Science at Home

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Look, No Hands

See also: Science Projects Just for the Fun of It!

Blow up a balloon without using your mouth or your hands.

Materials Glass bottle. One with a short neck works best.
A medium-sized balloon with the neck of the balloon cut off just below the opening
A large bowl
  1. Fill the glass bottle with warm-to-hot water. Let it sit for about 3 minutes so the bottle warms up.
  2. Pour cold water into the bowl until it’s about 3/4 full.
  3. Pour the warm water out of the bottle.
  4. Stretch the balloon over the top of the bottle.
  5. 5. Put the bottle into the bowl of water and watch what happens!

The balloon should inflate inside the bottle.

Why it happened:

As the air in the bottle cooled, it contracted and took up less space in the bottle. Air from outside the bottle rushed in to fill the space and inflated the balloon.

Make Your Own Solar Eclipse

Materials Flashlight
Ball of clay, about ¼ the size of the orange
  1. Put the orange and the clay on a table, in a line, about 8 inches apart.
  2. Stand about 2 feet away from the table. Hold the flashlight at the same level as the clay and the orange, then shine the light from behind the clay ball.
  3. Check out the shadow on the orange.

What happened:

In the experiment, the clay represents the Moon, the flashlight the Sun, and the orange is the Earth. When the moon blocks the Sun’s light from the Earth, it casts a shadow on Earth. The darker, middle part of the shadow is called the umbra. The lighter shadow on the outer rim is called the penumbra.

Build Your Own Volcano

Ready for some backyard activity—volcanic activity, that is? Here's what you need:

Materials Baking pan or cover of a large bucket
Soda bottle (16 ounce or 20 ounce)
Moist soil or sand
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup vinegar
Red food coloring
  1. Color the vinegar with red food coloring.
  2. Put the baking pan (or cover) on the ground and place the soda bottle in the middle of it.
  3. Shape the moist soil (or sand) around the bottle to form a mountain. Bring the soil to the bottle's opening, but don't get the soil inside the bottle.
  4. Pour the baking soda into the bottle.
  5. Pour the colored vinegar into the bottle

Watch red foam spray out of the top and down the mountain like lava from a volcano.

Why it happened

The baking soda reacted with the vinegar to produce carbon dioxide gas. The gas built up enough pressure to push the foaming liquid out of the top of the bottle.

Loopy Liquids

Materials 1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup glycerin (you can find this oily substance in pharmacies)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
small glasses
tall, clear glass or jar that will hold more than 2 cups of liquid
two different colors of food coloring
a funnel
a spoon
  1. Pour the light corn syrup, glycerin, water and vegetable oil into four separate cups.
  2. Add a few drops of one color of the food coloring to the water and mix.
  3. Add a few drops of the other color to the corn syrup and mix.
  4. Pour the colored corn syrup into the glass jar. Pour it into the middle of the jar to keep it from running down the sides.
  5. Using the funnel, carefully and slowly pour the glycerin into the jar. Try not to upset the layer of corn syrup.
  6. Wash the funnel.
  7. Repeat step 5, but pour the colored water into the jar.
  8. Wash the funnel.
  9. Repeat step 5, this time pouring the vegetable oil.

What happens:

The liquids remain as separate layers. (If they got mixed, try again, being careful not to shake the jar or disturb the layers while pouring liquid into the jar.) They stayed layered because you poured the liquids into the jar from the highest density to the lowest density. The oil is least dense, so it floats on top.

See also : Earth Science Projects for Beginners, Chemistry Science Projects for Beginners, Physical Science Projects for Beginners, Botany Science Projects for Beginners, and Biology Science Projects for Beginners

See also:
What Makes a Good Science Project?
More Science Project Ideas
Questions from Science Judges
The Parts of a Science Project

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