Science Sunday: Try This at Home Edition
Now, most of Teen Skepchick’s readers and contributors love science- but how many of us actually do science in our own homes? This would also be a great way to introduce little Skepchicks and Skepdudes to science- so if you’re looking for some easy home experiments to do (think: Mentos in Coke) then this is your resource!
1. The (Aforementioned) SODA AND MENTOS Experiment
Now this is the one that almost everybody has heard of- probably because it’s both very easy and very cool. It’s pretty self-explanatory (but remember to do it outside!)- get a 2l bottle of fizzy soda, and a packet of Mentos. Open the soda, and drop the Mentos in as quickly as you can. Back away and watch it take instant effect!
2. The EDIBLE CRYSTALS Experiment
Here’s a cheap and cheery (and also pretty cool!) way to make your own hard candy. It’s my favourite, because it combines science and eating.
You will need:
15cm piece of string
A paper clip (or large plastic bead)
1 cup of water
2 cups of sugar
A glass jar
Tie the string to the middle of the pencil, and tie the paperclip to the end of the string. Lie the pencil across the top of the jar (like one of those old-fashioned wells) so that the paperclip is hanging in the middle of the jar- not touching the bottom. Pour the water into a pot and bring it to the boil- add 1/4 of the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved. Keep going until all the sugar is used, and you’re left with a pot of syrupy water. Pour this mixture into the jar and add the pencil and paperclip, leaving the water to cool. In a week or so, you’ll have big candy crystals to enjoy!
Note: It seems like it would be cool to add colours or flavours; but I’m not sure if this would affect the experiment itself. I suspect not- so I might try it!
3. The MAKE YOUR OWN VOLCANO Experiment
You will need:
An empty soda bottle
2 measuring cups
1 cup of baking soda
1 cup of vinegar
1 tsp of liquid dish detergent
Put the empty bottle in your sink (or outside, where it won’t matter if it makes a mess). Put the funnel into the bottle and pour the baking soda through it. Put the dish detergent (and food colouring if you like) into the cup with the vinegar and mix it together. Pour the mixture into the bottle and watch it explode!
If you want to make this look really cool- or turn it into an afternoon-long activity for kids- you could make a papier mache volcano and put orange colouring in your mixture like the people in the video below have done. It looks awesome!
These were only three of thousands of experiments you can do at home- so if you find yourself bored, turn to your kitchen cupboards instead of Wife Swap and make edibles explode.