Tag Archives: Science Experiments

Newton’s Second Law of Motion

Newton’s Second Law of Motion

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Today’s experiment will demonstrate Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

Newton’s Second Law of Motion: Acceleration is produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the mass (of the object being accelerated) the greater the amount of force needed (to accelerate the object).

SIMPLY: Pushing or pulling an object produces acceleration, a change in the speed of motion. Believe it or not, an accelertion can be a slowdown OR a speedup. The heavier the object, the more force it takes to make that object speed up or slow down. It takes more of your strength to push a bowling ball one foot than it does to push a marshmallow one foot. In this video, an astronomer demonstrates Newton’s Second Law of Motion. Or read this eBook, a brief introduction to gravity and motion. Physics explains how a roller coaster moves.

Comet Cratering Experiment

This experiment is a demonstration of Newton’s Second Law of Motion

What You Need:srpcometsetup2

  • Pie Pan or Other Dish with Sides
  • Flour
  • Hot Chocolate Mix
  • 3 Sizes of Marbles or Rocks
  • Spoon

Put several spoonfuls of flour in the bottom of the pan and spread it out to make a level surface. Then sprinkle a thin layer of hot chocolate mix on top of the flour. Now hold one marble/rock above the surface of the flour and drop it. Do the same with the other two marbles/rocks. Now carefully lift each marble/rock out of the flour and look at the impact crater. Which marble/rock made the widest impact crater? Which one made the deepest impact crater?


Science Project Idea:

Do this experiment again. Use three different sizes of marbles. Marbles are great for this project because they are round, which makes measuring the size of the impact crater easier. Remember that in a science experiment you want to test only one variable. In this experiment we only want to change the size/weight of the object that is falling. If we changed the shape of the object too, it would be hard to measure the difference in the impact craters.

While doing the experiment, pay close attention to how far away the marbles are from the surface of the flour before you let go of them. Use a ruler to make sure you drop each marble from exactly one foot above the surface of the flour. Do the experiment three times using the same three objects. The three times you repeat the experiment are called trials. Make a chart to keep track of the results. After each trial measure the width of the impact crater made by each of the three marbles. Which marble makes the largest impact crater? Which marble makes the deepest impact crater? Why do you think so?

Websites for Research:


Use your indyPL Library Card number and PIN to check out FREE Online eBooks, eAudiobooks & Story Videos. Click on a book jacket & enter your Library Card number and PIN to borrow. What’s My PIN?
Junk Drawer ScienceScience Stunts Fun Feats of PhysicsWho Was Isaac Newton?Lives of the Scientists


Can You Feel the Force?Give It a Push Give It a PullIsaac Newton Discoverer of GravityGiants of Science Isaac NewtonIsaac the AlchemistLaws of Motion and Isaac NewtonPhysics Investigate the Mechanics of NatureProfessor Astrocat's Atomic Adventure a Journey Through PhysicsYou Wouldn't Want to be Sir Isaac NewtonIsaac Newton and Physics for Kids
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Science Experiments

Science Experiments


Looking for an idea for a science project? Here are several science experiment ideas that use materials easily found in your house. A couple of them might require a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy, but mostly you can just raid the garage, kitchen or medicine chest for the ingredients. Many experiments you will want to do OUTSIDE. Each experiment will give you directions as well as suggest websites and books that will help you explain what science is at work during the experiment.

Science Project Ideas:

Atoms: A Bunch of Empty Space
Density: Buoyancy
Density: Layer Column
Density: Marbling Paper
Density: Straw Mix
Miscible Molecules: Lava Bottle
Polymers: Poke Holes in a Ziploc
Polymers: Borax Goo
Polymers: Cornstarch Goo
Saturation: Growing Crystals
Soluability: Sharpie Pen Tie Dye
Supersaturated: Borax Crystals & Rock Candy
Static Electricity: Salt and Pepper Separator
Surface Tension: Pepper Scatter
Surface Tension: Soap Bubbles
Surface Tension: Sand Castles

Acids: Bouncing Egg
Acids: Folding Egg
Chemical Bond: Kool Aid Tie Dye
Chemical Reaction: Exploding Ziploc
Chemical Reaction: Penny Cleaner
Chemical Reaction: Plastic Bottle Geyser
Chemical Reaction: Milk Play Dough
Chemical Reaction: Milk Glue
Nucleation: Mentos Volcano
Oxidation: Brown Apples

Heat: Fireproof Balloon
Insulators: Blubber Test
Insulators: Keeping Warm
Melting Point: DIY Slushie
Heated Gases Expand: Ivory Soap

Aerodynamics: Paper Airplanes
Air Pressure: Straw Through an Apple
Air Pressure: Do Not Open Bottle
Centripetal Force: Hex in a Balloon
Centripetal Force: Tornado in a Bottle
Friction: Thick Book Friction
Momentum: Pendulums
Newton’s 1st Law (Inertia): Tablecloth Trick & Egg Drop
Newton’s Second Law: Comet Cratering
Newton’s Third Law: Rocket
Center of Gravity: Fork on a Glass & Balanced Pop Can
Chromatography: Black Ink
Gravity: Stacking
Engineering: Newspaper Geodesic Dome
Engineering: Build a Bridge
Potential & Kinetic Energy: Marshmallow Catapult

Cell Respiration: Balloon Blow Up
Hydrologic (Water) Cycle: Make a Terrarium
Transpiration: Flower Transformation
Sight: Make a Kaleidoscope
Sound Waves: Salt Sound Meter
Forensic Science: DNA Fingerpringing


srpeggthumb SciencePitcher srpapplethumb srppenniesthumb srphexnutthumb




Here are some websites that have great step-by-step directions and photographs for planning a great science project.


GaleScience Science in Context: This is a database you can look at with your IndyPL Library Card Number and PIN to get Science Experiment ideas and to do background research once you choose a subject. (What’s my PIN?)
science-fair-discoverer-logo Science Fair Discoverer: This is a great way to find experiments that use common around-the-house items.  Search by asking where you want to begin:  In the recycling bin?  In the junk drawer?  In the yard? In the Kitchen? In the Bathroom?   When an experiment is selected, you will see a list of needed items and directions. (What’s my PIN?)



Star Wars Science Fair Book 101 Great Science Experiments We Dare You Candy Experiments
Edible Science Hands On Science Experiments Kitchen Science Experiments Ruff Ruffmans 44 Favorite Science Activities
Science Rocks Try This Fizz and Bubble Surprise and Delight
101-coolest-simple-science-experiments diy-science labcraft-wizards maker-lab
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Density – Buoyancy

Density – Buoyancy

srplife-jacketFind More Science Experiments

Every object on earth is made of atoms. Gravity pulls these atoms to the earth. You can measure the pull of gravity on an object – we call that measurement weight.

Density  is how close together the molecules of a substance are or how much mass a substance has in a given space. If you have one cup of jelly beans and one cup of marshmallows…the jelly beans have more mass…there is more “stuff” compacted into the cup. The marshmallows are mostly air. If you put each of those cups in a microwave to melt…the sugar and water that makes up the jelly beans would almost fill the cup to the top. The sugar and water that makes up the marshmallows would only fill the cup a little bit because marshmallows have less mass, they are mostly made of air. Materials with more density weigh more. A cup of jelly beans weighs more than a cup of marshmallows.

For an object to be bouyant, or float, it must have less density that what it is floating in, or it has to have something attached to it that helps it float – like you with a life jacket on.

You Will Need:

  • Drinking Glass
  • Clear Soda
  • Water
  • Ten Raisins

Fill one clear glass up with water and drop in five raisins. Fill another clear glass up with clear soda like sprite or 7up. Drop in five raisins. What happens when you drop the raisins in? What a few minutes – now what is happening to the raisins in each glass? Can you guess why the raisins are behaving differently?

Raisins are heavier than the water in the drinking glass. The raisins are also heavier than the soda in the drinking glass. At first, both sets of raisins sink to the bottom of the glass, they don’t float.

But the soda has little air bubbles in it – the carbioation. These bubbles are attracted to the rough surface of the raisins and stick there. When there are enough of these little carbonated balloons (the bubbles) stuck to the raisins the bubbles lift the raisins to the surface making the raisin float. The bubbles are like little temporary life jackets. When the bubbles pop and the gas inside them escapes into the air…the raisins don’t have anything to help them float anymore and they sink to the bottom of the glass again.

Science Experiment Idea: Try putting other small objects in soda to see if the bubbles will attach to them and help them float to the surface of the soda. Try a penny, a toothpick, a peanut, a skittle. Can you find something that the bubbles will float to the surface like the raisin?


More IndyPL Experiments about Density


Things That Float and Things That Don't That Surprise and Delight Science Experiments That Fizz and Bubble What Floats What Sinks a Look at Density
What Floats in a Moat? How Do Hot Air Balloons Work? Floating and Sinking Captain Kidd's crew experiments with sinking and floating


Download this Hoopla DVD to your device with your IndyPL library card – no waiting! Hoopla Directions

Bill Nye Buoyancy Hoopla Logo Bill Nye the Science Guy Season 1 Episode 5: Buoyancy – Bill Nye takes to the sky in a hot air balloon and goes scuba diving in the Seattle Aquarium to explain why objects like boats, helium, and balloons are buoyant.

Words to Know:

Density – How closely packed together the molecules of a substance are.
Bouyancy – Ability to float or rise to the top of a liquid or gas.
Float – To sit near the surface of a liquid or gas, to not sink.
Mass – How much matter fits in a given space.
Matter – Stuff
Weight – A measure of the force of gravity on an object. Materials with more density weigh more.
Volume – How much space a substance takes up.
*****The confusing relationship between weight and mass: On earth, a bowling ball can weigh about 10 pounds. If you take that same bowling ball to the moon it will weigh much less because the graviational pull of the moon is less than the gravitational pull on the earth. Weight is a measure of gravitational pull. So the weight of the bowling ball, or anything else, changes depending on where you weigh it. The mass of the bowling bowl does not change no matter where it is. The bowling ball has the same amount of mass  on earth as it does on the moon or anywhere else you take it.

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Science Experiments

Science Experiments


Looking for an idea for a science project? Here are several science experiment ideas that use materials easily found in your house. A couple of them might require a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy, but mostly you can just raid the garage, kitchen or medicine chest for the ingredients. Many experiments you will want to do OUTSIDE. Each experiment will give you directions as well as suggest websites and books that will help you explain what science is at work during the experiment. Science Experiments

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Miscible Molecules: Lava Bottle

Miscible Molecules: Lava Bottle

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Sometimes when atoms come together to form a molecule, one end of the molecule has a positive charge and one end of the molecule has a negative charge. When this happens the molecule is a polar molecule. Molecules that do not have two electrical poles are called non-polar molecules.

This experiment will  show you how polar molecules and non-polar molecules behave when added together. If two kinds of molecules are added together that are both polar molecules, they will mix. They are miscible. Miscible means that the two things can mix together. If two non-polar molecules are added together they will also mix and are miscible. However, if a non-polar molecule and a polar molecule are added together, they will not mix together. This is called imiscible. Imiscible means that the two kinds of molecules CANNOT mix together.

What You Need:srpalkaseltzerdog

  • Plastic Bottle
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Food coloring
  • Measuring Cups
  • Alka Seltzer

Fill the bottle about 3/4 of the way up with vegetable oil. Fill the bottle the rest of the way up with water. Now add some drops of food coloring. Close the cap on the bottle and shake it up. What happens?

Break the alka seltzer tablet in half. Open the bottle and drop in one half. What happens? Once the bubbles settle down drop in the other half. What happens again?

Water is a polar molecule. Vegetable oil is a non-polar molecule. These two substances do not mix together, they are imiscible (they will not mix together). That’s why you see the blobs of water bobbing around in the oil. Food coloring is a polar molecule so it WILL mix with the water. The water and the food coloring are both polar molecules will mix together. That’s why the water blobs turn the color of the food coloring and the oil does not.

The alka seltzer just makes the bottle more fun because it makes the colorful water blobs move without shaking the bottle. The alka seltzer tablets dissolve in the the water and make carbon dioxide gas (like we saw vinegar and baking soda do in the Exploding Ziploc experiment). The carbon dioxide gas bubbles attach to the colorful water blobs and make them float to the top of the bottle. When the gas bubbles pop there is no gas bubble to hold up the water blob, so it slowly floats back down to the bottom of the bottle.

Here are some website and books that will give you good directions for making your own lava bottle and understanding molecules and polarity:

Science Rocks Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes Super Simple Things To Do With Bubbles Atoms and Molecules

Science Experiment Idea: Make several different lava lamps using different liquids for the water. Try vegetable oil and water, like our experiment today. Then try vegetable oil and rubbing alcohol or vegetable oil and orange juice or vegetable oil and olive oil. See if you can determine which substances are miscible when added together. Which ones make a good lava lamp and which ones don’t?

Words to Know:

Polarity – When atoms align.
Atoms – The smallest, most basic unit of matter. An atom is made up of a nucleus surrounded by electrons.
Molecules At least two atoms held together by a chemical bond.
Polar Molecule A molecule that has two opposite electrical poles. One end of the molecule has a positive charge and one end of the molecule has a negative charge.
Non-Polar Molecule – A molecule that does not have opposite electrical poles.
Miscible – Able to mix when added together.
Imiscible – Not able to mix when added together.

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