Tag Archives: Science Experiments

Heated Gases Expand – Ivory Soap

Heated Gases Expand – Ivory Soap

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When a substance is heated it’s molecules move faster. You can see this in a pot of water when you heat it on the stove. As the water gets hotter its molecules begin to move until the water is boiling.

When gases are heated, the same thing happens. As gas is heated up the amount of space the gas takes up increases. You can see this by heating up a bar of soap.

You have to use a bar of soap that floats. To make sure you have a bar of soap that will work, float it in a bowl of water. A bar of soap will float because it has air bubble whipped into it. Ivory soap will work for this experiment.srpivorysoapmicro

What You Need:
Bar of Soap that Floats
Bowl of Water
Paper Plate
Microwave

Break or cut the bar of soap into four pieces. Put the pieces on a paper plate and microwave for 1 minute. Watch the ivory soap through the microwave window.

As you heat the soap molecules in the air bubbles move quickly away from each other, or expand. This is called Charles’s Law. The same thing happens when you pop popcorn or cook a marshmallow .srpivorydogdone

Sciece Experiment Idea: Choose different kinds of soap to see what will happen when they are heated up for one minute in the microwave. Be sure to heat each bar of soap up on the same kind of plate and make sure you heat each bar for the same amount of time. The variable in this experiment is the soap, everything else has to be the same. Do the bars of soap each react the same way when they are heated up in the microwave? Why do you think so? Tip: Choose ivory soap for one of your trials – it’s cool!

Here are some books that will help you learn about and experiment with heated gases:

Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes Kitchen Science Experiments Science Experiments That Explode and Implode

Words to Know:

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.
Charles’s Law – as temperatures of a gas increase, so does its volume. Simply, heated gases expand.
Heat – to make hot or warm.

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Nucleation – Mentos Volcano

Nucleation – Mentos Volcano

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What You Need:

  • Liter of Diet Soda
  • Roll of Mentos Candy

Definitely go outside. Set the liter of soda on a firm surface – a sidewalk will work fine. Quickly – and I mean quickly – add the roll of mentos candy. Stand back!!

Soda is fizzy because it has carbon dioxide pumped into it at the soda bottle plant. The carbon dioxide bubbles just sit there in the soda until you open the top. When you open the top some of the bubble escape making that “whisssssh” sound.

Each mentos candy has a bunch of pits on the surface. The pits are so small you can barely see them. Under a microscope the a mento would look like a golf ball. Those little pits on the surface of the mento are a perfect place for a bubble to form, this is called a nucleation site.

When you drop the candies in the soda they sink and also start making bubbles in all of those pits. The bubbles form and explode making the soda bubble up and out the top of the soda bottle.

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

Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes Science Experiments That Explode and Implode Mythbusters Science Fair Book

Words to Know:

Nucleation Site - A place where a gas can form bubbles.

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Melting Point – DIY Slushie

Melting Point – DIY Slushie

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What You Need:srpslushiesetup3

  • Your Favorite Drink (Soda, orange juice, lemonade, etc.)
  • Quart-size zip-lock bag
  • Gallon-size zip-lock bag
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • Bowl

srpslushiejuiceFill the quart size bag with your favorite drink and zip it closed. HINT: Make sure the bag is zipped really good or your slushie will taste bad when some of the salt leaks into your bag. Put the quart size bag inside the gallon bag. Add the ice and salt to the gallon bag. Zip the gallon srpslushieice1size bag closed. Now shake the bag a lot – even play catch with it…gently. In about 15 minutes you will feel the ingredients in the quart size bag starting to firm up. What started out as a liquid is changing to a solid. When it feels done take the quart size bag out of the gallon size bag. Rinse it off good in clean water. Then open the bag, squeeze the slushie into a glass and enjoy!

srpslushiesmoosh srpslushieslush srpslushieglass

TIP: It’s OK for a dog to lick the ice, it won’t be in your drink anyway. Tip for the dog…lick the ice BEFORE the salt goes in!

And if you’re feeling like something with a few more ingredients, try this, ziploc bag ice cream!:

Your favorite drink is a liquid until it gets really cold.  Your liquid drink would be pretty good with ice just floating in it…the ice cubes would make the drink colder…but the ice cubes would not make the drink freeze into a slushie.

Ice forms when the temperature of water is 32 degrees or colder. You don’t want the ice cubes to melt IN your drink, you want your DRINK to turn slushie. In order to make your drink turn slushie you have to get it really cold. Salt lowers the melting point of water. To make a slushie you want the temperature around the bag of your favorite drink to be lower than 32 degrees so your drink will freeze. When you add salt to the ice cubes you lower the melting point of the ice cubes by several degrees. The ice cubes stay colder, longer – long enough to turn your drink slushie. Your salt/ice mixture will make your slushie faster than your freezer! That secret is the catalyst – the salt.

Science Experiment Idea: Make 3 different quart size bags each filled with the exact same amount of your favorite drink. Fill each of three gallon size bag with the exact same number of ice cubes. Add 1/8 cup of salt to the first gallon size bag and label it with a sharpie, “1/8″. Add 1/4 cup of salt to the second gallon size bag and label it “1/4″. Add 1/3 cup of salt to the third gallon size bag and label it “1/3″. Have a couple friends help you shake and smoosh the bags to make the slushies. Time how long it takes each of the bags to turn into a slushie. Which amount of salt makes a slushie the fastest?

Here are some websites and books that will help you understand the thermodynamics of slushies…and ice cream too!

Milk to Ice Cream Ben and Jerry Ice Cream the Full Scoop Heat

Words to Know:
Heat - To increase in temperature.
Melting Point – The temperature at which a substance will change from a solid to a liquid.
Thermodynamics – The study of the transfer of heat.
Catalyst – Something that makes a change happen faster.

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Oxidation – Brown Apples

Oxidation – Brown Apples

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When you cut open an apple it doesn’t look good for very long does it? After even just a few minutes an apple can start to look brown inside. The apple turns brown because you cut the apple open and exposed what’s inside the apple skin to the air,  which has oxygen in it. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that takes place when a substance combines with oxygen. When apple flesh combines with oxygen it turns brown. The browning of the apple is called oxidation.

Another kind of oxidation you probably have seen is rust. When metal comes in contact with oxygen a chemical reaction takes place – oxidation. In this case the result of oxidation is rust.

What You Need:

  • 3 Apple Slices
  • 1 Orange Slice
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
  • 3 Small Plates
  • Carmel Dip and the Rest of the Apple Slices (optional)

Put one apple slice on each plate. One apple slice leave alone. Pour the orange juice over one apple slice, pour orange juice over one apple slice and  lay the orange slice on top of the last apple slice. Wait a couple hours. How do the apple slices compare? Which one is the most brown?

Here are some websites and books to help you understand oxidation:

 

  • Science With Kids: Oxidation
  • Discovery Kids: Brown Bananas
  • Science Rocks Oxidation Station (pages 32-33)
  • Kitchen Science Experiments: Hey, Apple! Orange You Glad to See Me? (pages 51-52)
Science Rocks Kitchen Science Experiments Oxygen

Oxidation – A chemical reaction that happens when a substance combines with oxygen.

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Insulators – Keeping Warm

Insulators – Keeping Warm

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An insulator is a substance that prevents the transfer of heat or cold. Your winter hat is an insulator. It keeps the cold in the winter air from making your head cold. It blocks the transfer of cold from the air to you. It also blocks the transfer of heat from your head to the air.

Here is an experiment that will show you how different materials make better insulators than others.

What You Need:

  • 3 Identical Coffee Mugs
  • Pitcher
  • Water
  • Thermometer
  • 4 Rubber Bands
  • Paper Towel
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Cotten Fabric (t-shirt – check the label)
  • Wool Sock

Wrap the paper towel around the outside of one mug and secure it with a rubber band. Do the same with the other three mugs using alumninum foil, cotton and the wool sock.

Fill a pitcher with very hot tap water. Be careful! Take the temperature of the water and write the temperature down.

Fill each cup to the top with the hot tap water. Wait five minutes and take the temperature of the water in each cup. Make a chart to keep track of each cup’s temperature. Record each temperature after 5 minutes, 10 minutes and 15 minutes. What happens to the temperature of the water in each cup?

Here are some websites and books that will help you understand heat and insulators:

The Energy That Warms Us Secrets of Heat and Cold

Words to Know:
Insulator - A reduction of heat transfer between objects. Insulators keep cool things cool and warm things warm – like the thermos in your lunch box or the blubber on marine mammals.
Heat – A high temperature.
Temperature – The level of heat present in a substance or of an object or person. Temperature is measured on a thermometer and expressed in number of degrees. Temperature can also be determined by using the sense of touch. Human skin is sensitive to changes in temperature.

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