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Fun and Educational Science Experiments for The Upcoming School Holidays
Photo Credit – Freepik
– An Article by 3M
With the school holidays around the corner, let’s encourage our kids to go out and explore the world outside of their phones and tabs. Science helps produce new and interesting ways to solve modern problems. By getting the children to observe and run experiments, they can gain knowledge and understand how and why things happen the way they do in science.
This school holiday season, join your kids and explore the fascinating world of science with some fun and easy projects. Here are some fun and educational science projects compiled by 3M that you can carry out in the comfort of your home, and with materials that you usually already have at home, too.
So, when boredom strikes, put on your science goggles and get geeky! These are some child friendly experiments that you can explore with your family. 3M believes in inculcating this spirit of exploration and curiosity through science through our leaders of tomorrow – children!
1.Build your own Spectroscope
- Take the cardboard core from your kitchen or toilet roll and cut a slit at the bottom in a 45º angle. Ensure that the slit is only halfway through
- Then, cut a small peephole at the back side of the tube
- Trace the other end of the tube on a piece of cardboard and cut of the circle
- Next, cut a thin rectangular slit about 1/8” wide in the middle
- Use some tape to attach the circle to the spectroscope
- Slide the CD into the slit near the peephole, shiny side up, and seal with tape if necessary
Results: When you look up at the sky, you should see a rainbow appear on the CD. This occurs because the light entering the spectroscope is diffracted by the slit at the top and the CD. Diffraction occurs when waves bend and spread out when they pass through a slit. When light waves collide with many small slits or ridges, such as those seen on the surface of a CD, interference occurs. Some colours may get brighter because of the interference, while others may fade away.
2.Liquid Fireworks Experiment
- In a shallow bowl, add some milk until it covers the surface of the bowl.
- Add some drops of food colouring into the bowl of milk
- Dip one end of the cotton bud with liquid soap
- Dip the cotton bud in the milk and place it in the center of the food colouring gently
Results: The food colouring will be pushed away from the cotton swab. Milk is made up of both fat and water, and fat does not dissolve in water. Soap is made up of unique molecules that can interact with both fat and water, allowing fat molecules in milk to dissolve in water and be transferred around.
3.Walking Water Experiment
- Take five glasses and arrange them next to each other. Fill only 3 glasses with water alternately
- Add a few drops of food colouring to the water
- Use some paper towels and fold them lengthwise and create “bridges” between the containers
Results: You should notice that the paper towels begin to absorb some of the water as soon as they are placed in the glasses. Due to capillary action, the water begins to be absorbed up the paper towel and finally down the other side into the empty glass. This experiment takes a longer time than others- it’s like watching paint dry or grass grow! When the water level in all of the cups is equal, the water will ultimately stop flowing—but you’ll probably have to wait overnight for that to happen. The food-coloring dyes combine to produce a third colour when two distinct colours of water are mixed together.
- Using a funnel, fill up the balloon with some baking soda. It should be enough to fill the balloon about half way through
- Carefully place the balloon back on the table
- Fill up an empty water bottle with some white vinegar
- Expand the mouth of the balloon over the mouth of the balloon tightly. Ensure to have adult supervision when performing this experiment
- Hold the water bottle with one hand and use your other hand to guide the baking soda into the water bottle
Results: The gas reaction from the baking soda and vinegar is what causes the balloon to self-inflate. When baking soda and vinegar are combined, carbonic acid is produced rapidly. The bubbles you saw were caused by this. Carbonic acid is very unstable, and it decomposes into water and CO2. Because carbon dioxide is a gas that requires a lot of space, it rushes into the balloon and fills it to capacity.
5.Lava Lamp Experiment
- To create a cool lava lamp, put some oil in an empty bottle
- To that, add some water and dye that with any food coloring of your choice
- Break an Alka–Seltzer tablet into four roughly equal-size pieces. Drop one of the pieces into the glass
Results: Water and oil will not mix no matter how hard you shake or stir it. This is an experiment about density.
So, there you have it, 5 fun and easy science experiments that you can do at home! These are some exciting ways you and your little one can explore new science experiments together. With a world that is so engulfed in technology, it is important that we take our time to enjoy life’s little treats.
Visit 3m.com/scienceathome to try out more fun and simple science at home experiments.