101 science experiments pdf

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Page 1. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. More at or ImagineFX Presents - H Applied Statistics and. SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS FOR EVERYONE. COMPILED BY UNESCO. Would you like to create a cloud in a bottle? Prove that the earth spins?. Science EXPERIMENTS WITH PAPER - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free.

The flat sheets provide a stable surface for the columns to rest on. Water rises up into the filter by capillary action. Cut off any parts of the straws that stick out past the edge of the rim. What size of circle gives the best spinning top? How lightweight can the object be before the U tips over? Do they all show the same optical illusions? Richard Churchill, Louis V.

What is the effect o0f 6 heating oil on the elodea densa in a aquatic environment? Can limestone be used to protect pine trees from acid rain? What section of a town has the most pollution in the form of airborne particles?

Determine the environmental effects of the biodegradability of plastic bags, paper bags, and newspaper. How does acid rain affect the cell structure of spirogyra? What substance is most effective in cleaning teeth? Are there really any differences among commercial hand lotions?

Need Hints for getting your project started. Science Projects - Advice Science Projects: What Makes a Good One? Math Forum: Create winning science fair Starch content is best tested with Lugol's solution which is a solution of potassium iodide.

But, where are you going to get it? Carolina Science has it www. An alternative is to use ordinary tincture of iodine available at any local drug store. Not as good as Lugol's solution but it should work OK for you. It is the iodine used for cuts. How you might proceed is to crush small say a pencil eraser size equal amounts of each of your test apple samples, one sample in separate test tubes.

Stir vigorously. Then add one drop of Lugol's solution or tincture iodine but not both. Observe the color intensity on a scale of 1 to 10, i.

You could even make a test strip of these colors on a piece of paper using water color or crayons. Number each shade from colorless to black ; 1 through Then compare each test tube against the chart and that will give you a relative quantitative number for each sample that you can chart. That should do it. If you want it even simpler method you could just try touching a drop of the iodine to each apple slice and recording the color intensity but that would be less effective and harder to judge than the test tube solutions.

If you don't have a source of test tubes handy you could use very small water classes or better yet clear plastic drinking cups you can throw away. Just remember iodine is a poison and a stain and to throw away all test items and wash up your area with lots of soap water - never eat the apple slices after being contaminated with test solutions. In a real lab a scientist would use a photospectrometer to read the solution density percentage.

That instrument gives a meter reading number that is not subjective and is quantitative. They also would include a "control" - in your case that would be a FRESH piece of apple for comparison. They would repeat the same experiment more than once to make sure the results come out about the same each time.

That is done to give some sense that the experiment really shows a repeatable result. Which is hotter? The jar wrapped with black paper heats up more than the jar wrapped with white paper. When the rays are absorbed by a dark material such as black paper, they are converted from radiant energy to heat energy. Wrap glasses with other materials, such as aluminum foil or plastic. Do any of the glasses heat as much as they did with the black paper? Do they all heat up more than the glass wrapped with white paper?

Index card or paper, thumbtack or pin, book What to do: With a thumbtack or pin, push a small hole in an index card or paper. Look at the small letters in a book through the paper pinhole. If you are nearsighted and wear glasses, take off your glasses. You will see both near and faraway objects more clearly through the pinhole than you do if you look at them without the aid of the pinhole. When light rays reflected from the book pass through the tiny hole in the index card, the rays are pushed more closely together.

This focusing effect causes blurred images to become clearer. Change the size of the pinhole. How large can the hole be before it no longer clarifies images? Index card, black marker, toothpick, ruler, masking tape, compass What to do: Draw eight parallel lines on an index card with a black marker. Push a toothpick through the center of the circle and tape the toothpick in place. With your thumb and forefinger, spin the toothpick shaft quickly.

Also, you may see spots of color in the white spaces. The eye interprets the eight straight lines as four concentric circles, with rings of dark lines separated by white spaces. The reason the lines change direction under fluorescent light as the disk slows down is that fluorescent light acts like a high-speed strobe light.

Unlike an incandescent light, which glows continuously, fluorescent lights blink on and off at a speed that is normally too fast for the human eye to detect But if spun fast enough, the disk will show the high-speed blinking of the fluorescent light. Make different sizes of disks. How many disks can you spin at the same time?

Do they all show the same optical illusions? Draw and cut out a 2Vz inch 6 cm circle from an index card. With a black marker, draw the pattern shown on the circle. Push a toothpick through the center of the circle and tape it in place.

Spin the toothpick shaft quickly. You will see colors appear! When you reverse the direction of spin, the colors change! White is all colors mixed together. Black is the absence of colors. When the eye sees a blurry combination of white and black, it interprets it as a color. Draw different patterns on the disks.

Do you see other optical illusions when you spin the disks? Do you see more colors? Fewer colors? Other colors? How intense bright are the colors? With a compass, draw a 5 inch 13 cm circle on an index card and cut it out. Draw black patterns on the circle as shown. With a ballpoint pen, punch two holes, 1 inch 2. Push part of the string through one hole, then through the other hole.

Tie the ends of the string together. Adjust the string so that the disk is at right angles to the string. Tape a toothpick to the string and to one side of the disk. Grasp the ends of the string, with one loop in each hand. Move both hands together in a circular motion, causing the disk to rotate. The string will wind up tightly. Now pull your hands apart quickly. The disk will spin rapidly; causing colors to appear look quickly, before the disk slows down!

When the wheel is spun, the alternating regions of black and white become a blur to the eye. Since the brain cannot distinguish between the black and white regions, it attempts to compensate by seeing them as a color. Draw different patterns on other disks. Which patterns give the most easily seen colors when the wheels are spun? Large, 5 x 8 inch Using a compass, draw a 5 inch Draw wedges of different colors from the center of the circle.

The disk will spin rapidly. As the disk spins, its colors blend, causing the disk to appear gray or light black. When the wheel is spinning rapidly, the human brain cannot distinguish the colors on the wheel, so it interprets them as a single color.

If the disk has approximately equal-sized wedges of several colors, the disk will appear gray or gray- brown. If the disk contains mostly one color, then the disk when spun will display that color, but it will look duller grayer than the color of the disk at rest More science fun: Change the relative sizes of the wedges. Tape the bottoms of two paper plates together, making sure that the outer edges are lined up. Punch a hole in the center with a ballpoint pen. Cut away a circle in the center of the plates, leaving a few inches before the rim.

Bend out all of the triangles away from the plate center towards the rim so that half of the triangles are pointed to one rim, half to the other see picture. You now have a star hoop! Take it outside on a breezy day and stand it on its edge. It rolls down the sidewalk or street when it catches the breeze! The wind catches the ends of the triangular-shaped pieces sticking out from the hoop. The force of the wind against the pieces causes the hoop to roll. Change the size and number of the triangles on the Star Hoop.

What size and number give the best fastest moving Star Hoop? Thin strip of writing paper or index card or dollar bill What to do: Hold a thin strip of writing paper or index card or dollar bill pointing downward between your thumb and forefinger. Ask a friend to place a thumb and forefinger about 1 inch 2.

Challenge your friend to catch the paper when you drop it. Drop the paper. She or he will not be able to catch it! Human reflexes are too slow about 0. Does the shape of or weight of the paper make a difference in how readily it can be caught?

Index card, coin, and drinking glass What to do: Place a coin on top of an index card. Place the index card on the mouth of a drinking glass. With your thumb and forefinger, flick the index card quickly away from the glass. The coin will fall straight down into the glass! The coin wants to stay in one place when the index card is flicked away from underneath it because of a property of matter called inertia. Inertia is the property that an object has to remain in its current location.

Objects at rest tend to remain at rest. Similarly, objects in motion tend to remain in motion. Try different sizes of coins and index cards to see which sizes work the best.

How quickly must you flick the index card in order for the coin to drop straight into the glass? Rectangular pencil eraser, 1x5 inch 2. Place a pencil eraser on one end of a 1 x 5 inch piece of paper. Position the eraser and paper so that 3 to 4 inches 7. Grasp the hanging end with one hand. With a ruler or pencil, strike the paper strip abruptly close to the edge of the table.

The paper will be pulled out from underneath the eraser, and the eraser will stay on the table. If you do this quickly enough, the eraser may even remain upright without falling over!

Objects at rest tend to remain at rest, just as objects in motion tend to remain in motion unless acted on by outside forces. If you were to pull the paper too slowly, both eraser and paper would fall off the table. Try other objects in place of the pencil eraser, such as a chalkboard eraser, a heavy metal bolt, or a spoon.

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Does the weight of the object affect its ability to stay in one place? Index card, pen, straw, scissors, masking tape, toothpick What to do: Cut the largest square you can from the index card. Fold it in quarters fig.

Draw a blade on one of the four quarters of the card fig. Unfold the cut shape fig. Stick a toothpick halfway through the center of the shape. Place the bottom part of the toothpick into one end of a soda straw.

Blow on the side of the index card blades. The toothpick and blades will rotate while resting in the straw center of card How it works: Since the blades of the propeller are all bent in the same direction, the propeller turns when you blow on it. Try different sizes of propellers. Does the amount which the blades are bent affect how easily the propeller turns? Square piece of paper 4 to 6 inches 10 to 15 cm on each edge, paper clip, soda straw, scissors What to do: Cut a pinwheel with four joined blades from a 4 to 6 inch square piece of paper as you did for the propeller page Bend up a corner of each blade.

Unbend one end of a paper clip. Push the end of the paper clip first through the center of the blades, then through the top of a soda straw see drawing. Bend the end of the paper clip around again to keep it from falling out of the straw. Your pinwheel will easily rotate spin if you blow on it; take it outside on a windy day, or walk around with it.

The pinwheel rotates because the blades on the wheel are all pointed in the same direction. When air hits the blades, the pinwheel rotates. Change the angle of the blades. Try larger or smaller blades. Which size and shape works the best? Cardboard toilet paper tube, paper, string, scissors, and masking tape What to do: Crumple up two fist-sized paper balls, one larger than the other. Cut a piece of string 2 feet 60 cm long.

Pull the string through a toilet paper tube, with equal lengths sticking out of both ends of the tube. Tape one of the paper balls to -one end of the string and the other paper ball to the other end. Hold the toilet paper tube upright, with the larger ball on the bottom and the smaller ball on the top.


The heavier and larger ball will drop, pulling the lighter and smaller ball up against the top of the tube.

Now twirl the tube around. The small ball jumps away from the top of the tube, in a circular path around the tube. As this happens, the large ball is pulled up against the bottom of the tube. The light small ball surprisingly pulls up the heavy large ball when the tube is moved in a circle. This is because centripetal force of the small ball is greater than the gravitational force difference between the large ball and the small ball.

The faster the ball and string are swinging around the toilet paper tube, the more quickly the large ball is pulled up. Change the size and weight of the balls. How light can the small ball be before it is no longer able to pull up the large ball?

Oatmeal carton including lid , ballpoint pen, large rubber band, heavy metal weight such as a bolt or nut, 2 nails or large paper clips What to do: Punch holes in the centers of both ends of an oatmeal carton with a ballpoint pen or nail. Hang a heavy metal weight such as a bolt or nut on the center of the rubber band, inside the carton.

Push an end of the rubber band through each end of the carton. Close the lid. Attach the ends of the rubber band to the outside ends of the carton by putting nails or paper clips through the rubber band loop and taping them in place. Roll the can along the floor. At the end of its roll away from you, it will roll back to you! As the can rolls forward, it stores energy in the rubber band, which twists. At the end of the forward roll, the wound- up rubber band transfers energy back to the can, causing the can to roll back to you.

Vary the weight of the object inside the can. Vary the size and length of the rubber band. Also try multiple rubber bands. Which returns to you more quickly: Paper notebook, construction, and other types What to do: Slowly crumple a piece of notebook paper. Note the sound that it makes. Now crumple another piece of notebook paper, this time more quickly.

The sound is louder than when it is crumpled slowly. Sound is created when paper fibers rub against each other. The more brittle the paper and the more quickly it is crumpled, the louder the sound. Crumple different types of paper. Which types make the most noise? Brown paper bags lunch size and large grocery size , masking or duct tape What to do: Stick your hand inside a small lunch size brown paper bag.

Shake the bag if needed to fully open it up. Tape the top shut. Lay the bag on the floor and quickly jump onto it.

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The bag will give a loud popping sound. When the bag is stepped on and ruptures, the loud sound you hear is caused by the sudden release of air. The quicker the release of air, the louder the sound.

Open up, tape, and pop a large brown paper grocery bag. Does the larger bag give a louder sound than the smaller lunch bag?

Small, 0. Close the top of an empty small orange juice or milk carton. Place the carton on a hard surface, such as a tile floor or a sidewalk. Quickly smash the carton with your foot.

The quicker the release and the greater the amount of air which is released, the louder the sound. Juice and milk cartons will normally produce a louder noise than paper bags. This is because the cardboard of juice and milk cartons is stiffer and less leaky than the paper in paper bags. Try larger, 1 quart or 0. When stomped upon, do these sizes make a louder noise than the smaller cartons? Hold two sheets of writing paper against each other.

Blow between them. You will hear a buzzing sound. The paper sheets are drawn together because moving air between them has a lower pressure than the air on the outside of the sheets. The papers pull together and push apart several times per second. This repeated contact makes a buzzing sound. Try different types, weights, stiffness, and sizes of paper sheets. Which give the loudest sound? Bend the paper strip in half widthwise, giving a 2 inch long 5 cm V-shaped piece.

Bend up the ends of the V by 0.


Cut a 0. Hold the ends of the paper strip to your lips and blow through the open V-shaped part of the paper strip. You will get a hideous screeching sound! The paper whistle vibrates as air passes between the sheets of paper and out through the sides of the paper strip and the slit at the middle of the strip. Because the pressure of moving air is lower than the pressure of static still air, the opposite sides of the paper strip and edges of the slit in the paper are drawn together.

The buzzing sound is caused by the repeated contact of the sides and edges of the paper and slits as they rapidly pull together and push apart. Experiment with different sizes and types of paper to see which give the best sounds. Oatmeal carton, plastic wrap, large rubber band or duct tape, pencil or pen What to do: Remove the lid from an oatmeal carton. Wrap the mouth of the carton with plastic wrap.

Tightly secure the wrap in place with a large rubber band or with duct tape. Tap gently on the wrap with a pen or pencil to make drum beats. When you tap on the plastic wrap, kinetic energy from the moving pen or pencil is converted into sound, another form of energy.

Try stretching plastic wrap over the mouths of other containers, such as drinking glasses or empty peanut butter jars. Do they sound different from the oatmeal carton? Which give the loudest sounds? Cardboard toilet paper tube, waxed paper, rubber band, scissors What to do: Cut a small hole near the end of a toilet paper tube.

Wrap waxed paper around the end of the tube. Fasten the paper in place with a rubber band. Blow into the other end of the tube. You will get a buzzing sound. By changing the pitch of your voice humming , you can make music with your kazoo! As air is blown into one end of the tube it escapes from the other waxed paper end.

The waxed paper vibrates against the toilet paper tube, producing sound. The sound hole helps to regulate the air flow. The larger the hole, the less air that passes between the waxed paper and the end of the toilet paper tube. Try other types of paper, such as tissue paper or newspaper. Which type makes the best and loudest sounds? Loop two rubber bands through a metal washer. Tape the free ends of the rubber bands to a 3 x 5 inch 7.

Flip the washer over and over many times, until the rubber bands are tight. Then slip the index card into an envelope. Hand the envelope to a friend. When a friend opens the envelope, your Flapping Washer Surprise will jump around and make lots of noise!

When the index card is pulled out of the envelope, the washer and rubber bands, no longer held flat inside the envelope, are free to unwind. The loud rattling noise which you hear is created by the washer as it flaps rapidly and repeatedly against the index card. Watch how excited the next person will be who finds it!

Duct-tape a button or coin to each of the ends of a piece of string which is 1 foot 30 cm long. Cut a hole that is slightly less than the diameter of the button or coin in a piece of paper.

Try to get one button through the hole. The button on one side of the hole can be pulled through the hole to meet the other button if you bend the paper in half while pulling on the string.

By bending the paper, the hole is made just large enough to accommodate the diameter of the button. Although the circle does not change in its overall circumference, by distorting the circle into an ellipse in which one axis longer than the other axis , you provide enough room for the button to be pulled through. The long axis of the ellipse is wider than the diameter of the button.

Since the button is thin relative to the shorter axis of the now elliptical hole, it can still squeeze through. How small can the hole be before the button or coin can no longer be pulled through it? Try to pull other small flat round objects, such as checkers, through the hole.

Dollar bill or other paper money or equally strong piece of paper, size about 3x6 inches 7. Fold a dollar bill in thirds along its length into an S shape. Fasten one of the paper clips over one. Looking down at die top edge of the folded dollar bill, you will see the S shape shown. Small arrows are positions of paper clips of the ends of the bill and the center fold see drawing. Fasten the other paper clip over the other end in the same way.

Each clip must pinch together two and not three thicknesses of the dollar bill. Grasp one end of the bill with one hand and the other end of the bill with your other hand. Pull quickly. The paper clips will pop off the bill, linked together! Without your touching the paper clips, they have magically linked themselves together with a simple flick of your wrists! By clipping the paper clips as described, when the dollar bill is pulled apart, one clip is forced to slide up into the loop of the other clip, linking it.

To see exactly how this happens, pull die bill apart very slowly. Try other types and sizes of paper and paper clips. Which ones work the best? Piece of notebook-sized or larger paper, scissors What to do: Fold a piece of notebook-sized paper in half along its long axis. Cut along the center of the fold, leaving 0. Now cut thin slits into the folded and non-folded edges of the paper, alternating from one edge to the other. Cut both thicknesses at the same time, being careful to avoid cutting into the last 0.

When you unfold the paper, you will find a loop that you plus even a friend or two can step into and pull up over your heads! The original paper perimeter distance around all four edges did not allow you to cut an ordinary hole that would be large enough for you to fit through. However, the length of the paper loop is not restricted to the length of the original perimeter. By cutting slits back and forth in the folded paper, a new and much longer perimeter is created.

The length of this perimeter is limited only to how narrow you can cut the slits. The narrower the slits, the longer the perimeter, and the larger the hole.

Although the paper loop can theoretically be made as large as you wish, its size is limited by the strength of the paper and the degree of precision with which you can cut. The thinner the cuts, the more likely the paper will tear.

How large can you make the loop without having it tear? Place four sheets of notebook paper end to end and tape them together. Twist one end of this long piece of paper and tape it to the other untwisted end connect A corners to B corners; see drawing. You now have a closed loop with a single twist This interesting loop is called a Mobius Strip.

With a marker, draw a line down the center of the loop until you come back to where you started. Since you have not lifted your marker from the paper, this proves this loop of paper has just one side! Now cut the loop down the center. How many loops did you get?

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How many were you expecting? Cut this longer loop down the center. How many loops did you get this time? Is there anything unusual about them? The topology surface geometry of an object such as a Mobius Strip is highly unusual.

The loop gives you three surprises: It has only one side, not two! When cut down the middle the first time, it does not give the expected two loops, but rather one longer loop! This longer loop, when cut down its center again, gives two interlocked loops! Cut each of the interlocked loops down the middle. Did you get the number of loops that you expected? Make another Mobius strip. Any surprises? You should get two interlocked loops, one of them twice as long as the other one!

Large index card, 5x8 inches 12 x 20 cm , water What to do: Fold an index card in half, then in half again at right angles to the first fold. Cut a quarter circle shape from the four stacked layers see diagram. Open the cup by pulling out one of the outside layers from the other three layers.

The bottom of the pocket the pocket formed when the outside layer is pulled away from the other layers is the center C of the index card before it was folded. Water remains in the cup pocket until it eventually soaks through the paper of the index card. Place waxed paper or aluminum foil on top of the index card before folding and cutting the card.

These cups, lined with water-resistant waxed paper or waterproof aluminum foil, will hold water much longer than a plain paper index card will.

Paper different types , water, and dishpan What to do: Place different kinds of paper in a dishpan of water. Which types fall apart most quickly?

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A good assortment of paper to try include: The more absorbent and thinner the paper, the more quickly it falls apart in water. Paper is made by grinding up wood pulp with water, adding a few other ingredients, and then removing excess water. Therefore, by adding water to paper, you are reversing the paper-making process.

Does paper fall apart faster in hot water than in room-temperature water? How quickly does it fall apart in ice-cold water? Paper towel, water What to do: Place a wet paper towel outdoors on a sunny day and also on a cloudy day. Does the towel dry fester than on the sunny day or on the cloudy day? Do the same experiment on breezy and calm days.

Does the towel dry faster on a breezy day or on a calm day? The paper towel dries out faster on a sunny day than on a cloudy day because radiant heat from the sun encourages the moisture in the paper towel to evaporate. Warm water has a higher vapor pressure than cold water, so warm water evaporates faster than cold water.

The paper towel dries out fester on a breezy day than on a calm day because moving air carries off water faster than calm air. The air over a moist paper towel becomes saturated with water vapor on a calm day, but not on a breezy day.

Try this same experiment on a cold wintry day, when ice and snow are on the ground. Do ice and snow disappear faster on sunny and breezy days than on cloudy and calm days? Paper towel, string, waterproof tape such as duct tape, water What to do: Tape a piece of string to a paper towel with a waterproof tape such as duct tape. Twirl the towel over your head, holding onto the string.

Did the towel cool off? It will not unless it is wet. Now wet the paper towel and twirl it again. It will get cold. Air passing across the surface of the moist paper towel evaporates the water absorbed in the towel.

In order for water to evaporate, it must absorb heat from something. As the water vapor gains heat in order to evaporate, the towel loses heat. A towel that loses heat becomes a cold towel. Does the towel cool off faster or become colder if it is twirled faster? Does it cool off faster on a hot day or on a cold day? Does it cool off fester after a rainstorm or just before a rainstorm? Paper towels, school glue, cornstarch, water, toothpicks, plastic bowl What to do: Mix together cornstarch 4 tablespoons and school glue 2 tablespoons in a plastic bowl.

Add just enough water about 4 tablespoons to make a thick paste. Tear a paper towel into 4 equal-sized pieces. Mix one of the pieces with the paste. Shape the paste into a small mountain. Stick toothpicks into the mountain; these toothpicks are the trees growing on your-mountain. To speed drying, place the mountain and plastic bowl in a microwave oven and cook it for no more than 30 seconds at a time.

Take the bowl out after each second interval to see if the mountain has dried enough for the toothpicks to become glued to the mountain.

Glue and cornstarch bind paper fibers together. When the shapes dry, they hold together very well, much better than shapes made from wet paper alone. Try different combinations of paper, glue, cornstarch, and water in a dishpan to see which gives the best most easily shaped paper structures. Which types of paper and glue work the best?

Paper drinking cup, paper towel, toothpick, wide-mouth jar or glass, orange juice or other mixture What to do: Place a paper drinking cup over the mouth of a wide-mouth jar. Punch a hole in the bottom of the cup with a toothpick. Fold a paper towel the same way that the paper drinking cup was folded. Place the folded paper towel into the cup. You have made a filter funnel. The paper towel is the filter, and the paper drinking cup is the funnel. Pour a mixture such as orange juice into the filter funnel.

The liquid will pass through the filter, and the solids will stay behind on the surface of the paper towel. The fibers of the paper towel separate larger particles such as bits of orange from liquid. Particles smaller than the distance between the fibers of the towel will pass through; particles that are larger will not More science fun: Try other liquids that have particles in them, such as soups, juices, and hot chocolate with marsh-mallows.

Waxed paper, paper towel, scissors, duct tape or other waterproof tape, dishwashing liquid, water, jar What to do: Duct-tape a small piece of paper towel to the center of a sheet of waxed paper.

Cut a hole in the center of both. Dip this hole into a bubble solution 1 part dishwashing liquid, 10 parts water. Lots of bubbles will come out of the hole!

Dishwashing liquid, when mixed with the correct ratio of water, forms nice bubbles. The absorbent edges of the paper towel soak up lots of bubble solution. As bubbles form, bubble solution is drawn to the edges of the hole, giving even more bubbles. Try different ratios of dishwashing liquid to water.

Is 1 to 10 the best ratio? Try different brands of dishwashing liquid. Does the brand of dishwashing liquid change what the best ratio is? Paper waxed and other types , water, toothpick, dishwashing liquid What to do: Place three different kinds of paper next to each another: Drop one or two drops of water on each one.

Which type of paper has drops that are the roundest? What happens to the drop when you touch it with a toothpick moistened with dishwashing liquid? Nonabsorbent paper, such as waxed paper, gives drops that are roundest This is because water is repelled by is pushed away by wax.

Semi-absorbent paper such as notebook paper is partially wetted. Since water is somewhat attracted to this type of paper, the drops are less rounded and spread out more. A split second after dropping onto the paper towel, the water drop completely disappears into the fibers of the towel. Dishwashing liquid, or any soap, lowers the surface tension of water. When soap touches water drops sitting on waxed paper, they become much less rounded, and they quickly spread out over the waxy surface of the paper.

Which brands of dishwashing liquid cause water drops to spread out the fastest? Paper towel, toilet paper, water, 2 dinner plates, ruler What to do: Dip a paper towel and a strip of toilet paper into two dinner plates containing water that is 0. Watch the water climb up the papers. Which of these two types of absorbent paper gives the fastest rate of water climb? The finer and more extensive the fibers within the paper towel or toilet paper, the more effective the capillary action and the more quickly water will be drawn up into it.

Try different brands of paper towels and toilet paper. Which brand gives the fastest rate of water climb? Which gives the slowest? The towel or toilet paper that gives the fastest water rise is the one which will probably soak up water the fastest.

This is also a good test to measure the quality of brands of paper towels or toilet paper. Paper fibers act like little tubes and pull the water into the paper. Take the three connected uncut paper towels. Wrap them into a roll along their long side. Moisten the entire towel by dipping the towels into a tray of water. Stick one end of the towel roll into a tall glass that has been filled with water. Stick the other end into an empty short glass.

Make sure that the end going into the short glass is lower than the end that is in the tall glass. In just a few moments, water will begin dripping into the short glass. This will continue as long as the water level in the tall glass is higher than that in the short glass, as long as the end of the towel stuck into the tall glass is still immersed in water.

Siphoning water running up, then down, to an point lower than where it started from takes place because of the capillary action of the towel, where water flows through tiny channels in the paper fibers, seeking to reach as low a level as possible.

Do an experiment to find out what gives better faster siphoning: As another experiment, siphon water containing one food color into a glass containing a different food color. Do you get a surprising new color? White paper towel, dinner plate, water, food coloring, ruler What to do: Sprinkle a few drops of blue food coloring into a dinner plate containing 0.

Draw a line with yellow food coloring across a paper towel halfway up. Dip an edge of this paper towel that is parallel to the yellow band into the water colored with blue food coloring. Hold up the towel as the blue food coloring rises up into the towel by capillary action. When the blue food coloring reaches the yellow band, the band will turn green! Green color results when blue and yellow colors mix. Blue and yellow are two of the three primary colors the other is red which when mixed produce other colors.

Try other types of color combinations: What happens when you reverse the order of the colors in this experiment? For example, does yellow food coloring in the dish and a blue band across the paper towel give a green color that is more intense than in the original experiment? Newspaper, water, dinner plate or bowl What to do: Cut up some 0.

Bend them into zigzag shapes. Place them in a dinner plate or bowl of water. In just a few seconds, the shapes will straighten out! As water is drawn into the strips of newspaper by capillary action, the paper fibers swell.

The swelling of the fibers causes the paper to straighten. Try other types of paper. Which type swells up the best? Is the performance of the paper related to its absorbency?

Coffee filter, water-based markers or highlighters, dinner plate, water What to do: Draw a series of different colored lines with water-based markers about 0.

Turn the filter upside-down and place it on a plate. Add a small amount of water to the plate, enough to touch all parts of the edge of the filter, but not touching the marker marks. As the water rises in the filter, the colored marks will move. And not only that, some of the colors will separate into several colors themselves! Water rises up into the filter by capillary action. As it does so, it dissolves the water-based marker inks. Any inks which are composed of more than one color can be separated on the filter.

Those colors that are hydrophilic attracted to water will move with the water front Those colors that are less hydrophilic will move more slowly. Try different patterns and thicknesses of marks. Place some ice cubes around the base of the coffee filter just after the colors have begun to rise.

Do the colors climb more slowly? Notebook paper, water, bowl, scissors What to do: Cut a flower shape out of a piece of semi-absorbent paper such as notebook paper. Close the flower into a flower bud by bending the petals straight up and in towards the center of the flower. Float the flower on the surface of water in a bowl. As water is drawn up into the petals, the flower will open up. When water flows by capillary action into the paper in the flower, the paper fibers swell.

Is the speed with which the petals open related to the absorbency of the paper? Paper towel, water, seeds, and jar with lid What to do: Wrap some seeds in a paper towel. After a few days to a couple of weeks, the seeds will sprout. Seeds require a constant and favorable moisture and temperature condition to sprout.

By keeping the seeds wrapped in a moist paper towel and in a covered jar, you provide both of these conditions. Some seeds such as radish sprout very quickly; others such as carrot less quickly. Some such as lettuce require cool temperatures, and may need to be sprouted in your refrigerator. Others such as melons like warm temperatures and need a nice warm environment to sprout. Do some experiments to see which seeds sprout the fastest; which require the most or least water; and which sprout well in warm or cool temperatures.

Newspaper What to do: Tear a piece of newspaper slowly from top to bottom. Then tear it the other way side to side.

You will get a reasonably smooth and straight tear in one direction and a jagged, irregular tear in the other direction. Try tearing other types of paper. Which types tear differently in different directions? A firm, sharp-edged piece of paper, such as high- quality printing paper or an index card; grape, peeled banana, or equally soft fruit or vegetable What to do: With the edge of a sharp-edged piece of printer paper or index card, cut a grape, a peeled banana, or an equally soft fruit or vegetable.

Experiment to see how many times or how deeply or you can cut it How it works: The edge of a good piece of printer paper is firm and does not absorb water as easily as cheaper paper does.

Try other types of paper and other fruits and vegetables. Which work and which do not? Do cooked vegetables cut more easily than uncooked ones?

Do canned fruits cut more easily than fresh fruits? Paper, sand, salt, sugar, or rice or other very small grainy material , strong tape such as duct tape What to do: Form a piece of paper into a funnel; see instructions for making a paper drinking cup and making a filter paper funnel. Keep the funnel from unbending by fastening it with a strong tape such as duct tape.

Punch a hole in the bottom of the funnel with a pencil. Pour sand or similar grainy material such as salt, sugar, or rice through it. Gravity pulls the sand down into the funnel. The friction of the grains of sand against each other and the larger grains of sand slow down or even stop the flow. A number of factors enter into how fast the flow occurs.

The steeper and smoother the sides of the funnel and the bigger the hole at the bottom, the more quickly small grainy material can flow through it. The wetter the material, the slower it flows. For example, moist salt or sugar will eventually cake up, causing big sticky lumps to form which flow very slowly, or not at all. Make funnels that have differing side angles and hole sizes.

Make funnels of different materials waxed paper, notebook paper, paper towels. Which ones work the best for sand? For salt? For sugar? For rice? Flag for inappropriate content. Related titles. Jump to Page. Search inside document. Moje Amaze your eyes From paper bags to cardboard boxes, from crinkly crepe to thin tissue—pick any kind of paper and write your ticket to science fun! Arsalan Ahmed Usmani. Miguel Angel Vega. Tess Delac. Danaila Mihaela.