Six Simple Science Experiments with Items in Your Home
Bringing Positive Energy to At-Home Learning
This week we are focusing on learning for fun! Different approaches to teaching make frequent appearances in conversations about education, long before COVID-19. The effectiveness of certain programs and requirements required by public schools are subject to debate, and part of the discussion often revolves around an unnecessarily tedious approach to teaching basic principles.
However you feel about this subject matter, one thing is for sure, now is the time to seize the opportunity and apply practical knowledge and life experience to the learning format. What better way to do that than creative science projects that both educate and amaze with items already available in many households. Check out the links to watch video tutorials for each experiment, and have some fun!!
A Water Bottle
Food Coloring (optional)
Blow up the balloon without tying and draw a fun monster face with a Sharpie. Let the balloon deflate and put a few drops of food coloring in the water bottle. Put ½ a cup of vinegar into the water bottle and swirl around. Put a tablespoon of baking soda into the deflated balloon and place it around the top of the water bottle. Lift up the balloon and let the baking soda fall into the water bottle and watch the balloon inflate!!
The chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda creates carbon dioxide, which inflates the balloon.
Whole Milk or Cream
Small Tray or Plate with a Ridge
Pour enough milk to completely cover the bottom of the plate or tray, but not too deep.
Add several drops of food coloring in different colors in different areas of the tray.
Dip a Q-Tip into a small cup of dish soap and press it at the edge of one of the colors for fifteen seconds and watch the reaction. Continue to do so as the different colors move actively around the plate creating a fun mixture.
As a result of the fat in the milk, the dish soap breaks the surface of the milk and causes the newly active particles to move around and create swirls of color.
Salt and Pepper Separation
A Plastic Spoon
A Balloon (or wool clothing)
Blend salt and pepper (mix a couple tablespoons of salt with a couple tablespoons of pepper). Rub a light plastic back and forth against an inflated balloon (a spoon, plastic top to a sippy cup or comb). If you do not have a balloon use a wool sweater, or even your own hair. Hold the plastic item about an inch from the mixture until the pepper begins to cling to it, then tap it off into a separate pile. Do not hold it too close, or the salt will also be attracted to it.
Pepper polarizes more easily than salt, meaning it’s electrons move to one side of the flake so one side is positive and the other negative. The positive side is attracted to the static electricity of the plastic item. Electrons are less inclined to move to one side of salt, so it is not as reactive to the charged spoon.
Two Glasses with a couple inches of water (add food coloring if you wish)
A Plate or Tray with a smooth surface on the bottom
Two Toilet Paper Rolls
Start with just one egg, and put the tray on the glass and the toilet paper roll centered above it. The egg can be gently placed on top of the toilet paper roll. Swat the tray from the side with enough force to knock it off the glass, but not to knock the glass over itself. When doing so the toilet paper roll and tray will fall but the egg will land directly in the glass of water. The process should also work with one tray balanced on top of two glasses with two toilet paper rolls topped with two eggs centered over the glasses.
The toilet paper roll moves with the tray, and falls out from under the egg. Due to its higher mass and the lack of direct force, the egg remains still. This inertia means that gravity pulls it directly down into the glass. It works with one or more eggs in the same way.
A large vase or clear jar
Rubbing Alcohol (or if it is in short supply choose any other clear liquid not already used here - consumable alcohol is an obvious option)
Food coloring, traditional not gel (x4)
Guess which liquid has the greatest mass, and thus the highest density and pour it gently and slowly into the glass first. Pour the second substance next and give it time to officially separate from the first liquid. Pour the third, leaving time in between and finally the fourth. Each of the liquids will layer by order of their density.
Different liquids have different masses, and the least dense masses rise above those that have a higher mass.
½ cup of Hydrogen Peroxide
3 Tablespoons Warm Water
1 Tablespoon of Dry Yeast
A Plastic Bottle
A measuring cup or small container with a pouring spout.
A Funnel (Optional)
Safety Goggles (Optional - avoid getting Hydrogen Peroxide in your eyes)
Stand a plastic bottle in a tray or container that is a couple inches deep. Add hydrogen peroxide to the plastic bottle with the use of a funnel if you have one and then add a big squirt of dish soap and some food coloring. Add one tablespoon of yeast to three tablespoons of water in a measuring cup and mix it until it's fully dissolved.
The hydrogen peroxide breaks into two things, hydrogen and oxygen. Usually it is a slow bubbling process, but the process can be sped up with the addition of yeast.
What's working well for you and your family? We look forward to hearing from you at email@example.com.
We welcome you to check out our blog for more inspiration from a list of Things That Aren’t Cancelled, live vicariously through writer Colin Boyd in Climb Mountains: A Right Of Passage or follow our list of April Weeknight Meal Plans to keep it creative in the kitchen.
Also, please take a moment to explore this week’s happyly Survival Toolbox, including our Daily Schedule designed to create positive days at home with your family. As always, we welcome your family's highlights! Tag us on Instagram @gethappyly!