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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!

The Exploding Lunchbag!30/01/2016

The Exploding Lunchbag is a super simple and super fun experiment to do with lots of fizzing and popping! Things can get messy so this is one for outdoors, but if that’s not possible the kitchen sink or bath will do.

You will need:The Exploding Lunchbag

1 x Zip up lunch or freezer bag

1/2 Cup of vinegar

1/4 Cup of warm water

1 x Tissue

3 teaspoons of baking powder

 

 

The Exploding Lunchbag

 Method:

  •  Scoop 3tsp of baking powder onto the centre of the tissue and then fold   the tissue over to make a small parcel.
  • Pour all the vinegar and all the warm water into the lunch bag. Then zip the bag up leaving a big enough gap to fit the tissue in.
  • Put the tissue into the mixture, quickly zip the bag up and let the fizzing begin!
  • Stand back and wait for the POP!

 

The Exploding Lunchbag

 

The science bit…

So, what causes all that fizzing and popping? Mixing the vinegar, the baking powder and the warm water together creates a chemical reaction (fizzzzz) which produces a gas called carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide takes up a lot of space and the bag begins to expand almost like a balloon being filled with air. If the bag is not big enough? Well, that is your pop!!

 

Experiment even more…

You may find that on your first go you get a whole lot of fizzing and not a lot of popping. If this is the case try changing the amount of vinegar, water and baking soda. By altering these ingredients you are likely to see a different result. What happens if you use more tissue or no tissue at all? Record all your findings to see if you can work out what creates more of a fizz and more of a pop.

 

 

The perfect picture!19/07/2012

science birthday party
Sometimes you just capture a picture that you can’t stop looking at – it’s just that perfect! The photo above is one of those, a photo taken by a good friend of mine Claire Soulsby (@talesfromme) at her daughter’s birthday party. It’s one of those photos that you will use over and over, and show off regularly to many long-suffering friends (and now you too!)- every business/person needs a photo like this! So here it is, a photo taken from a Fun Science Chemical/Electrical Extravaganza that captures perfectly the atmosphere of our birthday parties, a photo that is, in my opinion, a fantastic representation of how science can be fun. All photos used with parental permission of course.

For more photos, many of them taken by Claire, please visit //www.fun-science.org.uk
To find out more about our birthday parties please visit //www.fun-science.org.uk/parties.html