Misc Science Projects Archive

  • The Amazing Bouncing Egg

    Bouncing Egg Project

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    Fun Egg Bouncing Project

    The egg is the easiest symbol of fragility. You tend to handle it with so much care because they can break easily. If you are seeking a way to make an egg unbreakable and bounce about, this is the experiment for you.

    What You Need:

    • A glass jar
    • Plain white vinegar
    • A boiled egg

    Bouncing egg projectHow to Do It:

    1. Select your egg of choice. It can be a white egg or a brown egg.
    2. Get your glass jar and place your carefully selected egg in it.
    3. Take your plain white vinegar into the jar. Pour it until the egg is immersed completely in it.
    4. With the jar’s lid, cover the jar tightly.
    5. Set the setup aside. Make sure that you place it away from sunlight. Let it stand for an entire day.
    6. After a day, observe the egg.
    7. Leave the setup for a week before you take the egg out of vinegar immersion.
    8. Turn on your faucet and rinse the soaked egg.
    9. Dry the egg completely.

     

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    What happened to the egg after a day? What happened to the egg after a week?

    Bubbles formed around the egg as it stayed in the vinegar. This is a normal thing. The small bubbles become bigger. Then, they rise to the surface of the vinegar. Because of the forming bubbles around the egg, the egg eventually floats. Since vinegar is acetic acid, it reacts with calcium, which is the main ingredient of eggshells. The vinegar decomposes the shell of the egg. At a week’s end, the shell of the egg has degraded completely. The texture of the egg becomes leathery and it becomes bouncy.

    The process behind this transformation is the process of osmosis, which is the movement of liquid through a semi-permeable barrier or membrane. The said movement is from a less concentrated solution to a more concentrated solution. This is applicable to the gases or fluids.

     

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  • YOUR VERY OWN STETHOSCOPE

    Stethoscope

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    Build Your Own Stethoscope

    A stethoscope is an instrument that doctors use in examining sick people. They put the two ends of it in their ears, much like earphones. They place the other end of it on the body of their patients, so that they can check for any unusual sounds. Doctors use the stethoscope to listen to breathing, heartbeat, and bowel movement.

    Did you know that the first stethoscope was invented in 1816 by a French physician named Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe Laennec? He decided to create it when he observed children who were playing with long pieces of wood. The pieces of wood relayed sound from pins that scratch any surface. He then tried it for himself and decided to replace the wooden chunks with wooden cylinders. The name he gave his first stethoscope was “The Cylinder”. Why not create your very own stethoscope like Rene did?

    What You Need:

    • Non-toxic modelling clay
    • 2 funnels
    • A pair of scissors
    • An old garden hose
    • A notepad
    • Pencil or pen

     

     

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    How You Do It:

    *** It takes about 15 minutes to finish this experiment.
    1. Get your scissors and use it to cut a sixteen-inch piece of flexible cylinder from your old garden hose.
    2. Take the funnels and place each on both ends of the piece you cut off. If they do not fit, use your modelling clay to make them fit snugly into each hole.
    3. Place one end of the funnel cylinder on your ear and the other end on your chest. If you don’t hear anything, exercise for about five to ten minutes and try again. Write down what you observe.
    The stethoscope you made is a crude one, so you need to listen to a louder heartbeat. That is why you were told to exercise for a while before you test your stethoscope again.
    This experiment helps you understand how sound is transmitted through closed spaces, which the garden hose represents.

     

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  • Rainy Day Science Projects

    Rainy Day Science Projects

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    A Great Science Project for a Rainy Day

    Rainy days are perfect for learning new things. For example, try this science project that shows how water and color can travel when given the right tools. You only need 3 different types of items. The kitchen is the best place to work. Be sure and clean up your mess when you are finished.

     

    Walking Water

    You will need:

    5 Clear Drinking Glasses

    4 Paper Towels

    3 Different Colors Food Dye

    Directions:

    Set the drinking glasses side by side. Fill the 1st, 3rd and 5th glass 3/4 full with water. Leave the 2nd and 4th empty.

    Place 3-4 drops of dye in the 1st glass filled with water. Repeat for the 3rd and 5th, using a different color dye for each.

    Take one paper towel and fold longway. Fold it again until it is about one inch thick, then crease it in the middle so that it stands up like an upside down V. Repeat with the other 3 paper towels.

    Place one upside down paper towel V in the first and second glass. One end will be in the first glass and the other end will be in the second glass. Take another upside down V and place one end in the second and third glass. Repeat until all glasses are sharing a V.

    Watch as the paper towels share the water and the color with the 2 empty glasses and change color along the way.

    Can you explain how this happens?

     

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  • Demonstration of How Osmosis Works

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    Osmosis is a process in which different concentrations of solutions move through semi-permeable membranes. The transfer occurs from the highest concentration to the lowest. Osmotic pressure is a term used to explain the force with which the molecules transfer from the solution of higher concentration into the solution of lower concentration. Osmosis occurs throughout nature and one example is plants absorbing nutrients through their roots.

    This experiment will demonstrate how the process of osmosis works by using distilled water and a water/sugar solution. The experiment will require about 10 minutes of set-up time and 3 to 4 hours to observe the results.

    Materials Required

    A beaker or a transparent bowl (glass or plastic)
    Concentrated sugar solution (Fill a bowl with 2 cups of warm water and add as much sugar as will easily dissolve)
    Distilled water
    A thistle funnel (a glass funnel which has a calibrated, long tube). Any transparent funnel will work
    Some form of semi-permeable membrane (parchment paper works well)
    Twine or a twist tie (from a bread bag) to secure the membrane to the funnel
    A small clamp to hold the funnel in place
    Food coloring (optional). The food coloring will make it easier to see when the transfer begins to take place
    Journal to record your findings

    Procedure

    Fit a piece of the semi-permeable membrane around the bottom of the funnel and use the twine or twist tie to secure it firmly.
    Fill the beaker ¾ of the way with the distilled water. If you chose to use food coloring, add a few drops to the beaker and stir.
    Turn the funnel so that the covered portion is at the bottom and then fill the funnel about half way with the sugar solution
    Immerse the covered end of the funnel in the beaker of sugar solution making sure to leave a gap between the covered portion of the funnel and the bottom of the beaker.
    Clamp the thistle funnel in an upright position so that it isn’t resting against the bottom of the beaker.
    Use a marker to mark the level of the liquid in the thistle funnel’s tube and allow your experiment to sit for a few hours.

    When filling the beaker and funnel, the beaker can be filled as far as ¾ full, but enough room must be left in the funnel for the liquid level to rise during the course of the experiments.

    Check on the experiment every hour or so and record any difference in the liquid level of the funnel.

    You should notice that the liquid level in the funnel is slowly rising and that the membrane covering the bottom looks as if it is being sucked into the tube of the funnel. The rising level of liquid in the funnel is due to the movement of the distilled water (lower concentration) into the tube of the beaker filled with sugar water (higher concentration).

    A simpler form of this experiment is to slice a potato about into ½ inch thick slices and add a slice to a cup of very strong salt water and another to a cup of plain, distilled water. The potato slice in the salt water will become limp and wilted after a few hours while the slice in the plain water will remain crisp. This is because the liquid from the potato slice in salt water gradually transfers to the area of higher concentration while the potato slice in plain water gradually absorbs water from the cup into itself.

     

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  • Chill Your Drink

    Chill That Drink Fast!

     

    How fast do you think you can get a can of soda to go from warm to cold? Would you believe it can be done in about one minute? It can and here is how you can make a gadget to do just that from simple materials. It is a good idea to have an adult help with this.

    First, gather everything you will need to build the gadget. You will need:

    • A motor (with the mounting screws) taken from a remote control car or something similar
    • A pair of scissors
    • A hot glue gun
    • A plastic ruler
    • A permanent ink marker
    • A lighter
    • A USB cord (an old one like a phone charger will do)
    • The cap from a can of spray paint

    The first step in making your gadget is to use the ruler to measure 3 centimeters from the bottom of the spray paint cap and mark it with the marker. Next, cut the cap where it is marked all the way around the cap so it is as straight as possible.

    Now you are ready to shape your cap so it will grip your can of soda. Place the cap in the top of a soda can (for this, you can use an empty can). Mark the cap where the top of the can is (a flashlight shining down on top of the cap will help you see where to mark). Light the lighter and hold it close enough to the bottom edge of the cap to heat it but not burn it. Heat the cap until the plastic starts to sag. Press the edge of the scissors against the heat-softened plastic so it takes on the shape of the lip of the can. The idea is that the cap will clip onto the top of the soda can.

    It is time to mount the motor to the top of the cap. First mark the center of the cap with the marker. Then put a good glob of hot glue there and put the motor on so when the motor is running, the cap will spin. Now cut off the charging end of the USB cord and strip the ends of the black and red wires. Have an adult solder them onto the motor.

    Now you need a handle to hold while the gadget spins your soda. Place one end of the ruler against the motor mount and mark where the screws need to go. With the scissors, drill holes where the marks are and rock and twist the scissors to make the holes the right size for the screws. Put a blob of hot glue between the screw holes and press the ruler to the motor mount so the holes line up for the screws. Tighten the screws.

    Now you are ready to chill that warm can of soda. Put ice in a bowl deep enough to cover the can of soda and add enough water to let the can spin easily. Clip your can to the gadget and put it in the ice bath so the can is submersed so only the very top of the can isn’t in the ice bath. Plug in the gadget and it will spin the can. You can time it for one or two minutes for an ice cold soda.

     

    As a final note – this is a science site and sometimes the approach might seem a bit on the “round-a-bout’ side.

    So … while you are building your can spinner, you can immerse another hot soda in a bath of ice, water and table salt.  From room temperature at 75F or so, you can have that soda cold enough to drink within 2 – 3 minutes of putting it in the brine bath.

    But it is so much more fun to make something spin with motors no?

    Enjoy!

    If you liked this, perhaps this one will fascinate you: http://how-things-work-science-projects.com/make-your-own-lightning/

  • Density: The Floating, Sinking Orange

    Will the orange float or sink?

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    Have you ever thought about whether an orange would float or sink in water? Doesn’t seem like something that really matters, but testing it will help you learn something about density as well as learning something about oranges you didn’t know before.

    For this experiment, you will need:

    • One orange
    • A container such as a deep bowl
    • Water

    What to do:

    Fill the container with water to about an inch from the top. It needs to be deep enough that the orange will clearly be seen to sink or float.

    Put the orange in the water and make a note of what happens to the orange.

    Remove the rind from the orange and again, put it in the water. Make a note of what the orange does.

     

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    What happened when you put the orange in the water the first time? It floated, right? Then after you removed the rind and put it in the water, that same orange sank, didn’t it? Why would this happen?

    The orange’s rind has a lot of very small pockets of air in it. These pockets are the reason the orange floated the first time. The pockets of air gave the orange rind a low density and thing with low density, like the foam pool noodles are made of, will float. When you removed the rind, the orange lost its low density coat so then it sank when put in water.

    What is density? It is simply how solid an object is. Two things can be the same size but have different densities. One may be heavier because it is more dense. The other may be lighter because it has tiny air pockets that take up space and makes it less dense. It is easy to find many items that are the same size but have different weights. You can test them in water, if they won’t be ruined by water, in the same way you tested the orange.

     

     

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  • Leaf Collection For Children

    Nature Walk for Leaves

     

    Leaf Collection For Children – Identification

    This is a very simple yet fun and informative project that parents can do alongside their children. You can do this project during fall months and it can be as simple or extensive as you choose. While you can do the project during the summer months, it’s recommended that the leaves be collected during the fall months for various reasons. The biggest reason being that the leaves will be drier and are less likely to mold inside the binders where they will end up.

    Teachers and Parents:

    You can set the types of trees as well as the number of trees that are required. You can also do extra credit leaves such as Ginko or any rarer tree that you may only have a few of in your area.

    Age: 5 and up.

    Because of the young age, you may want to consider leaving such things as Poison Oak out of the project. If your child is at a more mature level, you could include them if you know that the child would benefit from the knowledge. Otherwise “If it has leaves of three, let it be!”

    What You Will Need:

    • A binder
    • Plenty of binder inserts
    • Paper to write the leaf information on
    • Wax paper
    • An iron
    • A towel
    • An ironing board
    • Pen or Marker
    • Leaf identification book

    Directions:

    1. Search and collect two leaves from each type of tree. (Sassafras will require all three leaves)
    2. Before you place the leaves into your binder you’re going to want to press them between wax paper. To do this you will need to have a parent set up an ironing board and place a towel (folded in half) on top of the board. Open the towel and place one piece of wax paper wax side up on the towel. Place the leaves of your tree onto the wax paper so that they fit. (Northern Catalpa will probably only fit one leaf). Place another sheet of wax paper wax side down over the top of the leaves. You now have wax paper sandwiching the leaves. Put the other half of the towel over the top of the wax paper and use an iron on the entire thing. (you’ll be ironing the towel top). This will melt the wax together on the inside thus sealing your leaves in the wax paper.
    3. Cut out the leaves making sure that you don’t cut the seal of the wax holding the leaves in place.
    4. Place the leaves into the binder.
    5. Using the Blank computer paper, you can either print out the information of the leaves or you can simply write it out using your marker or pen.
    6. Place the information sheet into the binder with the leaf sample.

     

     

    … and while you’re out in the wild, take a pair of binoculars with you to catch the wildlife up close!

       

  • Make Your Own Anemometer

    Anemometer and Devices meteorological station

     
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    Have you ever wondered how meteorologists find out how fast the wind is blowing? They use a device called an anemometer. When you first see one, you might wonder how it could possibly measure the speed of the wind. It is simple and you can make an anemometer of your own and learn how to measure wind speed.

    anemometer
    anemometer from an antique photo book

     

    Though the anemometers used by weathermen are expensive and complicated looking, you can make one that works without spending much money. All you need are a few materials that are easy and cheap to get.


    Materials you will need:

    A hole punch
    Five paper cups (size depends on how big you want your anemometer)
    Duct tape
    Scissors
    Three wood dowels about a quarter inch thick
    An empty water or soda bottle (20 oz. if you use small bathroom size cups, a liter if you are using larger cups)
    A stopwatch

    Assembling your anemometer:

    In four of the cups, punch a hole in the side just below the rim or halfway down the cup.
    In the fifth cup, punch four holes around the cup at the rim. This cup is the anemometer’s center.
    Slide a dowel through two of the holes of the center cup and then slide another dowel through the other two holes so they cross in the middle of the cup.

    Poke a hole in the bottom of the center cup using the third dowel and push it up so it is against the point where the first two dowels cross. Tape it securely at this point. This dowel is what will rotate as the wind blows.
    On the ends of the dowels that cross in the center cup, attach a cup to each by putting the dowel end through the hole and tape it securely in place. The cups all need to face the same direction.

    Place the center dowel in the water bottle so the cups are above the bottle. Now you are ready to calibrate and test your anemometer.

    anemometer
    Professional weather station with anemometer

     

    How to get your anemometer calibrated:

    Get a parent or other adult to drive around the block at ten miles per hour on a day with no wind.
    As you hold your anemometer out the window in the same position it would be if it were sitting on the ground, count the number of times the cups rotate on their axis during a thirty second period.
    The number of times the cups rotate in thirty seconds while in a car moving ten miles per hour is the same number of times as would be the case in a ten mile an hour wind.

    The reason you need to calibrate your anemometer this way is so you have a baseline to calculate wind speed. If at ten miles an hour, the cups spin ten times, you know that when the cups spin ten times in the wind, it means the wind is blowing at ten miles per hour. If you want to be as accurate as possible, do the same process at different speeds and record the results. For example, do the test to calibrate at ten, twenty and thirty miles per hour. This makes measuring wind speed easier and more accurate.

    Now you know how to find out on your own how fast the wind is without needing a weatherman to tell you.
    … and for those who just need one right now, this should help:

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