Home Page

Fun Science At Home

Try these fun activities at home.  Remember to have adult supervision.

Can you lift the ice?

Lift an ice cube using a piece of thread and a pinch of salt.

You will need: An ice cube, table salt and a piece of thread.

Method 

Place a piece of thread across the middle of an ice cube.

Sprinkle a pinch salt onto the top of the cube.

Leave it for a few seconds. 

Take hold of each end of the thread.

Lift the thread carefully and observe what happens.

You should be able to lift the ice cube using the thread!

Picture 1

An erupting volcano!

You will need: A piece of board (clay board), a small plastic pop bottle, plasticine/clay, bicarbonate of soda, red food colouring and vinegar. 

Method

What do volcanoes do?

Put the bottle in the middle of the board.

Build around it with plasticine/clay so that the bottle mouth becomes the top of the volcano.

Put a spoonful of bicarbonate of soda in the bottle. 

Add a few drops of red food colouring-the volcano is ready for action. 

Cover the table in case of spills and stains. 

At a safe distance, pour a little vinegar into the bottle.

What happens?

The volcano will erupt with red magma foaming from the bottle top. This happens because the vinegar (a weak acid) reacts with the bicarbonate of soda to produce carbon dioxide gas. This gas fills the bottle, bubbling up and pushing the mixture up out of the bottle top.

Picture 1

Invisible ink

Write invisible messages, then make them visible with a little heat. 

You will need: lemon juice, a pen/fine paint brush, writing paper and a lamp.

Method

Write a secret message on the paper using the paintbrush/pen with the lemon juice.

Leave it to dry.

When ready to reveal the message, use the light bulb to warm the paper gently. 

The message will appear as a brown 'ink' after heating.

Why it happens
The lemon juice evaporates leaving behind a mild acid that sinks into the paper. The acid weakens the paper, so when the paper is heated, the parts of the paper that were written on burn and turn brown. This reveals the message.
Picture 1

Why do shapes move?

You will need: tin foil, string and a radiator. 

Method

Cut some shapes out of the tin foil (eg; spirals) and bend them in various ways.

Hang them over a hot radiator.

Observe what happens. The shapes will start to spin.

Why it happens
The air above the radiator is being heated up and is rising. Hot air rises and pushes the foil shapes, making them turn.
Picture 1

Is air real?

You will need: A paper towel, clear plastic cup and a large transparent container.

Method

Is there a way to put the paper towel in the water without it getting wet? 

Take a paper towel and crumple it up. 

Push it to the bottom of the clear plastic cup so that it gets lodged there. 

Turn the cup upside down and plunge it into the water.

Lift the cup back out of the water and feel the paper towel.

What do you notice?
The paper towel should be dry because pushing the cup into the water upside down traps the air inside it. As the cup is full of air, there is no way that the water can enter the cup so the towel stays dry.
Picture 1

Can metal float?

You will need: A clean bowl, water, a pin or paperclip and a small piece of paper towel.

Method 

Fill the bowl three-quarters full of water. 

First, see what happens when you put the pin on to the surface of the water.

Then fish the pin out of the water, dry it and place it on the middle of the paper towel. 

Gently lower the paper 'raft' with the pin on it into the water and observe what happens.

You might need to repeat this if it doesn't work the first time.

What happens
The paper towel should gradually sink but the pin will float.
Why it happens
The paper towel soaks up the water, becomes heavier and sinks. The pin, meanwhile, will remain on the surface of the water supported by a force called surface tension.
Picture 1

Ice hand

Make an 'ice hand' by freezing water in a transparent plastic glove and then observe it melting.

You will need : A plastic glove, water, string and a bowl. 

Method

Fill a plastic glove with water, tie off the open end with string and freeze it.

Remove the frozen hand from the glove. 

Leave the 'ice hand' in a bowl in a warm place and observe it at regular intervals. 

What happens

The fingers should melt first and at a faster rate than the palm.  Can you think why?

Picture 1
If you want to carry out more fun experiments at home, check out the link below:-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Top