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Getting your kids excited about learning is a tough task for most parents. Books just cant compete with brightly colored cartoons and intense video games. That's why getting them psyched about science might take a little creativity. 

With the right amount of fire, goop, and food coloring, you can disguise an educational afternoon as a fun filled exploration!

Experiment One: Egg in a Bottle

eggbottle

What you’ll need:

• Hard boiled egg
• Glass bottle with mouth slightly smaller than the egg
• Piece of paper
• A match or lighter

Steps:

1. Remove shell from hard boiled egg
2. Cut out a long strip of paper to about 8” x 1”
3. Carefully light one end of the paper on fire and drop it into the bottle.
4. While the strip burns in the bottle, place the egg on the mouth of the bottle sealing it.
5. When the fire extinguishes itself, the egg will slowly squeeze through the top of the bottle and drop to the bottom. Wow!

Why does this happen?

When the burning piece of paper is dropped into the bottle, it causes the air molecules inside the bottle to expand. When the fire goes out, the air molecules cool down and move closer together. At this point, air from outside the bottle would rush inside to equalize the pressure, but that egg is in the way! The outside air molecules eventually push down on the egg enough to force it through the opening. 

Experiment Two: Dancing Oobleck

What you’ll need:

• 1 part water
• 1.5-2 parts cornstarch
• Food coloring (optional)
• Cookie sheet
• Sub-woofer speaker

Steps:

1. Mix the ingredients together until it has a gooey consistency.
2. Pour oobleck onto the cookie sheet.
3. Place the cookie sheet on top of the speaker
4. Hold down the edges of the oobleck and watch it come alive!
5. It has a picky taste in music and will only dance to the right frequency, which can be found in this YouTube video.

Why does this happen?

Applying pressure to a substance like oobleck increases its thickness. A quick tap to the fluid’s surface will make it behave like a solid since it forces the cornstarch particles close together at a rapid rate. However, by slowly dipping your hand in the substance, you give the thick cornstarch particles time to move out of the way and the substance behaves more like a liquid.

Experiment Three: Balloon Rocket

imgres

What you’ll need:

• 1 balloon (preferably long balloons)
• 1 long piece of kite string (approx. twenty ft)
• 1 plastic straw
• Tape

Steps:

1. Run one end of the string through the straw.
2. Tie both ends of the kite string to objects on opposite sides of the room and make sure it is tight.
3. Blow up the boon without tying it. Keep it pinched closed with your fingers.
4. Tape the balloon to the straw.
5. Countdown to launch and let it fly!

Why does this happen?

The air rushing from the balloon causes a forward motion thrust. In this case, thrust from the balloon forces air out of itself. This same principle is used in real life rockets, only NASA uses fuel, not breath to send astronauts into space.

Experiment 4: Milk and Soap Experiment

milkcolor

What you’ll need:

• Flat cookie tray
• Food coloring
• Whole milk
• Liquid dish soap
• Q-tip

Steps:

1. Carefully pour the milk so that it just covers the bottom.
2. Add about 8 drops of food coloring to the milk in different spots.
3. Dunk one end of a Q-tip into dish soap and then dip it in the colored milk.
4. Watch the colors run wild!

Why this happens:

Dish soap’s main purpose is to go after fat and break it down. Since there is a lot of fat in whole milk, the dish soap on the Q-tip starts working to break down the fat in milk, causing the colors to scatter and mix in a beautiful way!

Experiment Five: Make Your Own Lava Lamp

lava

What you’ll need:

• One clean and clear one-liter bottle of soda
• ¾ cup of water
• Vegetable oil
• Fizzing tablets (Alka Seltzer)
• Food coloring

Steps:

1. Pour water into the bottle.
2. Carefully pour vegetable oil into the bottle until it is almost full. Wait a few minutes for the oil and water to separate
3. Add ten drops of any color food coloring into the bottle. The drops will pass through the oil and mix with the water at the bottom of the bottle.
4. Break a seltzer tablet in half and drop it into the bottle. The tablet will sink to the bottom, start bubbling, and let the colorful bubbliness begin!

Why this happens:

Water and oil molecules don’t like to mix. The structure of their molecules don’t allow them to bond, which is why the less dense oil rests on top of the water. When the seltzer tablet dissolves, it creates a gas which floats to the top of the bottle, carrying some colorized water droplets along for the ride.

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