Cool Science Facts

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Learn some cool science facts and how they can be crafted into fun science projects with this article. You'll find the directions you need for these projects and discover some educational resources.

Everyday Chemical Reactions

Cool Science Fact: Chemical reactions don't just happen in labs full of fancy machines. In fact, chemical reactions go on all the time, even with items you might find in the kitchen!

Project: Chemical Inflation

This project involves causing a chemical reaction with everyday items.

Supplies:

  • Plastic bottle (empty)
  • Vinegar
  • Balloon (smaller is better)
  • Baking soda
  • Funnel
  • Rubber bands

Directions:

Students can use this project to inflate the balloon using the chemical reaction of vinegar and baking soda.

Have your students pour about ½ c. of vinegar in the bottom of their bottle. They should then stretch out their balloon. Have them use the funnel to fill about half of the balloon with baking soda. Next, they should carefully stretch the opening of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle. Be sure that they keep the baking soda down and to the side for this part. It shouldn't come in contact with the vinegar yet! Students can use the rubber band to firmly secure the balloon to the bottle. Once everything is connected, your students can lift the balloon, dumping the baking soda into the vinegar. The acid-base reaction of the baking soda and vinegar creates carbon dioxide, which fills up the bottle and inflates the balloon!

Your students can make this project more in-depth by completing additional experiments, including adding water to the bottle, using a larger bottle and changing the amounts of vinegar and baking soda to see if this changes the chemical reaction. Have them record and display all of their data for the project.

Additional Learning:

You can help your students prepare for this project with these lessons on chemical reactions and acids and bases. These lessons are a great way for students to review these scientific concepts as they complete this project.

Electricity

Cool Science Fact: You can build up an electric charge right in your own home with static electricity.

Project: Static Balloons

This project lets students harness the power of an electrical charge from their own hair.

Supplies:

  • Balloons
  • String
  • Soda cans

Directions:

This project should be completed in three parts, with students recording the results of each step of the experiment. First, they should first blow up their balloons (at least 2) and tie a string to each balloon. Have students rub the balloons against their hair and see what their hair does when they pull the balloons away. They should record this information.

Second, your students should place the balloons close together and see how they react. The balloons should repel each other, as they are charged the same way from the student's hair.

Finally, your students should recharge their balloons with their hair and get their can. Have them place the can on its side and slowly place the balloon about an inch away from the can before carefully moving the balloon away. The can follows the balloon, attracted to the electrical charge!

Have students display all of their findings for the project. They can also keep some balloons around to demonstrate what they discovered.

Additional Learning:

Your students can check out these lessons on electricity and static electricity as they prepare for this project. These short lessons can help students feel confident in their understanding of these forces.

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