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Favorite, Clean, Fast Science Experiment Ideas Needed


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Off the top of my head:


baking soda and vinegar


pupil dialation (let them look at each other's eyes or at their own in a mirror while you turn the light on and off)


If you eat mayonnaise in your house, you could try making some homemade to demonstrate emulsification (although this isn't exactly clean...)


Playing with magnets is always fun, as is rubbing a balloon on your head and sticking it to the wall.


Also not clean, but you can make silly putty with borax and glue.


experiment with solutes and solvents: which dissolves better in water, sugar or salt? Does oil dissolve in water? Do things dissolve better in hot water or cold?

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Thanks for the suggestions. Baking soda and vinegar in plastic bags is my next outdoor experiment. I am in charge of my home school group science club and the lady's house we use on less than pleasant weather days is not one for a mess. I might still do the baking soda and vinegar if it looks like we will be able to use her backyard, but rain is predicted yet again. It always seems to want to rain on the first Monday of the month.

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There's always the Mentos in the Diet Coke bottle. It's quick, easy, and clean if you do it in the street or a parking lot LOL.


We've done it in light rain, chilly weather. You're not outside for long :)


Other than that, maybe things related to the senses - touch, taste, sound, smell, all while blindfolded. Have kids select random things from around the house or each bring a few things "smaller than a breadbox" from home (just don't tell them what it's for).


Also, optical illusions. Card tricks, mind tricks, eye illusions (tons of printouts online).


Things related to memory - playing a game of memory, then playing with radio on, then playing while singing Happy Birthday nonstop, then playing with others around you talking, etc. to get an idea of how the brain processes in isolation and then in chaos.


Paper airplanes can offer a lot: lift, how design affects flying time and distances, there should be tons to Google. Bernouilli Effect is a good one, too.


Similarly, parachute men. Have them make paper parachutes from a variety of products (coffee filters, regular paper, newspaper, foil, etc.) and rate times to determine air resistance. This is great if there's a balcony or second story.


Get a $5 box of popsicle sticks from the craft store, some glue guns and duct tape. Let them build bridge structures, then see whose can hold the most weight. We used a series of small magnets and kept adding magnets until a bridge finally broke under the weight.


There's the ol' mini-marshmallows and toothpick thing. Write out some molecules on index cards, shuffle, and pass around. Kids re-create the molecules, then tell the others what it is OR everyone makes H2O, etc. at the same time. This is easy even for kids without any chemistry background, with just a basic explanation.


Disappearing ink.


Eating wintogreens in the dark.


Floating and density - fill a jar with equal amounts oil and water, add stuff (Legos, army men, pennies, rocks, etc.) to see what floats and what sinks.


Or build a house of cards. Surely there's something scientific in that? LOL

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Our favorite simple science demonstration this year was a model of how the diaphragm works. Cut a 2 litter bottle in half, put a balloon down in the top and stretch the mouth of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle, tape plastic wrap across the bottom, and then tape a small handle to the middle of the plastic wrap. Pull the handle; as the "diaphragm" moves, the "lung" will inflate and deflate.

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