Wow, what another wonderful week of weather! We have certainly been blessed with hot sunny days despite the tough limitations that surround us. I can only imagine how hard it must be to entertain young children all day and feel a sense of relief that my own kids are now all over 10 years of age and to a large extent, self-sufficient!
So here at Big Bang Science HQ we are hoping to keep your children (and you) sane with 3 more AWESOME experiments. We do hope you enjoyed the experiments we shared with you last week, which were all on a weather theme. This week, once again, we have made sure they are:
Minimal equipment required
And easy to prepare and tidy away.
You will need:
Dry-wipe pen (whiteboard pen). Easy to get in the stationary aisle of any supermarket.
A shallow dish/plate
Water-based colouring pens
A shallow dish/ plate
A piece of A4 paper
I had all this equipment at home already, so I’m hoping most of you do too.
These next 3 experiments include a little bit of awesome magic and also another way to create a really colourful rainbow using cool chemistry!
They’re easy to do so let’s gets started!
This experiment feels a bit like magic but there is some really cool science behind it too. Maybe you could impress your family or your grandparents on a Zoom call with this experiment!
Find a shallow white dish or plate that is clean and dry. Using a dry wipe pen draw a stick man or write your name. You could fill the whole plate or draw more than one image to fill the space. Carefully and slowly pour some tap water onto the plate away from the images you have drawn and watch your plate come to life.
Can you make the images wiggle?
The ink in dry wipe pens, usually used by teachers on whiteboards, is not designed to stick too strongly to anything. The ink is regularly wiped away, so it has low sticky strength. Permanent pens like sharpies, however, have very strong sticky strength so are really difficult to remove.
In this experiment the dry wipe pen attaches to the plate but not too strongly and if you pour water onto the plate it begins to lift as a whole unit. The ink in the dry wipe pen is insoluble which means it doesn’t dissolve in water and is also less dense than water so floats to the top. It gives the impression that the letters or pictures are dancing! Cool hey?!
Points to remember
Make sure the plate is ideally white and shallow.
Ensure the plate/ dish is clean and dry before the experiment. If you repeat the experiment always start fresh.
Pour the water slowly onto the plate and to the side of the images so it doesn’t cause them to break apart.
Don’t leave it too long before you pour on the water. The longer it is left the more difficult the images are to float.
New dry wipe pens work best.
Can you create a really colourful scene or write a message to someone? Maybe you can film it as it come to life and send your message to someone as a surprise!
Chrom- a- tog- graphy is a really long word and it is used in some really useful ways in science. It is a science method that is usually used on a substance to separate it out into lots of different parts. It is often used by forensic scientists to help them to solve crimes and might be used to analyse blood found at a crime scene.
Collect one sheet of kitchen roll and fold it in half. Use some water-based colouring pens to draw the beginnings of a rainbow one cm up from the bottom of the paper towel (see photo). When you have coloured the beginnings of your rainbow, hold it from the top end. Add some water to the shallow dish and suspending the paper towel so the bottom just touches the water, you will begin to see it absorbing the water and travelling upwards. Your rainbow begins to inch towards the sky!
A paper towel consists of fibres that have many small channels in their structure that the water can rise up through. As the water moves upwards through the paper towel it drags the water-soluble colouring pens, lifting the dye molecules with it. You may notice that lots of different colours appear. This method is really good at separating out all the hidden colours in your colouring pens.
Points to remember
Do not submerge the colours on the paper towel, as it will wash out into the water and the rainbow will not form.
Hold the paper towel so the water level is just below the colours.
Only make your colour band 1 cm deep. If it is deeper, the water may not rise above the colour successfully to spread them.
Once the water has stopped rising, remove the dish and leave the paper towel to dry.
You may notice the colours continue to travel up the paper further and that it dries a slightly different colour.
If you have made a pretty rainbow pattern be sure to stick it to your window for the Thursday night NHS clapping event or send it to a frontline worker!
Try it again using a different selection of colours. Does warm water in the dish make the chromatogram form quicker?
Can you climb through a piece of paper without tearing it?
For this activity, you may need help from an adult.
This is really cool so I’m really excited to share this trick with you! Most people are a lot larger than a piece of A4 paper. But in this activity, you’ll be able to squeeze through a hole in a sheet of paper. You might even be able to squeeze your adult helper through too!
You will need some scissors, a sheet of A4 paper and an adult!
Fold a piece of paper in half, lengthways. Put the paper on the table with the folded side closest to you.
Cut into the folded side, about 1 cm from the left-hand edge, and start cutting straight towards the far side of the paper. Stop cutting about 1 cm before the opposite edge, so you don’t cut all the way across the paper.
The next cut comes from the opposite side of the paper in exactly the same way.
Turn the paper around so the fold is away from you. Cut in around 1 cm from the last cut and stop about 1 cm before you get to the folded side.
Alternate between cutting from the folded side, and the side opposite. Keep your cuts 1 cm apart, and always stop cutting 1 cm before you get to the far side of the paper.
When you have finished, you should have a zigzag of paper.
Look along the folded side of the paper. You should have a series of loops of paper. Cut along the fold of each of the loops EXCEPT the first loop and the last loop. Leave these intact.
Remember, don’t cut the first or last loop!
Pull the paper apart, being careful not to tear it. You should have a large loop. Now try to fit yourself through the loop!
Points to remember
Fold the A4 piece of paper lengthways.
Keep the cutting lines 1cm apart.
Only cut up to 1 cm from each edge and never the whole way across.
When cutting the spine remember to leave the first and last loop intact or else you will cut open the whole loop.
If you look at the cuts you’ve made in the paper, it looks like a maze. But you’ve actually turned the sheet of paper into a really long loop that should be long enough to go all the way around you.
The size of the sheet of paper remains the same throughout the activity. But cutting the paper made the perimeter (edge) longer. If there are enough cuts, the perimeter is large enough to go all the way around you.
If you can’t fit through the loop, try making another one with either, a larger piece of paper(A3), or putting the cuts closer together (try 5 mm apart and stopping 5 mm from each side).
Maybe you can get your whole family through in one go!
We hope you’ve enjoyed the second blog in our Science Experiments series. Do you have cool photos to share? Or simply want to let us know how your experiments went? Please join our Facebook Community group if you haven’t already.
And remember, we have many more classes and activities for everyone in the family on our Virtual Classes section. A great way to try something new, from your own home, while supporting a local business.