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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.

 

 

 

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!

How to choose a children’s entertainer and what questions to ask21/07/2012

Children’s entertainers can be a fantastic addition to your child’s birthday party as they provide something a little bit different whilst taking the pressure off you as a parent. When it comes to choosing the entertainment for your child’s birthday party, it’s important to get it right. Luckily, as entertainers ourselves, we at Fun Science know some of the top tips for choosing the entertainment for your child’s party!

1) Find something your child is interested in – So maybe your child likes dinosaurs, princesses, science etc.. Try and find an entertainer that specialises in providing parties to suit your child’s interests. Children’s entertainment has progressed a long way from the times when every child had a juggler or a magician at their birthday party. Of course, there are many fantastic jugglers, clowns and magicians around and so if this is what your child is interested in then my all means book one, but don’t be afraid to look around for something a little bit different. 

2) Pick a recommended entertainer – Any good entertainment companies will have a section containing testimonials or comments from previous parties, however if they don’t then do not be afraid to ask for one. Also, many companies offering character entertainment may employ a number of staff to act as that character and some may be better than others. Make sure you ask for a review or reference of the specific person that will be leading your entertainment on the day. 

3) Shop around – Cheaper prices do not necessarily mean lower quality – As a company offering prices that undercut many other similar companies in the area, we often hear comments such as ‘we paid far more for her brothers party and it wasn’t nearly so fun!’. This is because a lower priced company does not necessarily mean that the quality is compromised, in fact it is far more likely to be indicative of the companies costs. For example, our parties are priced fairly low because we have very few overhead costs and prefer to use word-of-mouth advertising. 

4) Communicate with your entertainer – Tell them if you have any special requirements. Perhaps your child is particularly looking forward to seeing a particular magic trick or juggling routine that they saw at a friends party – be sure to let your entertainer know to avoid disappointment.The golden rule here is ‘just ask!’. At Fun Science we are always happy to do all we can to cater to size, age and theme requirements, but if we don’t know that there will only be 5 children or that your child has invited friends aged from 3-11 – we can’t prepare!

5) Make sure the entertainment will be age appropriate – Most entertainers will have age guidelines and it is generally best to stay within these. If they do not state a particular age, it is best to ask or to let them know the age of the attending children so that your party can be altered accordingly. However, that being said, you know your children best and if you think that a party that claims to be suitable for ages 6-11 would suit your 4 year old perfectly then remember the golden rule and ‘just ask’. Our parties are recommended for children aged 5-11 yet we have run many successful parties for children slightly younger or older whose parents have let us know their child’s age beforehand. 

6) Book a Fun Science birthday party! – Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without a little shameless advertising! If your child is into science, our party packages are engaging, interesting and have received many fantastic reviews. We also cover most of Somerset and Wiltshire so have a look for yourself at //www.fun-science.org.uk/parties.html