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Science Week
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Lethbridge Primary SchoolDuring Science Week (9th - 13th Jan 2017) we did lots of different science investigations in our classes, the results of which were viewed at Thursday’s Science Fayre.

If your budding scientists have come home wanting to continue their investigations at home, then please see below the experiments that Mrs Kidd and Mrs Feeny carried out in Monday’s Science Week launch assembly, (download the assembly presentation here). All of these just require simple store-cupboard ingredients and common household objects and can easily be replicated at home.

Have fun!
Mrs Kidd, Mr Ballard and Mrs Feeny - Science subject co-ordinators

Blowing Up Balloons With CO2
Chemical reactions make for some great experiments. Make use of the carbon dioxide given off by a baking soda and lemon juice reaction by funnelling the gas through a soft drink bottle and in to your awaiting balloon!

What you'll need:
  • Balloon
  • About 40 ml of water (a cup is about 250 ml so you don't need much)
  • Soft drink bottle
  • Drinking straw
  • Juice from a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

Instructions:
  1. Before you begin, make sure that you stretch out the balloon to make it as easy as possible to inflate.
  2. Pour the 40 ml of water into the soft drink bottle.
  3. Add the teaspoon of baking soda and stir it around with the straw until it has dissolved.
  4. Pour the lemon juice in and quickly put the stretched balloon over the mouth of the bottle

What's happening?
If all goes well then your balloon should inflate! Adding the lemon juice to the baking soda creates a chemical reaction. The baking soda is a base, while the lemon juice is an acid, when the two combine they create carbon dioxide (CO2). The gas rises up and escapes through the soft drink bottle, it doesn't however escape the balloon, pushing it outwards and blowing it up. If you don't have any lemons then you can substitute the lemon juice for vinegar.


Make a Ping Pong Ball Float
Can you control a ping pong ball as it floats above a hair dryer? Put your hand-eye coordination skills to the test while learning the important role that forces such as gravity and air pressure play in this simple experiment for kids.

What you'll need:
  • At least 1 ping pong ball (2 or 3 would be great)
  • A hair dryer

Instructions:
  1. Plug in the hair dryer and turn it on.
  2. Put it on the highest setting and point it straight up.
  3. Place your ping pong ball above the hair dryer and watch what happens.

What's happening?
Your ping pong ball floats gently above the hair dryer without shifting sideways or flying across the other side of the room. The airflow from the hair dryer pushes the ping pong ball upwards until its upward force equals the force of gravity pushing down on it. When it reaches this point it gently bounces around, floating where the upward and downward forces are equal.

The reason the ping pong ball stays nicely inside the column of air produced by the hair dryer without shifting sideways is due to air pressure. The fast moving air from the hair dryer creates a column of lower air pressure, the surrounding higher air pressure forces the ping pong ball to stay inside this column, making it easy to move the hair dryer around without losing control of the ping pong ball.

See if you can float 2 or even 3 ping pong balls as an extra challenge.


Kinetic sand
Disappearing water - three paper cups with one in the middle with some nappy fillings (clean!). Pour water in an empty cup and shuffle. Ask audience to point the cup with water. Pour water in other empty cup and repeat. At the end pour water in the cup with nappy stuffing and shuffle, then topple the cup on top of a member of audience and no water falls (it's all been absorbed)
  • 3 x paper cups
  • Nappy
  • Water


Make an Egg Float in Salt Water
An egg sinks to the bottom if you drop it into a glass of ordinary drinking water but what happens if you add salt? The results are very interesting and can teach you some fun facts about density.

What you'll need:
  • One egg
  • Water
  • Salt
  • A tall drinking glass

Instructions:
  1. Pour water into the glass until it is about half full.
  2. Stir in lots of salt (about 6 tablespoons).
  3. Carefully pour in plain water until the glass is nearly full (be careful to not disturb or mix the salty water with the plain water).
  4. Gently lower the egg into the water and watch what happens.

What's happening?
Salt water is denser than ordinary tap water, the denser the liquid the easier it is for an object to float in it. When you lower the egg into the liquid it drops through the normal tap water until it reaches the salty water, at this point the water is dense enough for the egg to float. If you were careful when you added the tap water to the salt water, they will not have mixed, enabling the egg to amazingly float in the middle of the glass.


Experience Gravity Free Water
What goes up must come down right? Well try bending the rules a little with a cup of water that stays inside the glass when held upside down. You'll need the help of some cardboard and a little bit of air pressure.

What you'll need:
  • A glass filled right to the top with water
  • A piece of cardboard

Instructions:
  1. Put the cardboard over the mouth of the glass, making sure that no air bubbles enter the glass as you hold onto the cardboard.
  2. Turn the glass upside down (over a sink or outside until you get good).
  3. Take away your hand holding the cardboard.

What's happening?
If all goes to plan then the cardboard and water should stay put. Even though the cup of water is upside down the water stays in place, defying gravity! So why is this happening? With no air inside the glass, the air pressure from outside the glass is greater than the pressure of the water inside the glass. The extra air pressure manages to hold the cardboard in place, keeping you dry and your water where it should be, inside the glass.


Invisible Ink with Lemon Juice
Making invisible ink is a lot of fun, you can pretend you are a secret agent as you keep all your secret codes and messages hidden from others. All you need is some basic household objects and the hidden power of lemon juice.

What you'll need:
  • Half a lemon
  • Water
  • Spoon
  • Bowl
  • Cotton bud
  • White paper
  • Lamp or other light bulb

Instructions:
  1. Squeeze some lemon juice into the bowl and add a few drops of water.
  2. Mix the water and lemon juice with the spoon.
  3. Dip the cotton bud into the mixture and write a message onto the white paper.
  4. Wait for the juice to dry so it becomes completely invisible.

When you are ready to read your secret message or show it to someone else, heat the paper by holding it close to a light bulb. (If this doesn't work try ironing or gently and safely heating another way such as leaving on a radiator).

What's happening?
Lemon juice is an organic substance that oxidizes and turns brown when heated. Diluting the lemon juice in water makes it very hard to notice when you apply it the paper, no one will be aware of its presence until it is heated and the secret message is revealed. Other substances which work in the same way include orange juice, honey, milk, onion juice, vinegar and wine. Invisible ink can also be made using chemical reactions or by viewing certain liquids under ultraviolet (UV) light.



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