Fun projects for all

                                    Static Electricity Experiment

They say opposites attract and that couldn't be truer with these fun static electricity experiments. Find out about positively and negatively charged particles using a few basic items, can you control if they will be attracted or unattracted to each other?

What you'll need:

  • 2 inflated balloons with string attached
  • Your hair
  • Aluminium can
  • Woolen fabric

 

Instructions:

  1. Rub the 2 balloons one by one against the woolen fabric, then try moving the balloons together, do they want to or are they unattracted to each other?
  2. Rub 1 of the balloons back and forth on your hair then slowly it pull it away, ask someone nearby what they can see or if there's nobody else around try looking in a mirror.
  3. Put the aluminium can on its side on a table, after rubbing the balloon on your hair again hold the balloon close to the can and watch as it rolls towards it, slowly move the balloon away from the can and it will follow

 

Make a Tornado in a Bottle

Learn how to make a tornado in a bottle with this fun science experiment for kids. Using easy to find items such as dish washing liquid, water, glitter and a bottle you can make your own mini tornado that’s a lot safer than one you might see on the weather channel. Follow the instructions and enjoy the cool water vortex you create!

What you'll need:

  • Water
  • A clear plastic bottle with a cap (that won't leak)
  • Glitter
  • Dish washing liquid
  • Instructions:
    1. Fill the plastic bottle with water until it reaches around three quarters full.
    2. Add a few drops of dish washing liquid.
    3. Sprinkle in a few pinches of glitter (this will make your tornado easier to see).
    4. Put the cap on tightly.
    5. Turn the bottle upside down and hold it by the neck. Quickly spin the bottle in a circular motion for a few seconds, stop and look inside to see if you can see a mini tornado forming in the water. You might need to try it a few times before you get it working properly.

 

 

              What Absorbs More Heat?

When you're out in the sun on a hot summers day it pays to wear some light colored clothes, but why is that? Experiment with light, color, heat and some water to find out.

 

What you'll need:

  • 2 identical drinking glasses or jars
  • Water
  • Thermometer
  • 2 elastic bands or some sellotape
  • White paper
  • Black pape
  •                                 Instructions:
    1. Wrap the white paper around one of the glasses using an elastic band or sellotape to hold it on.
    2. Do the same with the black paper and the other glass.
    3. Fill the glasses with the exact same amount of water.
    4. Leave the glasses out in the sun for a couple of hours before returning to measure the temperature of the water in each.
    5. What's happening?

      Dark surfaces such as the black paper absorb more light and heat than the lighter ones such as the white paper. After measuring the temperatures of the water, the glass with the black paper around it should be hotter than the other. Lighter surfaces reflect more light, that's why people where lighter colored clothes in the summer, it keeps them cooler.

 

Barometer Project

A barometer is used for measuring air pressure.  It is a useful tool for helping predict weather changes.

Make your own barometer and start making your own weather forecasts, compare your results to the weather forecast on the news and see who does best!

 

Make Your Own Barometer

What you'll need:

  • A balloon
  • Scissors
  • A jar
  • A rubber band
  • Tape
  • A straw
  • A piece of card
  • A marker (felt pen)
  • Instructions:

    1. Cut the top off the balloon (the part which you blow into).
    2. Stretch the balloon over the top of the jar and hold it in place with a rubber band.
    3. Place the straw across the top of the jar so that one third of the straw is hanging over the edge. Stick the straw to the balloon with tape.
    4. Draw three lines on the piece of card that are about half a centimeter apart from each other. Label these lines as high, moderate and low.
    5. Tape the card against the back of the jar so that the straw points to moderate.
    6.  
    7. Put your baro

      What's happening?

      When there is low air pressure the balloon should expand out and the straw will point down. This is because the air inside the balloon now has relatively more air pressure compared to the air outside, it pushes the balloon out as a result.

      When there is high air pressure the air on the outside will push the balloon into the jar and the straw will point upwards. The air inside the balloon now has relatively less pressure, this pushes the balloon inwards as a result.

      In general, high air pressure indicates fair weather while low air pressure indicates that bad weather is more likely. Although forecasting the weather isn’t an exact science and can be very difficult at times, give it a go and see how accurate you are

      meter on a flat surface somewhere inside.

Wind Speed Challenge

Harness the power of wind with some weather based projects that will help you understand wind speed and how it changes from place to place and day to day.

Put your problem solving skills to the test with these fun challenges

 

 

What you'll need:

  • Paper cups
  • A skewer (or something similar to poke holes)
  • Straws
  • Scissors
  • A marker (felt pen)
  • Tape or glue

 

The Challenge:

Your challenge is to design something that can measure the wind speed. Create an anemometer that features free spinning cups that spin faster as the wind increases. The wind should blow into the cups pushing them away. The faster the wind the more force it has to push the cups and the faster they spin. You can measure the wind strength by comparing how many times the anemometer spins around every 10 seconds. Does it vary from place to place and day to day?

 

 

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Make your own rain gauge


What you will need:You can find out how much rain falls where you live by making your own rain measure. This involves cutting, so you will need an adult to help.

  • An empty plastic bottle (2 litre fizzy drink bottle would be ideal)
  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • Ruler
  • Paper
  • Penci
  • What to do:

  • Cut around the plastic bottle about two thirds of the way up.
  • Turn the top part of the bottle upside down and place it inside the bottom part - fix it in place using the tape.
  • Make a scale in centimetres on a piece of tape, using a ruler, and fix it to the side of your bottle.
  • Find a place outside to put your rain gauge. It must be open and away from trees.
  • Dig a hole and bury your rain gauge so that the top is sticking out about 5 cm out of the ground. This will stop the rain gauge from blowing down on windy days.
  • Check the rain gauge every day at the same time, measure the amount of rain collected, and empty the bottle.
  • Don't forget to write down the amount of rain collected in your weather diary
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BALLOON IN A BOTTLE Water Bottle

MATERIALS:

  • plastic water or pop bottle
  • large bowl
  • balloon
  • ice water
  • hot water

PROCESS:

Fill the plastic bottle with hot water.

Swirl the water around to make the bottle hot and then pour it out.

Refill the bottle one-fourth full with hot water and place the balloon over the mouth of the bottle.

Fill the large bowl with ice water and place the bottle in the bowl.

Watch as all of the air is taken from the balloon. It might even get sucked into the bottle.

EXPLANATION:

What happens? The hot air in the bottle expands as the cool air outside the bottle contracts. When you first place the balloon over the mouth of the bottle, the air in the bottle is hot. As the air cools from the ice water outside the bottle it contracts and pushes the balloon into the bottle. This is why the air is taken from the balloon and sometimes gets sucked into the bottle

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MAKE IT RAIN Raindrops

MATERIALS:

  • glass mayonnaise or canning jar
  • plate
  • hot water
  • ice cubes
  • index cards

PROCESS:

Pour about two inches of very hot water into the glass jar.

Cover the jar with the plate and wait a few minutes before you start the next step.

Put the ice cubes on the plate.

EXPLANATION:

What happens? The cold plate causes the moisture in the warm air, which is inside the jar to condense and form water droplets. This is the same thing that happens in the atmosphere. Warm, moist air rises and meets colder air high in the atmosphere. The water vapor condenses and forms precipitation that falls to the ground.

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