The World of Wonders Science Museum will be posting a new science experiment each month that you can do right in your own home!
Welcome future scientists to the science world of Sergeant Major Potts. Here is another amazing, beyond-belief experiment from the tombs of the Pharaohs.
This experiment will seem simple, every-day, and ho hum. But hold onto your hats, the wall, your ears, or anything else to keep you from falling over. You won?t believe all of the applications for Surface Tension you will discover.
Ok, here we go. You will need a soup bowl with water in it, a piece of paper towel, and two paper clips.
1. Try to set the first paperclip on top of the water in the bowl. What happened? It sank.
2. Tear off a piece of paper towel that is slightly larger than the second paperclip.
3. Place the paper towel on top of the water.
4. Gently place the second paperclip on the piece of paper towel. Wait a few seconds and push the paper towel down into the water. What happened to the paperclip? Did it float?
The second paperclip floated because water particles (molecules) attach to each other in all directions, making them ?stick? together. On the top of the water, the water molecules holding tightly to each other can actually hold light things on top of the water. This is called Surface Tension. The first paperclip probably didn?t float because it is too hard to set it flat on the water. The piece of paper towel helped hold the paperclip flat.
Now for the amazing, beyond belief, applications of Surface Tension
Surface tension is responsible for holding water drops together.
Surface Tension provides the necessary wall tension for the formation of soap bubbles. The tendency to minimize that wall tension pulls the bubbles into spherical shapes.
Tent materials are somewhat rainproof because surface tension makes water bead up over the finely woven tent material. But if you touch the tent material with your finger, you break the Surface Tension and the rain will drip through.
Small insects, such as the water strider, can walk on water because their weight is not enough to break through the surface. They can do this because of ?. Surface Tension.
This is Sergeant Major Potts saying be aware. Science is everywhere.
Going through my journal I ran across the time that I needed to stop the evil Cornelius Snod from taking rare diamonds from antiquities. He thought that he stole the diamonds but actually took sugar rock candy that looked like diamonds. This experiment will show you how to produce sugar rock candy that looks like diamonds.
What you will need:
- Sauce pan
- 1 cup of water
- 3 cups of dry sugar
- Clean glass jar
- Aluminum foil
- Paper clip
- Extra dry sugar
- Food coloring (optional)
With help from an adult, heat the water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Completely dissolve the 3 cups of dry sugar in the boiling water. Add more sugar until no more will dissolve. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the solution becomes clear. If you want rubies or emeralds this is the time that you can add a few drops of food coloring.
Remove the solution from the heat, and then carefully pour it into the clean jar. Cover the jar with a small piece of aluminum foil to keep dirt out.
Dip the string into the sugar water and remove. Roll the sticky string in solid dry sugar, and allow it to dry (1 to 2 hours). Dipping the string in dry sugar acts as the "seed crystal" to encourage new crystals to cling to the string.
Tie a weight, such as a paperclip to one end of the string, and then tie the other end to the middle of a pencil. Set the pencil across the top of the jar, with the string in the jar. The string should sit 1 inch from the bottom of the jar. Let the jar sit at room temperature, undisturbed, for several days. Check each day to see how much your crystals have grown. If no crystals are forming, heat the sugar water in a saucepan again and add more sugar.
What is going on?
The word crystal refers to any matter that is arranged in an ordered form. Once the solution started to cool, the loose sugar molecules start to join with the sugar molecules on the string. Then the water molecules start to evaporate, leaving sugar molecules behind. These molecules gradually join with the sugar molecules on the string to become crystals. You now have tasty diamond sugar crystals.
This is Sgt. Major Potts "Wonders of Science" signing off until next time.
Cheers future science specialists of the world. Welcome back to another mystifying, diabolical, wonders of Science.
Sergeant Major Potts was summoned to a Roman archeological dig. There they found a ring that was thought to be the opal ring aged around 30 BC, that Mark Anthony wanted to give to Cleopatra. A Roman senator named Nonius owned the ring and wouldn't give it to Mark Anthony. The ring was never seen again, until now.
Potts was to deliver the ring to the Roman museum but the evil Cornelius Snod wasn't far behind Potts to snatch the famous ring. Potts saw Snod and headed into a building and flew up a flight of stairs with Snod close behind. On the tenth floor, Potts rushed into an unlocked room and locked the door. With Snod pounding on the door, Potts called on his military walkie-talkie to the museum that just happened to be next to the building Potts was in. Looking out of the window, Potts could see the museum director looking at Potts from the museum's window. "Crum Butter", Potts exclaimed. "What to do now."
Looking in his pocket he pulled out balloons. Remember last month's experiments? He also pulled out a straw. He thought, if only I had some string. He looked down at one of his socks with a loose thread and began pulling and pulling the thread. He tied one end of the thread to a pencil and with a rubber band shot the pencil with one end of the thread over to the museum. The museum director held onto the end of thread while Potts blew up the balloon and taped it to the straw along with the ring. He put the thread through the straw and held onto the other end of the string and let go of the balloon that traveled to the director. The ring was saved.
Here's a simple and fun science experiment that can be used to teach you about "Action and Reaction". The force from the air moving in one direction propels the balloon in the other direction, much like a rocket.
First you need:
size 9 or larger balloon
9 or 10 feet of string, such as kite string, and not from your socks
Scotch tape and a straw, around 4 inches long
1. Tie one end of the string to a chair.
2. Thread the straw through the other end of the string and with the other hand, unless you have three, use your judgment, place two pieces of tape on the straw.
3. Keep the tape close to the center of the straw.
4. Tie the loose end of the string to another chair and move a chair so the string is tight.
5. Blow up the balloon and secure the straw using the two pieces of tape to the center of the balloon.
6. Release the balloon and watch it rocket across the string.
This is S. M. Potts sighing off until next time.
Welcome back to the mystifying, diabolical Sgt. Major Potts wonders of science with secrets from the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs.
Since it is cold outside and family and friends are together for the holidays, here are some indoor scientific activities and challenges that you can present using balloons. These experiments you will need every day and not unusual balloons, preferably 9 inch or larger.
1. Bouncing balloons, sports, and engineering: For this challenge you will need balloons, scotch tape, and coins. Have competitive groups or individuals compete by inflating their balloon, tie it shut, and tape coins on it. Experiment by placing the coins in different locations to make the balloon bounce. Then compete to see whose balloon bounces the most times.
2. Before inflating a balloon, place a coin inside of the balloon, then inflate the balloon and tie it shut. Twirl the balloon so the coin will travel around inside of the balloon. This is called centripetal force that generates an inward pull on the coin against the inner wall of the balloon. Now place a hex nut in another balloon. Inflate that balloon and tie it shut. Again twirl the balloon and be surprised by the vibrating sound of the centripetal forced nut. The six sides of the hex nut generate vibrating sounds along the inner wall of the balloon. The sound should drive cats and moms crazy.
3. To present a magic trick, inflate a balloon and tie it shut. Place 1/2 inch long pieces of scotch tape at different locations on the balloon. Next, twist one or several needles through the locations where the scotch tape is located. Then you say the magic words, "shisam-gismo-neato-jet". The balloon should not pop. The tape holds the balloon together keeping it from tearing and popping.
4. Blow up two balloons the same size and tie them shut. Put one balloon in the freezer and leave the other one out. After 24 hours, take the balloon out of the freezer. Compare the two balloons. You will see that the balloon from the freezer is now smaller. Cold air molecules take up less space than warm air molecules. As the air in the balloon from the freezer warms, the balloon will once again be the same size as the other balloon.
We hope you enjoyed experimenting with the incredible, extraordinary effects using balloons.
This is Sgt. Major Potts World of Science signing off until next time.
Welcome back to the mystifying, diabolical Sgt. Major Potts wonders of science with secrets from the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. These experiments may amaze, astound, shock. Hey! Someone may pass out when you demonstrate these amazing experiments to thousands. Maybe hundreds. Possibly 50. More than likely 4 or 5.
Sgt. Major Potts had a map leading to the lost Peacock Throne of India?s Shah Nader from the 16th century. The gold gilded throne covered with thousands of diamonds, rubies and emeralds has been lost for hundreds of years and Potts has spent years attempting to locate it and return it to India's museum of antiquities.
Potts just got back to his hotel in Calcutta India. He put his wallet on the dresser and went to sleep. He awoke to see a shadow go past his bed and headed to the open window. Potts grabbed his Z35TWZ regulation flashlight and shined the light on a young boy handing the wallet to an older boy outside of the window. As Potts caught the young boy the second boy disappeared with the wallet.
"Gad Zooks", Potts proclaimed. "What super dooper science experiment can I produce to get my wallet back?" He led the boy to the hotel's kitchen. He poured everyday and not unusual water into a water pitcher. He then added two contents into the water along with dry spaghetti noodles. Potts then waved his hands over the pitcher and said the magic words, Shisam-gismo-neato-jet and the spaghetti noodles began to dance in the water. The young boy looked at this amazing, beyond belief spectacle. Potts told the boy to bring back the wallet and he will tell the boy how to produce the magic.
The boy was released and soon brought back the empty wallet. Potts opened the wallet and produced the map from a secret compartment in the wallet.
Now here is the Secret to the dancing spaghetti noodles that you can produce.
Fill a clear water pitcher with everyday and not unusual water. Add 3 tablespoons of Sodium bicarbonate, (baking soda) and one cup of vinegar and stir the contents. Then break a handful of dry spaghetti noodles, one inch long, and place in the water. Wait a few moments and then you say the magic words. Mixing baking soda and vinegar produces carbon dioxide gas. Since carbon dioxide bubbles are less dense that water, they float to the top of water. The bubbles adhere to the spaghetti noodles that then float to the top. The bubbles pop and the spaghetti sinks to the bottom of the pitcher. If the noodles don't perform, add more contents to the water. Is this magic? No way! It is science!
This is Sgt. Major Potts world off science signing of until next time. Pip, Pip