Quick and Simple Science Experiments for the Everyday Life!
Science experiments may sometimes come across as lengthy and troublesome to conduct! At times, it seems as if we do not have enough time to complete them because it is simply too long. However, conducting science experiments do not always have to be so complicated – they can be quick and simple too, yet be an effective form of engagement when it comes to learning. Check out some quick experiments you can try out with your child, even if you’re short on time or just do not feel like setting up too many things!
1. Tornado in a Bottle
Teach your child how a tornado comes about! All you will are:
- 2 x 1 litre bottle (must be the same size)
- Vortex connector (order this here) or a metal washer and duct tape
Start by filling up the one bottle with water till it is 3/4 full. Next, screw on one end of the vortex connector, and attach the empty bottle to the other end. If you do not have a vortex connector, you can also make use of a metal washer and duct tape to secure both bottles together. Ensure that it is well secured so that water does not leak out of the bottles when conducting the experiment. Once this is complete, you can now begin the experiment! Turn the bottle that is at the bottom upside down, and quickly rotate it in a clockwise direction to form a tornado. The circular motion causes the water to form a vortex. With the quick rotations, the inward force that directs the water causes it to move to the center, and gravity pulls the water downwards into the bottom bottle!
2. Invisible Ink Experiment
Does your child enjoy mystery? Check this cool experiment out that will allow them to write secret messages! All this experiment requires is:
- Cotton Buds
- A Lemon (or store bought lemon juice)
- A bowl or cup
- An iron
- A piece of cloth (to place between the iron and paper)
Start by squeezing the juice of the lemon into the bowl or cup. Then get your child to use the cotton bud as pen, dipping it into the lemon juice and using the juice to write on the piece of paper. Allow the message to dry. Now, let’s watch the magic happen! Once the message is dry, heat up the iron and place the cloth over the message before using the iron to ‘iron’ it! (Tip: Make sure that the steam setting is off so that the message will not be ruined!) After a while, the message should appear!
Due to the heat, carbon compounds found in the lemon juice that were absorbed by the fibers in the paper oxidised, causing it to darken, staining the paper. This in turn caused the message to appear!
3. Colourful Tissue Caterpillar
Making use of capillary action, this experiment requires just a few items that you can find at home! All you will need are:
- Food colouring (blue, red and yellow)
- 6 cups, preferable transparent
- Paper towels
Fill half of each glass of water, and line them up in a straight row. In the first glass, add in a couple drops of red food colouring, the third with a few drops of yellow food colouring, the fifth with a few drops of blue food colouring. In the last glass, repeat with the red food colouring. The glass should be lined up as such – red coloured water, plain water, yellow coloured water, plain water, blue coloured water, plain water and lastly, red coloured water. Then, fold the paper towels into strips – they have to be thick enough to ensure that they will not crumble of break apart when they absorb the coloured water. You will need 5 strips. Place one end of the first strip in the first glass and in the other end in the second, then place one end of the second strip in the second glass and the other end in the third glass. Repeat for all the strips with the subsequent glasses. For glasses that have two strips in it, make sure that each end of the strips are in contact with one another. Be sure to do this quickly because capillary action takes place right when the strips enter the water! Observe as the water moves along the strips of paper towel! What happens? The different colours also get absorbed, and start to transfer from one paper towel strip to another!
This happens due to capillary action – a process where a liquid moves through a solid material that is porous. It takes place when forces such as cohesion, adhesion and surface tension work together!
We hope you and your child enjoy these educational activities! Should you and your child be interested in science and scientific endeavors, check our our YMCA Learning Centre STEM programme! This programme aims to spark an interest in students in learning how the world around us works, through experiential learning. Do contact us to find out more!