Did you know that there are a number of fun experiments you can do simply with things you have round the house? These 5 experiments are some of the most popular and interesting I have seen. They may make a bit of a mess – but it will be worth it!
1. Rocket Engine with yeast and pasta
a. Fill a small canning jar ¾ full with hydrogen peroxide.
b. Add 1 tsp of dry yeast. Swirl. The enzyme catalase in yeast will begin to breakdown the hydrogen peroxide to release oxygen gas to help propel the fire
c. Place a small hole in the metal lid of the jar (can punch it with a screw driver) then place the lid without the ring over the jar.
d. Prop a small pasta tube on top of the hole. (Use regular wheat flour pasta as brown rice pasta does not light!)
e. Light the top of the pasta tube and watch the rocket engine ignite as the oxygen gas comes up through the pasta.
2. Erupting Volcano
a. Place a small, empty water bottle on a tray. Fill it about ½ full of water.
b. Add 3-4 Tbls baking soda, ½ tsp dish soap, and a few drops of red food coloring then swirl to combine.
c. You may use clay to form an authentic “volcano” around your water bottle.
d. Erution time! Slowly pour about ½ cup white vinegar into the opening of the bottle. Watch the explosion begin!
e. The eruption is cause by the sudden release of carbon dioxide gas from the baking soda.
3. Ice sculptures
a. Find a bottle of purified water and place in the freezer for about 3 hours – so that it is well chilled but not frozen.(Pure water has a lower freezing point than tap water so is even colder before it becomes a solid).
b. Place an ice cube in a bowl. The ice become the starting crystals for new ice to form.
c. Slowly pour the chilled water onto the ice cube and watch your ice sculpture form!
4. Magic Color changing flowers
a. Choose your flower: a light-colored one works best. Good options are roses, carnations, mums, or daisies.
b. Choose your color: using liquid food coloring is best – you can mix colors to get the one you like.
c. Grab a vase or jar and add water 2/3 full. Add 10 drops of food coloring – or more depending on intensity of coloring desired in flower.
d. Prep the flower: cut 1-2 inches off the bottom of the stem at a 45-degree angle to open up all the vessels (calledxylem) to draw up water.
e. Place flower in vase and wait 1-6 hours for the color to appear!
f. Once you have the color you like, make a fresh cut of the stem and place in a vase of clear water with a bit of flower food.
g. Enjoy your beautifully colored flower!
5. Glowing Oobleck
a. Place 1 cup of tonic water in a medium bowl
b. Add up to 2 cups of corn starch a little at a time – stir with a metal spoon – or maybe your fingers. Your oobleck is ready!
c. Play with it! Try punching down on the mixture with your fist – what happens? Now scoop up some mixture with your hands – what happens now? Oobleck (named after the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck) is a non-Newtonian substance – it is both liquid when moving slowly and solid when movements are fast!
d. Now turn off the lights and add a black light – watch it glow!