Gallium Plating – Part 1


copyright © Science House 2010


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Gallium Plating – Part 2


copyright © Science House 2010


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Recycled Paper


This is a classic and simple lesson illustrating in a hands-on and clear way one mechanism for the recycling of paper products.


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Recycled Paper – Part 2


A continuation of our recycled paper demonstration.


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Copper Ions in Solution



Items you’ll need:

  • Box of nails
  • Acetic acid (vinegar)
  • Pennies (older than 1981)
  • Superfine steel wool
  • Beaker
  • Glass stirring rod

copyright © Science House 2011


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Neon Fluid Spiral


A very simple and inexpensive black light can be easily configured from a “Clamp Lamp” from the hardware store and an inexpensive UV light from the reptile section of a pet shop.


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Walk of Conduction


We want you to examine the reason certain materials feel colder than others, so we offer an experiment that involves a qualitative examination of materials chosen for their conductive properties.


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Neon Waterfall


We include this segment to illustrate the internal reflection of light in a column of water that is “guided” downward by the force of gravity. The rays of light, traveling in a column of water in a darkened lab make for a stunning, “illuminating” example of the behavior of light.


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Spacesuit Simulator


Our version of a manipulative model developed by NASA in the early 1990s to illustrate the mechanism by which engineers protect astronauts from the extreme heat of the sun during spacewalks and remote operations is designed to get students thinking about aerospace science.


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Laser Web


In teaching about the behavior of light, the laser is one of the most dramatic and effective teaching tools. The cost of lasers has come down significantly in recent years, to the point where colored lasers that were once extremely expensive can now be purchased quite reasonably.


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Piezoelectric Cannon


A classic, easily replicated demonstration of the principles involved in internal combustion of a fuel. An arc of electrons traveling through a sealed canister of fuel activates a chemical reaction, releasing heat and light energy.


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Air Cannon


This is a simple experiment you can do for a bit of fun. Aim your “air cannon” at the flame and try to extinguish it. Add a laser on top for aiming accuracy and have a contest for fun!


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Dissolving Plastic


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Chromatography with Leaves


In this segment we take the chemicals out of a leaf that help the plant carry out photosynthesis. This experiment is a good one because it shows kids that there is more than one type of chlorophyll in most species, and that we can separate them.


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Inert Atmospheres: Chromatography part 2


Here we stabilize the biological pigments from reacting further by creating an inert atmosphere. We replace the oxygen-containing air with a nitrogen atmosphere.


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Color Wheel


This is a classic demonstration showing the mixing of colors to make white light. You can make your own color wheel very inexpensively by printing a color wheel template and attaching it to a rotating drill.


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3D Modeling


Science math and science are closely related, this experiment makes a nice integration between the two. If you’re teaching about volume as a 3 dimensional construct, it can be difficult for kids to make the distinction between a 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional object. In this experiment we construct 3 dimensional objects from templates, and investigate how changing the size of the 2 dimensional template affects the volume of the resulting solid.


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Light Physics


We have a simple light physics experiment as part of a series we’re putting together for elementary school through to high school level. In this experiment, students compare the wavelengths of visible light that are emitted by different light sources, with various levels of sophistication depending on their level.


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Microscope Dissection


We have a companion segment to the “Rewind your Mind” segment we produced last year involving some simple engineering lessons for kids. The idea of this lesson is to have kids learn how science equipment is engineered, in this lesson a microscope, by taking it apart and reassembling it again.

Items you’ll need:

  • Old Microscope
  • Set of screwdrivers

copyright © Science House 2011


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Cross Linked Slime


Adding sodium tetraborate solution to your dissolved polyvinyl alcohol bags (like we made in our segment titled “Slime”) will cross link the polymers, producing an amorphous final product that can be trained to climb down a windowpane through the effects of gravity and surface tension.


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Cross Linked Polymers!


In this segment we finish preparing our “Silly Putty” from Glue and Borax.


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Mix It Up! Cross Linking Polymers


Of all the iterations we see of science lessons preparing “Silly Putty” from borax and glue, we’d like to see students looking carefully at each aspect of this classic chemical reaction, including the solution chemistry and the simple math involved preparing each reactant.


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Liftoff! : Just A Lot of Hot Air


Adding heat energy to gas particles causes them to move faster, spread apart and occupy a larger amount of space (in science, called volume). Learn about how this applies to hot air balloons and why they float.


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Alien Egg – part 1


This is the first of our experiments called “The Alien Egg”. In these experiments we dissolve the shell of an egg and then submerge the egg in solutions of different solutes, with different concentrations. The membrane of the egg remains intact, resulting in the egg expanding or contracting as water enters or escapes. While not really an “alien egg”, it looks like one and kids enjoy this experiment a lot.


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Alien Egg – part 2


Part 2 of the Alien Egg experiment.


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Alien Egg – part 3


Part 3 of the Alien Egg experiment.


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Alien Egg – part 4


Part 4 of the Alien Egg experiment.


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Melting "Plastic"


Part of a series of polymer chemistry lessons and experiments under development for Video Science, we offer this particular segment as a “tickler” to encourage students to consider the chemistry and materials science involved in the objects and tools they handle day to day.


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Memory Wire


Concept notes coming soon.


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Pyrolysis: Sugar on Fire!


Heating our sugar cubes to 186 degrees Celsius with our butane torch leads to a chemical reaction called pyrolysis and the formation of caramel, carbon dioxide and water, which we see as a pale brown steaming syrup with a familiar, pleasant nutty odor.


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Copper Zinc Reaction – part 1


This experiment involving copper sulfate and mossy zinc is a very visual demonstration of a chemical reaction. It can be used to teach about redox chemistry in a qualitative or quantitative way. If you monitor the reaction over a period of about 24 hours, you will also see a dramatic color change and change in temperature

Items you’ll need:

  • Bubble tubes (Click to buy)
  • Stopwatch
  • Unknown liquid of your choice

copyright © Science House 2011


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Copper Zinc Reaction – part 2


We return to our chemical reaction one day later.

Items you’ll need:

  • Copper Sulfate
  • Mossy Zinc
  • Granulated Zinc

copyright © Science House 2011


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Bubble Racing


These bubble tubes are beautifully engineered pieces of science equipment for physics labs. You can get a set where each tube is filled with a liquid of different viscosity. Try filling them with your own liquids and have your students guess the liquid by the speed at which a bubble moves down the tube when it is angled at an incline.


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Hydrogen Flame Test


This is a classic kitchen chemistry experiment involving the liberation of hydrogen gas.


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Classroom Barometer


Turn your classroom into a weather station by making your own air pressure barometer from cheap and recyclable materials. Watch the water level go up and down each day as the air pressure changes.


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Classroom Barometer – Part 2


We return to the do-it-yourself barometer experiment, this time using a large plastic bottle from the grocery store.


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Layers of Gases


You can teach your students about the density of different gases – carbon dioxide and air – by showing them how bubbles levitate on top of a layer of carbon dioxide. This is a gorgeous experiment and the materials are simple and cheap.


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Pinhole Viewer


If you’re teaching light physics to middle school kids, you can show what happens to optical images when light passes through a pinhole aperture. Students love this experiment and it’s very simple to setup. For homework, get your students to construct a simple ray diagram showing how the rays of light enter the pinhole viewer and form the image. You can also incorporate a lesson on how the human eye does the same.


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Carbon Dioxide Race


If your students are studying the chemical properties of gases as part of a greater study of matter, elements, compounds and their chemical properties, you can easily show the ability of carbon dioxide to extinguish a flame.


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Cryogenic Pumping


This experiment looks at how the volume of a gas changes with heating and cooling. You can make a cold bath using isopropyl alcohol and dry ice (the alcohol can get very cold – much colder than water – without freezing). Then take a water bottle and run it under hot water. Put the cap on, submerge it in the bath and see what happens.


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Trapping Gas with a Surfactant


For a fun addition to the previous experiment, add some liquid soap or detergent to generate a giant spout of bubbles. Pop the bubbles to release carbon dioxide gas, or leave the experiment to bubble away – it can last for hours.


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Carbon Dioxide Race – Lap 2


This experiment is a variation on the first carbon dioxide race, where this time we watch the carbon dioxide extinguish the flames from the bottom of the tank to the top as a thicker layer builds up and spills over the beaker. Why does a layer build up from the bottom? Ask your students – they may remember from an earlier experiment


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Volume of a Sublimed Gas


Add dry ice to water and watch it sublime! Put some food coloring into the water for an eye-catching demonstration. You can collect the gas in a large balloon and calculate the volume of gas by measuring the circumference of the balloon.


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Investigating Charles' Law

Charles’ Law states that the volume of a gas is proportional to the temperature of the gas. Let your students figure out this law experimentally, by seeing what happens when a marshmallow or a bar of ivory soap (hint this soap works best as it is full of air bubbles) is put in the microwave.


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Rewind your Mind


As your school or library discards old videocassettes, consider using them in a simple engineering lesson before recycling the materials in them.


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Sound Wave Oscilloscope – Scaled Up


Scaling up an experiment allows students to compare the data gathered from different forms of lab work to see if, how and why results may change when the size of the experimental components is altered.


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Sound Wave Oscilloscope


Teaching sound physics and related topics presents an excellent opportunity to have students build a simple oscilloscope to examine and study the nature of sound waves.


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Density of Two Liquids


This experiment teaches about the density of liquids, through a demonstration that kids find surprising. Fill two containers with two clear liquids – one water, the other isopropanol, and observe how an ice cube will float in one, and sink in the other. Don’t tell your students that the liquids are different – let them discover for themselves.

Items you’ll need:

  • Beaker
  • Rubbing (Isopropyl) alcohol

copyright © Science House 2011


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Atomic Force Microscope


How do scientists know what an object looks like on the atomic level? This lesson lets kids understand how, by scaling up the atomic force microscope into a manipulative model, where students use a “probe” to discover what’s hidden inside their box. This is a great activity for math and graphing as well. Ask the kids to take their plotted points home and figure out what their object is for homework.


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What's So Green About…?


If you’re running an environmental science club or activity or if you have a green initiative in your school, you can ask your kids to look at principles of green engineering and do some experiments involving environmental science

Items you’ll need:

  • “Green” items (e.g. recycled computer boards, bamboo materials)

copyright © Science House 2011


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Pressure Gradient


Try out this scaled up variation on the classic “Egg in the Bottle” experiment. Light a match inside a large container (such as this old lava lamp), place a balloon on top and watch as it gets sucked in. Give your students some clues about why this happens and see if they can figure it out (hint: a pressure gradient is created). Then, once the balloon is inside the bottle, ask if they have a suggestion that will get it back out.


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A Density Problem


If you drop a can of soda and one of diet soda into water, one will float and one will sink, because they have a different density. You can take this experiment a step further, by turning it into a richer lab investigation for your students.


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Sorry to Burst Your Bubble


In the segment, Dan introduces simple geometric forms into a solution of soap and water. The forms features in the segment include three regular polyhedra (a term we use to describe solids having faces (or surfaces) that take the shape of regular polygons. Further, each of the faces, edges and corners of these regular polyhedrons (also called “Platonic Solids”) are, interestingly, idendtical.


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