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Make a tornado in a jar!10/05/2018

Make a tornado in a jar – That’s right, get in a spin and create your own mini natural disaster using some household items and a bit of glitter.

You will need:tornado experiment

1 x jar with a lid

Duct tape

Water

Washing up liquid

Glitter

 

Method:

  • Fill the jar 3/4 full with water.
  • Add in a few drops of washing up liquid and a couple of pinches of glitter.
  • Put the lid on tightly and carefully turn the jar upside down over the sink to make sure it does not leak. Use duct tape to secure the cap if required.
  • Keeping the jar upside down start to spin it in a circular motion. After a few spins stop and take a look…. You should be able to see your mini tornado begin to form but if not, don’t worry as it can take a couple of tries!

The Science Bit…

By spinning your jar in a circular motion you are creating a centripetal force which causes a mini vortex to form – This is your tornado.

Round and round…

This is the part where you can go and find out some fun facts about vortexes to impress your friends and family.

Tornado in a bottle

Photo from en.wikipedia.org

Tornados are natural disasters which are air vortexes. In the USA there is an area nicknamed “Tornado Alley” due to the amount of tornados that pass through the area.

Can you find out how big the biggest recorded tornado was? You will be amazed!

Other than tornados, where else can vortexes be found in nature? Do a quick search on the internet, you may find some cool pictures, facts and videos!!

FunScience Hint: Search ‘Fire Whirl’ on google.

 

 

 

Top 10 tips for organising kids parties19/04/2018

Organising a children’s birthday party can be stressful but there are a few things you can do to help things go smoothly.Fun Science party

1) Put balloons on your gate/driveway so that people can find your venue.

This is helpful for your guests and also any entertainer you may have booked. It also helps everyone to turn up on time which in turn makes your life easier!

2) Book your entertainment to start at least 15 minutes after the children are due to arrive.

We know from experience, if you invite 20 children they will not all be ready to get started at the time written on the invitation. This gives everyone time to get in and say hello to each other, it also minimises the amount of time that you have to keep them entertained afterwards!

3) If you have booked an entertainer,  don’t let adults talk over them!

This makes it hard for the children to be able to hear and is frustrating for everyone. Perhaps have a separate area that adults can go into to for a cup of tea or coffee and a chat.

4) Find out if any of your child’s guests have any additional needs or allergies.

Children are wonderfully blind to the differences of their friends and often forget to let you know about details like these but if you know before hand it can be a lot easier to make sure everyone is catered for. If you can let your entertainer know as well then even better!

5) Make a checklist of everything you need.

A few things to get you started are plenty of bin bags, a knife and candles for the cake, a camera and batteries and plenty of Blu tack/sticky tape to hang up decorations.

Fun at a kids science party

6) Don’t feel any pressure to be adventurous with your party food.

A few sandwiches, fruit, veggies and dips, cakes and an oven pizza will go down brilliantly with the children!

7) Make sure invitations go out far enough in advance.

We recommend at least three weeks before the party date but the earlier the better so that people do not get booked up with other commitments and so you have time to plan around your numbers.

8) Hire the room for long enough.

If you are hiring a room make sure you allow 30-45 minutes before and after for packing up and setting away again.

9) Get someone to help you.

Running a kids party on your own is hard work! Ask some of your child’s friends’ parents if they can help you out and maybe you can help at their children’s parties in return.

10) Enjoy yourself!

It may seem like a lot of hard work but it will be worth it to see the smile on your child’s face. After all, birthdays only come once a year.

The Naked Egg13/04/2016

The Naked Egg is a fantastically fun and interesting experiment that is easy to do using household items from your kitchen cupboards!

The Naked Egg

Photo from Steve Spangler Science

You will need…

  • One egg
  • Bottle of white vinegar
  • Container big enough for your egg

 

Method:

  • Place your egg in your container and carefully pour in some of the white vinegar until the egg is covered.
  • Put the container somewhere safe and leave it alone for 48 hours.
  • Once the time is up, remove the egg carefully. What has happened?
The Naked Egg

Photo from Steve Spangler Science

The Science Bit:

Vinegar is acidic and the shell of the egg is made of calcium carbonate, when combined there is a chemical reaction in which the vinegar eats away at the eggshell, but leaves the membrane so you end up with a naked egg!

 

Experiment even more:

This experiment takes a bit of time, but there is lots you can do to keep you occupied.

For example, make a diary, take photos and keep a record of what happens to the egg from start to finish.

  • Did the egg change shape, size or colour?
  • What was the texture of the egg like after 24 hours?
  • What happens if you leave it for a whole week?
  • What did you notice about the shell when it was in the vinegar?
  • Shine a torch through the egg, what does it look like?

 

Floating Egg Science Experiment03/02/2016

The floating egg science experiment is simple and easy to do. Find out how to make an egg float using items hanging around in the kitchen cupboards.

You will need:Floating Egg Science Experiment

3 x Eggs

3 x Tall drinking glasses

1 x Jug of water

Table Salt

Measuring spoon

 

Method:

  • Half fill each glass with water.
  • Leave the first glass of water as it is. Put 2 tablespoons of salt in the second glass and 4tbsp in the third glass.
  • Give the salty water a good stir.
  • Carefully lower each egg into each glass. What has happened to each egg?

 

The Science Bit…

That’s right! Whilst the egg in the glass of water containing no salt sinks to the bottom, the ones with salt in float! Infact, the one with more salt in is likely to be at the top of the glass, whilst the one with slightly less salt is floating about midway. But how? Density, that’s how! What exactly is density I hear you ask? Great question!!

DensitFloating Egg Science Experimenty refers to the amount of molecules that are taking up a specific area. Imagine two rooms, one has 20 people in, whereas the other has none and is empty. This means that one room has a higher density than the other.

But what if we now put 40 people now into the empty room?  The empty room has now become more dense than the room with 20 people as there are more bodies (or molecules) filling that space!

 

This explains our experiment, the water without salt in is the empty room and the egg is the full room. By adding salt into the water we are increasing the molecules in that area. If we add enough salt we have made the water denser than the egg and so the egg floats!!!

Cool stuff right?

Floating Egg Science Experiment

Photo from edugeography.com

Did you know…

Near Israel there is a lake called the Dead Sea which is contains so much salt that people travel from all over to float around in it. Do a quick search on google and see if there are anymore salt lakes in the world that are similar.

Experiment even more…

Now you have learnt all about density the fun really begins.

  • Put the egg in the water without salt first, then slowly poor salt into the cup and watch the egg rise!
  • Alter the volume of water, the amount of salt and use different objects.
  • Test what objects float without using any salt at all – Don’t forget to check with an adult first before putting household objects in water.

 

 

 

 

 

Do the Taste Test30/01/2016

Do the taste test with this fun and easy science experiment to find out which senses are important when tasting food.

Taste test

Photo from news.com.au

You will need:

2 x Cubes of potato

2 x Cubes of apple

1 x Blindfold

Make sure that the apple and the potato are the same shape and size, this is very important and you will see why!

Method:

  • Eat the potato and then the apple. Make a note of how they both taste, do they taste different?
  • Place your blindfold on and mix up the two reminaing pieces of apple and potato so you do not know which one is which – You may need a helper with this.
  • Pinch your nose so that you are unable to smell, just as if you were about to jump into a pool!
  • Eat one piece and then the other. Now how do they taste?

The Science Bit…

Did you know that your nose and mouth are connected? When you eat your taste buds are busy detecting tastes that are sour, salty, bitter and sweet, and your nose has the important job of finding other tastes through your sense of smell. By pinching your nose you are taking away your sense of smell which means that both the apple and the potato are harded to tell apart. Using a blindfold takes away your sense of sight which makes it harder again!!

Experiment more…

Get your partner to give you different foods, keep your nose pinched and your blindfold on to see if you can work out what the food is. When you are guessing, consider what other senses might help you get your answer.

Or…Test your sense of smell even further by keeping your blindfold on to see if you can tell what things are just from smelling them!