Category Archives: Science experiments

How to Make Boat Powered by Soap

Using detergent to power a boat is a fun science experiment. You will learn to make a boat that runs only on detergent and find out! How surface tension of water is affected to power your boat.

Required Materials

  • Sheet of cardboard or Styrofoam
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Dropper or Pencil
  • Scissors

how-to-make

  1. Cut a sheet of cardboard into the shape of boat. It should be 2 inch long and 1.5 inch wide and make triangular shaped notch in its back (as shown in the figure).
    Soap Boat
  2. Place your boat in a water tub or in any basin so that your boat have enough space to move.
  3. Place a drop of liquid dish soap in the notch of your boat with dropper or pencil.

Watch your boat going around the tub! It will move forward.

Soap boat in the water

explanation

Water molecules are attracted to each other which creates surface tension in the water. Liquid dish soap is a surfactant means it breaks down the surface tension of water. When you add liquid dish soap in the notch, it breaks the surface tension of water contain in the notch, which in turns creates enough force to push the boat forward. Light material (e.g. Styrofoam or cardboard) is used to build the boat so that it can be pushed when surface tension breaks.

try-this

  1. Use different materials to build your boat and find out! Which material provides more speed?

How to Make Lava Lamp at home

Lava Lamp is an electric lamp which contain brightly colored substance that rise and falls in a changing irregular shape. Here you will learn how to make lava lamp that don’t require electricity. All the materials you will find from kitchen.

Required Materials

  • A clear empty plastic bottle
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food coloring
  • Water
  • Alka-Seltzer tablet (tablet that fizz)

how-to-make

  1. Fill the bottle about quarter with water.
  2. Fill the remaining space of the bottle with vegetable oil and keep it a side for 5 minutes so that water and oil can be separate from each other.
  3. Add few drops of food coloring of your choice in the bottle. It will take a little time to break through the oil to the water.
  4. Break the seltzer tablet into four pieces and drop one piece in the bottle. Watch it sinking to bottom.

When seltzer tablet will touch the water your lava lamp will start to work. When bubbles stops to form add another piece of seltzer tablet to water. ENJOY!

Homemade Lava Lamp

explanation

When oil and water are mixed they form two layer, oil at the top and water at bottom because oil is less dense than water so oil float on water. When you drop seltzer tablet to bottle it goes to water layer and starts to form bubbles by chemical reaction. These bubbles go up taking some colored water with them. At the top of the bottle air escapes and leaves the water behind which falls back down. Doing so it creates nice effect of lava lamp which you enjoy.

try-this

  1. Try to make set of seven lava lamps with rainbow colors and start them at same time.

Water in Upside Down Glass

Can you keep the water from dropping? Let’s make an experiment using simple household materials and try to defy gravity and hold the water in place in an upside down glass and understand the science behind it.

Required Materials

  • Empty Glass
  • sheet Cardboard (that covers the mouth of glass)
  • Water

What To Do

  1. Fill the glass with water up to top level.
  2. Take a flat sheet of cardboard and place it over the mouth of the glass.
  3. Hold the cardboard with mouth of glass tightly and quickly upside down the glass.
  4. Slowly take away your hand that is holding the cardboard.

If all goes correct than cardboard will stick to the mouth of glass and no water will drop from it.

upside down glass

explanation

So you’re thinking what is happening here! Actually there is no air inside the glass so pressure of outside air is much greater than inside of glass which is able to hold the cardboard in place which in turn keeps the water from dropping.

try-this

  1. Try to use different kinds of paper sheets and use it in the place of cardboard to hold the water. Observe which paper sheet is able to hold the water.

Make your own Flubber at home

Have you watched Flubber movie 1997? If yes, then you know that in this movie Robin William makes a green rubber like substance named “Flubber”. In this experiment we will make flubber (It won’t talk! SORRY!) But you can play with it and see what science is behind it.

Required Materials

  • Warm Water
  • 1 cups of Elmer White Glue
  • 2 tablespoons of Borax
  • Green Food Coloring
  • Air tight bag

how-to-make

  1. Pour ¾ cup of warm water and 1 cup of white glue in a bowl. Add 2 to 3 drops of food coloring in the bowl and stir the mixture with spoon thoroughly.
  2. Pour ½ cup of warm water in another bowl and add 2 tablespoons of borax in it. Stir the solution to completely mix the borax in water.
  3. Pour all the solution of borax in the first bowl and stir the mixture thoroughly with spoon.
  4. Pour all content of bowl in an air tight bag. Close the bag tightly and make sure no liquid is leaking from the bag.
  5. Knead the mixture in the bag with your hands from outside for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Done.

Your flubber is ready. You can remove it the bag and play with it. If your flubber is sticky then let dry a little bit then it will be okay.

home-made-flubber

explanation

The flubber you made is a Polymer, you made by mixing borax and glue together. Borax               acts as connector (crosslinking agent) for the glue molecules. When glue molecules joined together and formed larger molecule chain, you got a gel like substance.

try-this

  1. Try to make a rainbow flubber by making seven different flubbers of different rainbow colors and mixing them together.

How to Inflate Balloon with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Inflating balloon with vinegar and baking soda is a classic experiment. Perform this experiments with friends and explain them what is happening. You can perform this experiments with materials from your kitchen. In this experiment you will learn you will learn how gas (carbon dioxide) produced from chemical reaction inflates the balloon.

Required Materials

  • One Empty Plastic Bottle
  • Half Cup of Vinegar
  • A Balloon
  • 2 to 3 Spoons of Baking Soda
  • Water

What To Do

  1. Pour the ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of water in the plastic bottle.
  2. Inflate and deflate the balloon with your mouth 2 times to loosen it. Pour 2 spoonful of baking soda in the balloon using funnel (If you don’t have funnel than you can make one from paper and scotch tap).
  3. Stretch open the mouth of the balloon and carefully put it over the neck of the plastic bottle. Let the end of the balloon dangle to prevent the baking soda from falling into the bottle.
    Balloon with baking soda
  4. Hold the mouth of balloon tightly on neck of the bottle and hold the other end of balloon up so that all the baking soda goes into the bottle.

Observe the inflating balloon and chemical reaction.

inflating balloon

explanation

When Baking soda is added to vinegar, an acid-base reaction takes place. In this reaction carbon dioxide gas is produces which develops pressure in the bottle and starts to inflate the balloon that means your balloon is full of carbon dioxide gas so it won’t float in the air because carbon dioxide is heavier than air. Adding water in the bottle dilutes vinegar and slows down rate of reaction.