm (now that really does sound like Dad, doesn't it). The winds of a tornado are the most violent winds that occur on the earth. They whirl around the center of the storm at speeds of more than 200 miles per hour (and that's faster than Dad running to the bathroom during a commercial break). A tornado is a rotating funnel cloud that extends downward from a mass of dark clouds. Some funnels do not reach the earth. Others may strike the surface of the earth, withdraw into the dark clouds above, and then dip down and strike the earth again. In this science experiment, we are going to recreate a tornado…
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Floatation

Make a homemade Lava Lamp experiment

Make a homemade Lava Lamp Lava lamps were very popular in the 1970’s. For some reason, your parents thought it was very fun to sit there and watch colorful liquid in a bottle swirl aimlessly around. They probably even chanted “Oh wow, the colors, the colors.” They became popular again a few years ago but as we know, kids today are much smarter, and thought that lava lamps were cool because they knew they demonstrated the scientific principles of immiscible liquids (liquids that just won’t mix). In this science experiment, we’ll create a real working lava lamp and explain to your parents why they really should be thought of as cool. Fill a glass jar with 3 inches of water or until it is 2/3…
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Cohesion

The ‘Am I Dense’ experiment

The 'Am I Dense' experiment In our floating experiment, we touched on the topics of buoyancy. But in reality, flotation is also affected by other scientific principles as well. Here, let Reeko Pour one-third cup of syrup into the glass jar. Now pour one-third cup of cooking oil into the jar. Finally, pour one-third cup of water into the jar. Let the contents settle for a few minutes. Drop a piece of plastic, a grape, and a small cork into the liquid. Notice how the objects you dropped in settle down to different layers of the mixture. The liquids have different densities. The most dense (syrup) will be at the bottom, the least dense (oil) will be at the top, with the water in between.…
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Chemistry

Steel Wool Generating Heat experiment

Using vinegar to heat up steel wool Chemical reactions occur every day all around us. A chemical reaction is a process where one type of substance is chemically converted to another substance. That fizzling toilet bowl cleaner is a chemical reaction. The fire in your fireplace is another type of chemical reaction. The smoke that comes out of Dad's ears when you lose one of his favorite golf clubs is a result of a chemical reaction. OK, so maybe that's a bad example. This experiment demonstrates a chemical reaction that's fairly common all around us (and we don't have to touch Dad's golf clubs to make this one work). Put the thermometer in the jar and close the lid. Wait about 5 minutes and write…
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Chemistry

Silly Putty or slime experiment (your choice)

Fine times with homemade slime (or silly putty if we tweak it up a bit) At some point you may have heard someone speak of “polymers”. A polymer is a large molecule that is made of repeating structural units. These units are connected by what is called a covalent chemical bond. A well known polymer is “plastic”. In this experiment, we will make a polymer and then add a substance that will cause the polymer chains to cross link. Cross links are bonds that link one polymer chain to another. When the polymer chains are more “bound together”, they become harder to move around and begin to gel. In a bowl, mix an equal quantity of Elmer’s glue and water. Fill a jar with a…
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Chemical Reactions

Making water split

Making water split As we know, water is actually made of hydrogen and oxygen molecules tightly bound together to form that liquidy goodness we so love to spray on each other. So if it’s made of oxygen, why can’t we breathe it? Actually, we could breathe it IF we could separate the oxygen out from the hydrogen. Fact is, we can’t. If we tried to breathe water we’d instead get the liquidy stuff which of course, our lungs cannot absorb.  If you tend to forget this when swimming, here's a simple poem to help you remember: The fact is, we cannot lie, if you breathe water, you will die. Still, they use their gills to separate the oxygen from the hydrogen. For fish, this really…
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