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science experiments for kids

Use a Straw to Stab a Potato
Is it possible to stab a potato with a drinking straw? Find out with this fun science experiment for kids that shows how air pressure can be used in surprising ways.
What you'll need:

Stiff plastic drinking straws
A raw potato

Instructions:

Hold a plastic drinking straw by it sides (without covering the hole at the top) and try quickly stabbing the potato, what happens?
Repeat the experiment with a new straw but this time place your thumb over the top, covering the hole.

What's happening?

Placing your thumb over the hole at the top of the straw improves your ability to pierce the potato skin and push the straw deep into the potato. The first time you tried the experiment you may have only pierced the potato a small amount, so why are you more successful on the second attempt?

Covering the top of the straw with your thumb traps the air inside, forcing it to compress as you stab the straw through the potato skin. This makes the straw strong enough to pierce the potato, unlike the first attempt where the air is pushed out of the straw.






Jello +bakign soda Then add vinegar. Watch as it fizzes and smells very good too! (we used orange jello and you couldnt even smell the vinegar)

egg and soda experment
Most of the discussion on drinking soda has focused on high fructose corn syrup and its detrimental effects on blood sugar and weight. But, what about your teeth?
Today, we are taking a page from a kindergarten teacher's playbook (thanks, Greta!). This teacher uses a very visual experiment to help her class of 5 year olds understand what happens to teeth when you drink soda.

I have heard that if you immerse a baby tooth in Coke it will dissolve in 24 hours. I checked into this myth and it isn't true. What IS true is that soda contains acid that will dissolve the enamel of teeth over time.

Our experiment is simple. Take a hard boiled egg and immerse it in Pepsi or Coke for 24 hours and analyze your result.


The obvious conclusion for the 5 year olds is that you need to brush your teeth. They take toothbrushes and scrub all the color off the egg to mimic brushing their teeth.

But, what does this experiment mean for us grown ups? Well, I found a study that concluded that prolonged exposure to soda can lead to significant tooth enamel loss (see here: Acids in Popular Sodas Erode Tooth Enamel).http://www.livescience.com/7198-acids-popular-sodas-erode-tooth-enamel.html
colored ice and oil
in a ice cube tray make a ice cube or two of little water mixed with a lot of food coloring. Once frozen get a cup of oil and drop the cube in the oil watch as the cube melts and noticed the food coloring does not mix with the oil. find out why it doesn't mix here- http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_does_food_coloring_not_spread_in_oil_but_in_water
teaching how plants use water
Automatic watering
Fill a bottle with water and place it upside down and half buried in soil in a flower box. An air bubble rises up in the bottle from time to time, showing that the plants are using the water.One notices that plants can take water more easily from loose soil then from hard.
teaching solids and liquid with corn starch and water
first put corn starch in bowl then add water slowly so that it is solid when you pick it up then turns watery. Very fun i added some food coloring to mines and it still worked and didn't stain hands
(same recipe as volcano again) This time with EGGS! i cracked the top of the eggs open then cleaned them out with warm water. After i filled them with some baking soda and little bit of food coloring (it will stain fingers not much but you can also try to use koolaid) after I add the vinegar and done! They bubble up a lot and after they where done bubbling i added more vinegar and it did it over again.
(my own pic)




There's a lot of people out there that like drinking fizzy drinks, so why not do a fun science experiment that leaves you with your own lemon soda to drink afterwards!

A bit of lemon here and a bit of baking soda there and before you know it you'll be an expert at making your own fizzy drinks. Make your own lemonade softdrink with this fun experiment for kids.
 What you'll need:

Lemon
Drinking glass
Water

1 teaspoon of baking soda
Some sugar to make it sweet

Instructions:

Squeeze as much of the juice from the lemon as you can into the glass.
Pour in an equal amount of water as lemon juice.
Stir in the teaspoon of baking soda.
Give the mixture a taste and add in some sugar if you think it needs to be sweeter.

What's happening?

The mixture you created should go bubbly and taste like a lemonade, soda, fizzy or soft drink, if you added some sugar it might even taste like a lemon flavoured soft drink you've bought at a store. The bubbles that form when you add the baking soda to the lemon mixture are carbon dioxide (CO2), these are the same bubbles you'll find in proper fizzy drinks. Of course they add a few other flavored sweeteners but it's not much different to what you made. If you are wondering how the carbon dioxide bubbles formed, it was because you created a chemical reaction when you added the lemon (an acid) to the baking soda (a base).






One of the most popular experiments of modern times is the Diet Coke and Mentos Geyser. Made popular by Steve Spangler, this experiment is a lot of fun and sure to amaze your friends and family (assuming you do it outside rather than in the living room).
 What you'll need:

Large bottle of Diet Coke
About half a pack of Mentos
Geyser tube (optional but makes things much easier)


Instructions:

Make sure you are doing this experiment in a place where you won't get in trouble for getting Diet Coke everywhere. Outside on some grass is perfect, please don't try this one in your family lounge!!
Stand the Diet Coke upright and unscrew the lid. Put some sort of funnel or tube on top of it so you can drop the Mentos in at the same time (about half the pack is a good amount). Doing this part can be tricky if you don't have a specially designed geyser tube, I recommend buying one from a local store such as Natures Discoveries (NZ) or online.
Time for the fun part, drop the Mentos into the Diet Coke and run like mad! If you've done it properly a huge geyser of Diet Coke should come flying out of the bottle, it's a very impressive sight. The record is about 9 metres (29 feet) high!

What's happening?

Although there are a few different theories around about how this experiment works, the most favoured reason is because of the combination of carbon dioxide in the Diet Coke and the little dimples found on Mentos candy pieces.

The thing that makes soda drinks bubbly is the carbon dioxide that is pumped in when they bottle the drink at the factory. It doesn't get released from the liquid until you pour it into a glass and drink it, some also gets released when you open the lid (more if you shake it up beforehand). This means that there is a whole lot of carbon dioxide gas just waiting to escape the liquid in the form of bubbles.

Dropping something into the Diet Coke speeds up this process by both breaking the surface tension of the liquid and also allowing bubbles to form on the surface area of the Mentos. Mentos candy pieces are covered in tiny dimples (a bit like a golf ball), which dramatically increases the surface area and allows a huge amount of bubbles to form.

The experiment works better with Diet Coke than other sodas due to its slightly different ingredients and the fact that it isn't so sticky. I also found that Diet Coke that had been bottled more recently worked better than older bottles that might have lost some of their fizz sitting on shop shelves for too long, just check the bottle for the date.







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