Science class is notoriously loved by young students. All the messy, sometimes smelly, science experiments and fairs help kids to understand scientific phenomena are amaze-balls. The shock and awe of science class was a large reason why many decided to pursue a career in the sciences when they grew up. To help inspire the same wonder for science in your kids, or even in yourself if you’re nothing more than a larger, oversized kiddo, try out some of these awesome science experiments.
To make them true science experiments, try changing a few of the steps or ingredients and trying something different each time. Make hypotheses about what you think will happen, and then see if you’re right!
You can never have a dry day when dry ice is around. Take your science beyond dry ice ice cream making and see how well you can trap the gas in a bubble. Be careful working with dry ice, be sure to wear gloves and avoid directly breathing the gas.
-Bowl or cup with a lip around the edge
-Soap and water mixture
-Dry ice (buy from large grocery stores)
Place the dry ice in your bowl and add a splash of water. Soak the cloth in the soap/water mix and run it along the outer edge of your bowl and across the top to form a bubble layer over the dry ice. Watch the bubble grow and grow as the gas is trapped inside, then watch it pop! Try experimenting with different brands or scents of soap. How big of a bubble can you make before it pops?
Ever wish you could control water with just your hands? Now you can! Well, with a comb that will be in your hand. Learn about static electricity with this experiment.
-Water stream from the tap
-A plastic comb (or even an inflated balloon!)
-Your dry hair
Run the comb through your hair at least a dozen times to build up a static charge (if you’re using a balloon, rub it on your head a few times). Turn on the faucet and slowly move the comb (or balloon) towards the water stream without touching it. Experiment with different types and sizes of combs to see how much control you can get over the water.
Ever wanted to see molecules move?
-Clear glass filled with cold water
-Clear glass filled with hot water
Put the two glasses of water next to each other and add a drop of food coloring to each one. Watch how the food coloring moves through the water medium. Which one moves faster?
You’ll want to be outside when you conduct this experiment…unless you live in a padded or roofless house.
-Safety glasses – safety first!
-An empty 35 mm plastic film canister and lid (for those kids who are looking at their screen like what the heck is a 35mm plastic film canister, your parents will know what this is, look for them at a store that develops film).
-A fizzing antacid tablet (like Alka-Seltzer)
Fill the canister with a teaspoon of water. Break the antacid tablet in half. Working carefully, slide the tablet halfway into the canister without letting it come into contact with the water. Put the lid on (snap it tightly, kids), then quickly turn it upside down, with the lid on the ground and stand back! If it doesn’t pop within 45 seconds, check for a leak around the cap because you may have lost all your gas. Experiment with different temperatures of water or brands of antacids!
This experiments name comes from both its imitation of the Ol’ Faithful geyser and the fact everybody loves this science experiment (it’s the golden boy of all kid science experiments).
-1L bottle of Diet Coke
-Pack of Mentos
Please, kiddos, do this experiment outdoors where you won’t be leading your local ant colonies towards your house. With the soda bottle standing upright, quickly drop in half the pack of Mentos into the bottle and then run, run, run. See if you can experiment and beat the record of 29 feet! Or gather some friends and see if you can beat this Guinness Record.