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3 Quick-and-Easy Science Experiments

Mar 27

3 Quick-and-Easy Science Experiments
 

Science doesn’t have to be confined to the classroom. And it also doesn’t have to take a lot of work to create exciting science projects your child will enjoy after school or on the weekend.

Whether your child can’t get enough of the wonderful world of science, or you’re looking for a way to pique her curiosity, these projects are sure to help. Best of all, everything you need to conduct these mini experiments can be found around the house!

The Scientific Method

For each of these projects, get your child interested by explaining what you’ll be doing. Ask your child to form a hypothesis about the outcome of your actions. She may be surprised by what actually happens!

After the experiment, talk about how the project works (explained in the “Don’t Forget the Science!” section listed after each project), and why the outcome was the same or different than your child’s hypothesis. You can go further by adding variables to the experiment and forming a hypothesis about how the variables will affect the results.

 

Science Experiment #1: The Floating Egg

This easy experiment about density allows you to float an egg in the middle of a glass of water.

What You Need

  • One egg
  • A tall glass
  • Water
  • Salt

What To Do

  1. Fill a glass with water. Have your child gently lower the egg in and watch as it sinks to the bottom.
  2. Now that your child understands the normal effect of dropping an egg in water, pour out half of the water and have her help you mix about 6 – 10 tablespoons of salt into the water.
  3. After the salty water is calm, very carefully pour in plain water until the glass is almost full. Try not to mix the salty water below.
  4. Carefully lower the egg into the water and watch as it is now suspended in the middle of the glass!

Don’t Forget the Science!

By adding salt to the water at the bottom of the glass, you’re making it denser, which means it’s easier for objects to float in it. Plain water is not dense enough to suspend the egg, which is why the egg initially sank in the glass of plain water in step 1 and why it sank through the upper portion of plain water in step 4.

 

Science Experiment #2: Water That Defies Gravity

The rules of gravity don’t apply when it comes to this simple experiment that lets you turn a glass of water upside down without the water spilling out.

What You Need

  • A glass of water, filled all the way to the top
  • A small piece of cardboard (it must be larger than the mouth of your glass)

What To Do

  1. Place the piece of cardboard on the rim of the glass. Make sure there are no air bubbles between the cardboard and the water in the glass.
  2. Hold the glass with one hand and hold the cardboard with your other hand. Slowly turn them upside down (over a sink is best).
  3. Let go of the cardboard so you’re only holding the glass. The cardboard should stay in place and the water will remain in the glass.

Don’t Forget the Science!

Since there’s no air inside the glass, there’s also no air pressure inside it. Because the air pressure outside the glass is greater than the air pressure inside the glass, the cardboard is held in place, which in turn holds the water inside the glass.

 

Science Experiment #3: Inflate a Balloon with Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

No lung capacity needed to blow up this balloon. CO2 does the work for you!

What You Need

  • A balloon (stretch it first)
  • About 3 tablespoons of water
  • Clean,  empty soda bottle
  • About 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (or vinegar)
  • 1  teaspoon of baking soda

What To Do

  1. Pour the water into the empty soda bottle.
  2. Add in the baking soda and swirl the bottle around to dissolve it in the water.
  3. Pour the lemon juice in and immediately stretch the opening of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle. Watch as the balloon inflates!

Don’t Forget the Science!

Mixing lemon juice (an acid) with baking soda (a base) creates a chemical reaction, which produces CO2. The gas builds up in the bottle and rises up into the balloon to inflate it.

 

Contingency Plans

If all else fails and you really want to get your child excited about science, never underestimate the wow factor of the old vinegar and baking soda volcano or the Diet Coke and Mentos geyser. Just make sure to conduct these experiments outside!

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