Category Archives: Science Experiments

Heat – Fireproof Balloon

Heat – Fireproof Balloon

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What You Need:

  • 2 Balloons
  • Water
  • Candle/Matches

Have an adult help you light a candle that can sit safely on a table. Blow up one balloon and tie it closed. Hold the balloon a couple inches from the candle flame. What happens? It pops, of course.

Now take the second balloon. Fill it with water. Don’t fill it with so much water it starts to expand. This is not going to be a water balloon. Now take the balloon with water in it and blow it up the rest of the way. Tie it closed. Hold this balloon a couple inches above the candle flame. Does it pop? How long does it take?

Balloons are made out of rubber. Rubber heats up really fast so the first balloon pops fast. Water molecules take a long time to heat up. The heat from the candle is soaked up by the water inside the second balloon so that balloon does not pop right away.

Science Experiment Idea: Try different temperatures of water in the balloon. If the water is warmer it seems like the balloon would pop faster. Test it out and see. Try ice water, room temperature water and hot tap water (NOT too hot to touch!). Make sure you use three balloons that are exactly the same. Measure the same amount of water into each balloon. Hold each balloon the same distance away from the candle flame. Remember that you only want ONE variable in an experiment. The variable is the one thing that changes, in this case the variable is the temperature of the water. Use a stopwatch to time how long it takes for the balloon to pop.

Here are some websites and books to help you understand and experiment with the fireproof balloon:

Super Simple Things to Do With Balloons Science Experiments that Explode and Implode The Energy That Warms Us: a Look at Heat

Words to Know:
Heat – To increase in temperature.

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Chemical Reaction – Milk Glue

Chemical Reaction – Milk Glue

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What You Need:

  • Milk
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Coffee Filter or Paper Towel
  • 2 Large Cups
  • Bowl
  • Spoon

Pour 1/2 cup of milk into a large cup. Add 2 teaspoons srpmilkglassvinegar. Mix. Place a coffee filter or paper towel over a second large cup. The coffee filter should sag a little bit to make a little filter bowl. Put a rubber band around the top of the cup so it holds the coffee filter in place. Now pour the milk/vinegar mixture into the filter bowl you made.

Let the liquid part of the mixture drip through the filter. This might take awhile. When the liquid is done dripping use a spoon to scrape the milky lumps off the coffee filter and into a bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to the lumps and mix. Is this substance getting sticky? Try it out – can you use it to glue two pieces of paper together?

When the milk and vinegar (an acid), mix together a chemical reaction takes place. A substance called Casein forms. Casein is a very long molecule that bends like plastic – that’s why the lumps of milk are pliable and bendy. When you add baking soda (a base) to the milk lumps another chemical reaction happens turning the milk lumps into a sticky glue.

Science Experiment Idea: Make three batchs of milk glue, but make the variable (the thing you change) the amount of baking soda you add to the mixture. If you add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda to one batch, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to one batch and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to one batch, which one will be the most sticky? Why do you think so?

Here are some books and website that will help you make and understand glue made from milk:

Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes Milk and Cheese

Words to Know:

Chemical Reaction – When a substances or substances is changed into a new substance.
Acid – A chemical that is often sour tasting and corrosive. It dissolves some things.

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Chemical Reaction – Milk Play Dough

Chemical Reaction – Milk Play Dough

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What You Need:srpmilkglass

  • Milk
  • Vinegar
  • Plastic Container With a Lid
  • Teaspoon
  • Measuring Cup
  • Bowl

Pour 1/2 cup of milk into a bowl. Put the bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. Check the bowl – if the milk looks lumpy you are done. If the milk does not look lumpy yet microwave it again for 25 seconds. Check it again. Repeat until the milk has formed lumps. After the lumps appear add 1 teaspoon vinegar to the bowl and let the bowl sit for 1 hour. After 1 hour is up pour the liquid off the milk lumps. Smash the lumps of milk together like play dough. You can make it any shape you want. If you leave it alone it will turn hard. If you want to save it keep it in a sealed container.

When the milk and vinegar (an acid), mix together a chemical reaction takes place. A substance called Casein forms. Casein is a very long molecule that bends like plastic – that’s why your lump of milk is pliable and bendy until it dries out and turns hard. Casein is also found in cheese…which is made from milk. Does this give you a clue as to how cheese is made?

Science Project Idea:

Make 3 different bowls of milk play dough. Use the same amount of milk in each bowl but use different amounts of vinegar in each one. OR use the same amount of vinegar in each bowl AND the same amount of milk…but use three different kinds of milk: skim, 2% and whole. Guess which bowl will make the best milk play dough. Why do you think so?

Here are some websites and books that will help you understand the science behind milk play dough:

Science Experiments That Surprise and Delight – Lumpy Milk. (page 24-25)

That Surprise and Delight

Words to Know:

Chemical Reaction – When a substances or substances is changed into a new substance.
Acid – A chemical that is often sour tasting and corrosive. It dissolves some things.

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Chemical Reaction – Plastic Bottle Geyser

Chemical Reaction – Plastic Bottle Geyser

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A chemical reactionoccurs when substances are mixed together and are changed. Sometimes substances mix together and not much happens, at other times the results are pretty dramatic. Today we will look at a turbo charged chemical reaction. We will mix two substances together and add a catalyst, something to make the reaction happen faster.

What You Need:

  • Plastic Soda Bottle
  • Hydrogen Peroxcide
  • Measuring Cup
  • Dish Soap
  • Food Coloring
  • Dry Yeast
  • Hot Water
  • Funnel

Pour a cup of hydrogen peroxide in the liter soda bottle. Add a few drops of food coloring and a few drops of dish soap. In a separate bowl mix 1 teaspoon of yeast with two tablespoons of hot (not boiling – just use hot water from the faucet) water. Use the funnel to pour the yeast mixture into the mottle. Stand back!!

  • HINT: Do this one OUTSIDE!
  • HINT #2 If you want your geyser to spew more, use a plastic soda bottle that is smaller than a liter – a bottle that is smaller will have more foam shoot out of it.

Hydrogen peroxide has a lot of bubbles in it. If you let it sit long enough it will go “flat” – just like soda if you let it sit, the bubbles pop and eventually no carbination is left. When you add the yeast to the hydrogen peroxide the yeast makes this “going flat” happen super fast. The yeast breaks the hydrogen peroxide down into oxygen and water – a chemical reaction. The oxygen combines with the dish soap to make a whole lot of bubbles. In this experiment yeast is a catalyst. A catalyst speeds up a chemical reaction. Once the chemical reaction is over touch the foam – how does it feel? You might notice that the foam is a little bit warm. This chemical reaction is an exothermic one, that means that the chemical reaction produced a little heat.

Here are some websites and books that will give you more chemical reaction experiments to try:

Science Rocks Science Experiments That Fizz and Bubble Super Simple Things To Do With Bubbles

Words to Know:

Chemical Reaction – When a substances or substances is changed into a new substance.
Exothermic – A chemical reaction that produces heat.
Catalyst – Something that makes a chemical reaction happen faster.

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Chemical Reaction – Penny Cleaner

Chemical Reaction – Penny Cleaner

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Everything in the universe is made of teeny tiny particles called atoms. Some things are made up of just one kind of atom. A penny is made up entirely of copper atoms. Atoms can join together to make molecules. When a penny is exposed to oxygen in the air, the copper atoms of the penny and the oxygen atoms in the air combine. A chemical reaction takes place that makes a molecule called copper oxide – that is the dirty stuff that you see on the penny.  This “stuff” is often referred to as “tarnish.” When you soak the pennies in taco sauce, another chemical reaction takes place. Try this experiment to watch this chemical reaction.

You Will Need:srppennies

  • Dirty Pennies
  • Taco Sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Tomato Paste
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Small Plates
  • Masking Tape

Put some tarnished pennies in a small dish and pour taco sauce over them. Let the taco sauce sit for a few minutes and then wash the taco sauce off the pennies. How do the pennies look now? If you look at the ingredients in the taco sauce you will notice that the main ingredients are tomato paste, vinegar and salt. Which ingredient affected the tarnish on the pennies? To find out, you need to test different combinations of the ingredients. First, try to polish the pennies with just tomato paste, just salt and just vinegar. How do the pennies look? Then, try polishing the pennies in different combinations of the ingredients: tomato paste + salt, vinegar + salt and tomato paste + vinegar.  Which combination worked best?

Here are some websites that will give you good directions for this experiment and an explanation of the chemical reaction that creates the tarnish and then takes it away again:

Here are some books that will help you see other chemical reactions that polish tarnish from pennies or silver.

  • Science Experiments That Surprise and Delight: Taco Sauce Penny Cleaner (pages 60-63)
  • Science Rocks!: Spruce Up Silver (pages 41-42)
  • Science Experiments That Fizz and Bubble: Not Quite the Midas Touch (Pages 20-21)
  • Mythbusters Science Fair Book – Can Cola Shine a Penny? (Pages 13-14).
That Surprise and Delight Science Rocks Science Experiments That Fizz and Bubble Mythbusters Science Fair Book

Words to Know:

Chemical Reaction – A change in which a substance (or substances) is changed into one or more new substances.

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