Thanks to common household ingredients and imagination you can do these easy and fun science experiments online with your buddy. Make sure both of you have these ingredients before starting your call!
A lesson in: Light and perspective.
Did the candy melt or disappear? You might think it’s magic, but it’s really all about how oil redirects light, causing half the candy to disappear!
Materials: Licorice, or other long, straight candy (alternative: a pencil or straw) Tall, skinny drinking glass Cooking oil, such as vegetable or olive oil
1. Pour some oil into the glass.
2. Put the candy stick into the glass. At the surface of the oil, does the candy look as if it has been cut in half?
3. Lean the candy stick against the side of the glass. (If the licorice doesn’t lay flat against the side, make a bend near the bottom of the stick to help hold it in place.)
4. Look at the side of the glass, and slowly turn it. Does the licorice get wider and narrower? Can you make it disappear?
You’ve probably noticed how light bends in a glass of water. This is what makes things inside a glass of water look so distorted and strange. Oil bends light even more than water does. In fact, it can bend the light so much that, if you hold the glass the right way, a piece of candy nestled against the side of the glass is completely hidden from your eyes.
Make Fizzy Lemonade
A lesson in: Chemistry.
A great alternative to the baking soda-vinegar volcano, this recipe shows what happens when an acid and base are mixed together.
-1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
-cold water (at least equal to the amount of lemon juice)
-1-2 teaspoons of sugar (to taste)
Mix all the ingredients together and you are ready to enjoy your fizzy lemonade!
Whirlpool in a Bottle
A lesson in: physics, weather science
This easy little experiment doesn't take much: just two empty and clear 2-liter bottles, a metal washer, water and some duct tape. Food coloring is optional. Fill one bottle with about two-thirds water. Place the washer on the bottle and line up the empty bottle on top of the water-filled one. Wrap the duct tape around the middle securing the two bottles together. Then, turn the bottles upside down. Does the water go straight down or do you see a mini whirlpool (Swirl the top or bottom a bit for a better effect)? The spinning water is called a vortex, and all tornadoes, hurricanes and typhoons are examples of air vortexes. Since you’re using water, this is an example of a whirlpool. As the water spins faster, it pushes to the outside of the bottle creating a hole in the middle. The air from the bottom of the bottle comes up the middle and the water from the top flows back down through the hole.
Gumdrop Structural Challenge
A lesson in: Physics.
'Tis the season for gumdrops and this classic structural engineering challenge uses just two ingredients: toothpicks and candy.
Materials: 10 gumdrops 20 toothpicks
Disposable surface on which to work; small paper plate, or paper towels (optional, but sugar from the gumdrops gets a little messy.)
Questions that provide hints/guidance during the building process: (Use at your discretion)
· How will your roof affect the home’s ability to be tested?
· How could you strengthen the joints?
· Since you found that one triangle is good, would two be even better?
· How could you broaden the base to give the house more support?
· How does the number of toothpicks stuck into one gumdrop affect the strength of the joint?
· It looks like the length of a toothpick limits you. Is a solution to that problem worth exploring?
Sketch a Shadow
A lesson in: Solar science, tracking how the earth moves around the sun
See what happens when you set up toys on paper in the sun, and try tracing their shadows at different times of the day. Pick toys with distinctive outlines to make it easier.