Science Activities II

SCI210   Spring 2004

Instructor: Dr. Barbara Hoeling



Fun With Static Electricity


Erin Anderson


SCI 210


May 18, 2004



Grade Level: Second to Third


Time: About thirty to forty-five minutes




          -String or yarn

          -Scotch tape



1.     Have each child blow up a balloon and tie a piece of yarn to it

2.     Each child should rub their balloon in their hair to create a charge

3.     Two students will hold their balloons by the strings and try to get them to touch. Since they both have the same charge, they will repel each other

4.     Have the students see what happens when one of them puts their hand in between the two balloons

5.     Give each student two pieces of scotch tape and have them stick them to their desks or another hard surface

6.     They will quickly pull up the two pieces of tape and try to get them to touch. Since they both have the same charge, they will repel.

7.     Have the students rub one piece of their tape to change the charge and then see how the pieces will come together.



          -Let the students talk about what causes static electricity.

-Ask if they have seen examples of static electricity in their everyday   life.



Fun with Static Electricity






What happens when you and your partner try to bring the balloons together after they have been rubbed in your hair?






If you put your hands in between the balloons, does something different happen?





What did the tape do after you pulled it off the table and tried to touch the two pieces together?







When you changed the charge of one of the pieces of tape, what was the result?





Water Pressure

By Ryan Apolinario


Materials Needed:

A cup (Styrofoam is fine, or anything else that you can poke a hole through)

A pencil or anything that you can use to poke a hole in the cup.

A sink.

A Pitcher full of water.


Step 1.  In order to show the effects of water pressure, we will take a cup and poke three holes in it.  One just above the bottom of it, and two more spaced out by 3 or 4 cm directly above the first hole.



Step 2.  Now you can place the cup on the edge of the sink so that the holes are pointing towards the sink.



Step 3.  Take the pitcher of water and try to fill up the cup with water.  Water will begin to leak out of the holes.  As the water level drops, continue to pour more water into the cup so that the water level stays near the top.  Observe.





Questions:  What observations can you make about the water that was coming out of the three holes?


Why do you think that the bottom hole shot the water out the furthest and the top hole shot out the water the least distance?




Explanation:  Water pressure increases the lower you go.  Since the water at the bottom of the cup has more pressure than the water at the top or the middle of the cup, then the water will shoot out of the bottom hole stronger than the other two.  We often feel this effect when we are swimming near the bottom of a swimming pool or when we go deeper into the ocean.  Our ears build up pressure and it can be very uncomfortable for the swimmer. 





Angelica Arellano

It’s the Law


Grade Level: Fifth

Subject: Motion

Time: 20-30 min

Grouping: pairs



          Implement simple experimental investigations.



¨ 5m of string                           ¨ rubber balloon

          ¨ drinking straw                       ¨ tape



Activity Procedure


1.Have children thread the string through the straw.  Then tell them to hold the ends of the string or tie them to stationary objects.


2.Blow up the balloon and pinch the end.


3.Tell children that while one holds the balloon, to have a partner tape the balloon to the straw.


4.When balloon is taped to the straw, release the balloon.  Observe the balloon.


Draw Conclusions


Name:  ______________________               Date:__________






It’s the Law


What is the third law of motion?






What is the action force in your balloon rocket?






What is the reaction force?






Do you think the action force and the reaction force are equal?






In what direction did the air push out?






How could you make a more powerful balloon rocket?



SCI 210     Spring 04

Dr. Hoeling


Name: Dany Boroudian     

Subject: Physics

Grade: 3-4



          This lab is intended to teach students about surface tension.  It will allow students to visibly see how surface tension works with various objects.



·        8 oz clear plastic cup

·        Cinnamon

·        Liquid dish detergent

·        White typing paper

·        Paper clip

·        Paper towel



          1.  Place materials on table

2.     Allow a member or two from each table to come up and collect the supplies.

3.     Demonstrate to students the first activity and then work with them on the second activity.

4.     (ACTIVITY #1) Fill the cup as full as possible without letting the water overflow.

5.     Sprinkle a thin layer of cinnamon on the surface of the water.

6.     Place a drop of dish detergent on the cinnamon.

7.     Watch the pattern that forms when the detergent “breaks” the water’s surface tension.

8.     Next, place the piece of paper carefully flat on the water’s surface and pick up the design made of cinnamon.

9.     Lay the paper flat with the cinnamon side up and allow your cinnamon design to dry. 

10.  Wash out the cup and go on to ACTIVITY #2.

11.   (ACTIVITY #2) Fill the cup as full as possible without letting the water overflow.

12.  Place a paper towel across the top of the cup.

13.  Place a paper clip on top of the paper towel.

14.  Next, slowly slip off the paper carefully so as not to disturb the paper clip.

15.  The surface tension, if not broken, will allow the paper clip to float on top of the water.



          The surface tension of water deals with the layer of water molecules on the water’s surface, which acts as a strong and yet flexible “film-like” substance.  Molecules on the surface of the water form a tight arrangement because the water molecules are being pulled down and not pulled up because there are less water molecules in the air.  Furthermore, adding detergent breaks the surface tension thereby interfering with the tight arrangement causing the object to either sink or disperse.



Dany Boroudian

SCI 210 Spring 04




  1. What are the materials needed for this experiment?








  1. Draw a picture of how your cinnamon picture looks after you added the detergent and allowed it to dry.







  1. Why does the cinnamon disperse after you add the detergent?






  1. Why does the paper clip float on top of the water?



Erica Bravo


SCI 210

Dr. Hoeling


                                    Solving Dissolving and Surface Tension with Water


            This activity will help students learn some of the special qualities that water possesses.  They will understand why water forms a thin layer on its surface that allows many insects to glide and stride along its surface.  They will understand that hot water differs from cold water in more than one way.


Materials:      Sugar cubes, sugar, measuring spoons, water (cold and hot), plastic spoons, clear water cups, pennies


Time Duration:           15-25 minutes


Objective:       Students will understand that a very important quality of water is its ability to dissolve many substances.  They will understand that different things affect how well water will dissolve a certain amount of a substance, like the temperature of water, the amount of water used, and the amount of a substance, and how fast water the water is moving.  This activity will enable students to observe these aspects of dissolving.



-Start by giving brief lecture on water and its many qualities.

-Pass out materials to each group

-Have students place a ¼ cup of cold water and ¼ cup of hot water into two separate cups

-Students will place a sugar cube in center of each cup

-Students will observe the cubes very closely

-Which cube dissolved the fastest? Why?

-Rinse out both cups of water and place ¼ cup of hot water into three different cups

-Place 1 teaspoon of sugar into each cup

-Knowing that stirring water helps make a substance dissolve faster, have partner stir one cup slowly, while you stir the other cup faster

-Which cup dissolved the fastest?  Why did this happen?

-Which would be faster to stir, one teaspoon of sugar in water or three teaspoons of sugar in warm water?

-After seeing water and its ability to dissolve substances, we will know see how water also has surface tension

-Students will get a penny and using a straw as a dropper, they will see how many drops of water they can place on penny before its surface tension breaks

-As a class, we will see how many was the most drops placed on the penny

-End of Activity.




                             SOLVING DISSOLVING ACTIVITY


1.                  Which cube dissolved the fastest?  Why do you think this happened?






2.                Which sugar dissolved the fastest, the one being stirred fastest, slowest, or not stirred at all?  Why do you think this happened?






3.                Predict which will dissolve faster:  3 teaspoons of sugar, or 1 teaspoon of sugar.




4.                Should the water in question 3 be warmer or colder to dissolve faster?  Should you stir slowly or quickly?




5.                Make a race with your partner to see which one dissolves faster.





Mark Brockett

SCI 210L



Grade Level: 3

Purpose: To be made aware of the principles of buoyancy and how we see or experience it in our every day lives.

Supplies: Medium plastic containers or plastic cups, golf balls, empty Easter egg shells, clay, and skittles.

Conclusion: Students have had interactive activities that help them gain a better understanding of what buoyancy is.  Also Archimedes Principle can be mentioned and be introduced due to “displacement of water vs. an objects buoyant force”.  Students learned that weight and mass affect an objects ability to sink or float by creating a clay boat.


1) Students will fill their plastic cups about 2/3 full of water.

2) Students will take a golf ball and decide if the golf ball will sink or float in the water.

3) Students will carefully drop the golf ball into the water.  What happened?

4) Students will now take an empty Easter egg shell and decide if it will sink or float.

5) What happened when it was put into the water?

6) Next students will start to fill the Easter egg one by one with skittles.  How many skittles will it take to sink the Easter egg?

7) Students will then take some clay and shape it into a golf ball and place in into the water.  What will happen to the clay?

8) Students will then take some more clay and make in into a boat shape this time.  What will happen to the clay this time when put into the water?

Why was the clay able to float this time in the water?

Bonus Activity) for fun students can try and sink the clay boat by repeating the same thing they did with the plastic Easter egg shell.



Name: __________________

Date: ___________________



What you need:

            1) Medium plastic containers or plastic cups

            2) Golf balls

            3) Empty plastic Easter egg shells

            4) Clay

            5) Skittles or some type of small hard candy


            1) Fill the plastic container or plastic cup 2/3 full of water

            2) Then take the three objects (golf ball, egg shell, and clay) and decide what will happen when they place the object in the water.

Question 1: What objects do you think will float and what objects do you think will sink?




            3) Now first drop the golf ball into the water and view what happens.

            4) Next take the Easter egg shell and place it into the water.

            5) What should happen is the Easter egg shell floats, therefore next take the skittle candies and begin one by one to fill the egg shell with them.

Question 2: How many skittles will it take to sink the Easter egg shell?



            6) Next take the clay and roll it into a golf ball shape and place it into the water.

            7) Next try making the clay into a boat shape and drop it into the water.

Question 3: Why did the clay float in the water when you changed the shape of it?





This lesson is aimed at the intermediate grade levels (4-6).  The students will be able to write and verbally explain why a particular object/item will sink or float.  They will also be able to illustrate and/or demonstrate this process. This assignment will either introduce graphing or enhance a student’s graphing skills, as well as their critical thinking skills. 
Materials Needed:
1 Large Clear Container - filled with water
2 Balloons of the same color (one filled with water and one filled with      air but close to the same size)
1 Regular Coke
1 Diet Coke
2 Empty 16oz clear water bottles.(one filled with a much heavier substance than the other.  Ex: Flour and Salt; air and water; Salt and sugar)
Fruit:  two of each of the following: pear, apple, orange, nectarine, banana,lime, potato, plum, tomato, lemon, etc.
Enough copies of a graphing chart of which fruit will float and which will sink
1 Roll of aluminum foil
100 pennies
1 empty but clear dish washing detergent bottle with cap
2 glass droplets
I have a container of water and two balloons of the same color.  (One is filled with water and the other with air.  DO NOT INFORM THE STUDENTS OF THE BALLOONS CONTENT).  At this time, I will show the students the two balloons and ask them as I place each one in the water what do they think will happen?  (Placing the two balloons in the container, I now wait and listen to the student’s observation).  POSSIBLE ANSWERS:  One sunk because of its weight, one balloon 
was bigger than the other, one is filled with water and one with air.
Then, I will continue with the two pop cans.  I will show the class, two 12oz pops, one being diet and the other regular.  I will ask them, what do they think will happen as I place both cans into the container of water?  (At this time I'm listening to the student’s responses.)  Then I place the two cans of pop into the container of water, and one floats and the other doesn't.  I ask why?  (Listen to their responses.)  Then, explain why what happened, happened.  Diet coke contains nutra-sweet and regular coke contains corn syrup.  Corn syrup is more dense than the nutra-sweet that is in the diet coke; therefore, the diet coke 
was able to float more than the regular coke.  Cheap pop may float, not enough corn syrup. 
Next, I will hold up two 16oz clear water bottles filled with a white content (one with baking soda and the other salt.)  Once again, I will ask the students what they think will happen when I place them in the container of water?  
POSSIBLE ANSWERS: one will sink, the other will float.  They both will sink or float.  Well, after placing both bottles in the water, the students received a surprise.  They both sunk!  Why?  I listen to the observations and let them discuss what they think happened.  (That is why under the materials I listed several contents.  Water and air would have been a good example because one would have floated and the other would not have.  However, I wanted the kids to see something different.)
Moving right a long, I introduce the class to the different kinds of fruit I have available.  I ask that they all come up with their chart and pencil to make a prediction on what fruit will sink and what fruit will float.  Then, have them try each fruit in the water and see what happens.  This way the children will have a visual graph of what floats and what sinks.  (The teacher must do the experiment himself/herself to find out these results.  Smile!  Have fun.)  Afterwards, the students are free to enjoy a piece of fruit.  Now, the floor is open for discussion as to what floated and what didn't and why. 
All the students will come back up and make a boat or a floating object, one out of foil and one out of Play-Doh.  Then, they will place their floating device in the container of water to make sure it floats.  If it floats, they will see how many pennies it can hold before sinking.  They will write down their results and sit down and as a group they can talk about their finding.
Finally, I will demonstrate buoyancy using the clear dish detergent bottle and the two glass droplets.  Filling the bottle with water and filling one droplet with water and the other half filled with water.  Then dropping both droplets in the bottle, closing it tight.  One droplet will sink to the bottom, while the other will float to the top.  Place your hands just below the neck and squeeze with you thumb and observe what happens.  Then repeat the process using your three fingers. 
Performance Assessment:
I would expect each student to participate in all exercises.  They should all have an idea about why something happened.  I would expect that all the students should have a clear understanding of buoyancy, considering the various experiences.  Assessing the students should not be stressful.  They should be able to identify this concept when they come across it again.













1)      What floats?




2)      What sinks?




3)      What is buoyancy?




4)      What causes an object to be buoyant?




5)  Would an object have the same buoyancy in water as it would in a more dense liquid like oil?



Lorena Cervantes


SCI 210

Lab Experiment #2



An Uplifting Experience


Pressure Experiment:

To demonstrate the force of a partial vacuum.



Small latex balloon

Drinking glass




  1. Fill the glass halfway with water.
  2. Place the balloon in the glass and blow it up.
  3. Lift the glass by the neck of the expanded balloon.



            The friction of the balloon against the glass is sufficient to prevent the balloon from easily pulling out.  When this friction is great enough, the balloon will not pull out easily because air cannot get into the bottom of the glass.  As you pull on the balloon, the air pressure in the glass is lowered, allowing you to lift the glass with the balloon still attached.  The balloon sealed off the glass so air could not get in.  In order to remove the balloon, the space it occupies must be replaced by air, but since air cannot get in, the balloon cannot get out.



Lorena Cervantes

SCI 210

Lab Experiment


An Uplifting Experience Worksheet


1. What do you think will happen when you blow up the balloon inside the cup?

Write your predictions?









2.  Will the balloon come out of the cup when you lift up the cup by pulling on the          

      balloon?  Why or why not?









3. What is acting on the balloon that will not allow it to come out of the cup?










4. What do you need to do to get the balloon out of the cup?










Lorena Cervantes

SCI 210

Experiment 2



Get a grip on it


Pressure Experiment:

            Demonstrate vacuum formation.



Clear, plastic, drinking glass

Plastic sandwich bag

Several rubber bands



  1. Place your hand inside the bag.
  2. Push the bag down into the glass, leaving the top to fold over the rim of the glass.
  3. Use the rubber bands to very tightly secure the bag top around the rim.
  4. Reach into the glass and pull the bottom of the bag out the glass.




            The bag is difficult to pull up because a partial vacuum was formed underneath it.  When you sealed the bag to the jar, you trapped a certain volume of air inside the jar.  In order to remove the bag, the space it occupies must be replaced by air, but since air cannot get in, the vacuum prevents the bag from getting out.






Cindy Cho

Sci 210 L


Take A Whirl With A Wonderwhirler!!!





1.  What is the difference seen when the paper clip is     added to the bottom of the Wonderwhirler?






2.  Does the Wonderwhirler always spin in the same       direction?






3.  How can you make the Wonderwhirler spin in the       opposite direction?






4.  Why does the Wonderwhirler spin the way it does?








5.  How can you make the Wonderwhirler spin faster?  Once you find a way, why does it spin faster?










            This experiment will help students understand the concepts of aerodynamics.  The science project relates to the effect that air has on any moving object.  I believe that this type of experiment can be age appropriate for those in 3rd grade and up.  This experiment helps students to understand and grasp the fact of how different positions of an object can determine with direction it will move.  It also helps them realize that there are many modifications which can be made in order to improve the object.

            The materials needed for this experiment are scissors, paper clips, and a copy of the wonderwhirler on the above page.  Students are to be directed to cut out the rectangle and then cut along the dotted lines.  Then, they fold the two wings in opposite direction of each other and put the paper clip on the bottom of the wonderwhirler.  The paper clip will make the contraption whirl faster.  In order for the Wonderwhirler to spin in a different direction, students will have to figure out that the wings need to be folded in the opposite direction than from what they started with.  One way to make the wonderwhirler spin faster is to cut the wings shorter. 



Julie Corral

SCI 210L

Experiment #2


Straw Flute



            To determine if the length of a flute affects the pitch of a sound that it produces



            Drinking straw



            Marking pen



1.      Make a ½ in. cut on each side of the straw’s end, forming the reed of the flute.  (should look like a triangle)

2.      Place the reed in your mouth

3.      Push on the reed with your lips and blow.  If no sound produces, change the pressure of your lips.

4.      cut the end of the straw off  by ½ in and observe the change in pitch



            The pitch of the straw gets higher as the straw gets shorter



The sound produced is because of the vibration in the straw and the air inside of it.  The longer the straw, the lower the sound.


Julie Corral

May 17, 2004

Sci 210L


Straw Flute




1.  List the materials needed








2.  What type of sound comes out?








3. What do you notice when you shorten the length of the straw?







4.  What can you conclude about this experiment?  What happens to the noise as you    shorten the straw?



                                                                                                Jennifer Farrell


Air Brakes


Purpose: To investigate friction when an object moves through the gases in air.


Materials:      2 pieces of paper

                        3 balloons




1.      With one piece of paper make a simple paper airplane

2.      Hold the other piece of paper level, as high as you can. Have your partner hold the paper airplane by the tail so its nose is at the same height as the sheet of paper

3.      Now drop the airplane and the sheet of paper at the same time. What happens? Repeat it to make sure.

4.      Now put aside the paper and pick up the balloons. Blow one up all the way. Blow up another so its diameter is about half the diameter of the first. Use a ruler to check on the diameters. Do not blow up the third balloon.

5.      Hold the uninflated and small balloon at the same height. Before dropping the balloons, predict which one will land first. Drop them at the same time. Record, which one lands first in the chart.

6.      Now hold the uninflated and large balloon at the same height. Before dropping the balloons, predict which one will land first. Now drop them and record which one lands first. Repeat using the large and small balloons.


Questions to think about:

1.      Do your results make sense?

2.      Can you explain your results based on the friction between the balloons and the air?

3.      Streamlined is the word that describes the smooth shape of airplanes, fish and cars. Tell why you think it’s important to choose a streamlined shape to reduce friction.



            Folding the paper to make the airplane has several effects. First, it reduces the amount of surface of paper that moves through the air. Second, and more important, the shape of the paper airplane keeps it pointed straight as it falls, so it cuts through the air cleanly. The motion of the unfolded sheet is complex, a series of dips, lifts, and curls. When the paper falls in a relatively horizontal position, it must push air out of the way. Blowing up the balloons in the second activity has the opposite effect of folding the paper into an airplane. First, the blown-up balloon has far more surface area than the uninflated one. And second, in order to fall, the inflated balloon must push a very large volume of air out of the way.


Air Brakes




  1. What happens when you drop the airplane and the sheet of paper at the same time? Write a sentence or two to describe what you observed.








  1. in what way do the different speeds have anything to do with friction?





  1. “streamlined” is the word that describes the smooth shape of airplanes, fish, and cars. Tell why you think it’s important to choose a streamlined shape to reduce friction.






  1. before dropping the uninflated and small balloons, predict which one you think will land first.




  1. predict which will land first: the uninflated or large balloon.



6. predict which will land first: the large or small balloon.



7. Do your results make sense? Can you explain your results based on the friction between the balloons and the air?


Jennifer Fraijo

18 May 2004

SCI 210L

Experiment #2


Soap Power


What you’ll need:

~ 1 index card

~ scissors

~ a baking dish (or sink full of water)

~ liquid dish detergent


What to do


1.     From an index card, cut out a boat that looks like a triangle with a notch at the end.  Make the boat about 2 ½ inches long and 1 ½ inches wide

2.    Place the boat gently on the water in the dish

3.     Pour a little detergent into the notch in the end of the boat.

What happens?

If you repeat the experiment, wash out the baking dish carefully each time you use detergent, or your boat won’t go.


Your boat should zip across the water.  Water molecules are strongly attracted to each other and stick close together, especially on the surface.  This creates a strong, flexible “skin” on the water’s surface that we call surface tension.  Adding soap disrupts the arrangement of the water, molecules and breaks the skin, making the boat go forward.


Jennifer Fraijo

18 May 2004

SCI 210L

Experiment #2


Soap Power


  1. What is surface tension and what causes it?







2.What do you think will happen when you place the soap in the notch?







  1. What did happen?







4. Why does the boat go forward?





Julia Han

Project #2


Purpose – Students will learn that lemons sink without their skin, and water molecules are very cohesive.



Materials:  Lemon, Bowl, Water, Penny, Eyedropper, Soap





There are two parts to the experiment.  For the first experiment, add water to the bowl or cup.  Observe what happens.  Now, peel the skin off, add the lemon again in the water.  Observe.   The lemon should sink without the skin, because the skin is very spongy and filled with air bubbles, which helps the lemon float.  Without the skin, the lemon sinks to the bottom. 



The Lemon Secret


When you put the lemon in water, what do you think will happen?




What happened when you took off the lemon skin?





The second part, you will need a penny, eyedropper and Soap.  Try to add water to the penny.  The water does not breach, because water tries to hold onto itself, thus making a dome.  Now add soap.  Now the water dome should break immediately.  Soap tries to break off molecules. 


The Water Secret


What do you think will happen when you add too much water to the penny?



What happened when you added too much water to the penny?



Breathless Blown Balloon

By Blanca Hernandez

SCI 210L



1 plastic bottle

1   4x4in tissue paper

½ cup of vinegar

1 tbsp of baking soda

2 different colored balloons




  1. Each group should have all supplies in front of them and ready to use.
  2. Place a tablespoon of baking soda onto the tissue paper.
  3. Roll the tissue into a tube-like shape enclosing the baking soda.
  4. Twist closed both ends like a tootsie Roll. Try not to let any baking soda out.
  5. Pour the vinegar into the bottle.
  6. Drop the Tootsie Roll-shaped tube into the bottle.
  7. Moving very quickly, slip the neck of the balloon over the opening of the bottle and hold it tight in place.




What happens to the balloon?

What do you think is inflating the balloon?


Taking it Further:

  1. Ask the students to inflate the other balloon using their mouth.
  2. Inflate the second balloon so that the diameter matches the first balloon. (Remember to distinguish which one is which.)
  3. Set them both at the same altitude and let them go at the same time.
  4. Observe which touches the ground faster.

Which one fell faster to the floor first?

What caused that one to fall first?

Breathless Blown Balloon

Name: __________________________


1 plastic bottle

1   4x4in tissue paper

½ cup of vinegar

1 tbsp of baking soda

2 different colored balloons



What do you predict will happen when we mix vinegar and baking soda?




8.      Each group should have all supplies in front of them and ready to use.

9.      Place a tablespoon of baking soda onto the tissue paper.

10. Roll the tissue into a tube-like shape enclosing the baking soda.

11. Twist both ends like a tootsie Roll. Try not to let any baking soda out.

12. Pour the vinegar into the bottle.

13. Drop the Tootsie Roll-shaped tube into the bottle.

14. Moving very quickly, slip the neck of the balloon over the opening of the bottle and hold it tight in place.



What happens to the balloon? __________________________________________




What do you think is inflating the balloon? _______________________________



After the race, which balloon touches the ground first, the first one or the one you inflated?



Alka Seltzer Lesson Plan:




The rate of a chemical reaction is affected by the physical size of the reactants. Decreasing the size of the particles, which make up a given weight will increase the number of particles represented by the same weight. Smaller particle size results in an increase in the rate of reaction because the surface area of the reactant has been increased.



a. Students know that during chemical reactions the atoms in the reactants rearrange to form products with different properties.

b. Students know all matter is made of atoms, which may combine to form molecules.

f. Students know differences in chemical and physical properties of substances are used to separate mixtures and identify compounds.





A. Whole Tablet
1. Fill a clear glass with exactly 8 oz. of room temperature or lukewarm water.

2. Drop 1 whole Alka-Seltzer tablet into the water. Measure and record the time to dissolve.

B. Tablet Broken into ~8 Pieces

1. Fill a clear glass with exactly 8 oz. of room temperature or lukewarm water.


2. Drop 8 pieces of Alka-Seltzer tablet into the water. Measure and record the time to dissolve.


C. Tablet in Powder form


1. Fill a clear glass with exactly 8 oz. of room temperature or lukewarm water.


2. Drop 8 pieces of Alka-Seltzer tablet into the water. Measure and record the time to dissolve.


* Use the hand out provided

* You can also do a rocket experiment using alka seltzer (a more in depth experiment)



Alka Seltzer Experiment




The rate of a chemical reaction is affected by the physical size of the reactants. Decreasing the size of the particles which make up a given weight will increase the number of particles represented by the same weight. Smaller particle size results in an increase in the rate of reaction because the surface area of the reactant has been increased.




The powder will react _______ times faster than the whole tablet.


The pieces will react _______times faster than the whole tablet


What did you Observe?


Particle Size Time for Reaction to be Completed:

Whole Tablet _________ Seconds

 Pieces _________Seconds

Powder _________Seconds


  1. As particle size decreases, the total surface area of a reactant ________________. As a


result, the probability of interactions between atoms/ions ________________, and the rate of


reaction ___________________.

2.      Particle size appears to have _______________ (less or more) of an effect on the rate of reaction than temperature.



 Plastic Cup





Refraction is the bending of light as it passes between materials of different density.



 Experiment #1:




Experiment # 2:



Observe that the stick appears bent at the point in enters the water

Explanation: As light passes from one transparent medium to another it changes speeds and bends.





Refraction is the bending of light as it passes between materials of different density.



 Experiment #1:




Experiment # 2:



Observe that the stick appears bent at the point in enters the water


Explanation: As light passes from one transparent medium to another it changes speeds and bends.







Making A Hydrometer Experiment


The simplest way to measure the density of a liquid is with a hollow rod, weighed at one end to make it float upright.  It sinks deep in a light liquid but less deep in a heavier one.  The level the hydrometer floats is usually compared to pure water, giving a measure called relative density or specific gravity. 


Let’s Make Our Own Hydrometer!



* 4 glass beakers   * a straw      * modeling clay     * water        *cooking oil

* salt  * rubbing alcohol   * permanent marking pen




1.     Pour some water into one beaker.  Stick a ball of modeling clay to the straw, and float it in the beaker.  Carefully mark on the straw the height that the water comes to.

2.     Pour the same amount of alcohol as you did water into another beaker.  Do the same with cooking oil into another beaker and salt water into another beaker.  Repeat the same experiment you did with the water in the 1st beaker.  Use the same straw watching how far the black line sinks.  Then write down all the substances from least dense to most dense.


About Liquid Density:


Just as solid objects less dense than water float, so too do liquids that are less dense, providing they do not mix.  A light liquid will float on top of a heavy one. Changing the density of a liquid, by either changing its temperature or dissolving things in it, will affect how well solid objects float on it.


Experiment taken from How Science Works by Judith Hann, Reader’s Digest,

London 1991

Hydrometer Worksheet


Write down your hypothesis.  In order from what you think is the most dense to the least dense, write down all four solutions?









Let’s Do The Experiment!



Write down the actual results from most dense to least dense.









Any surprises? 




Can you think of any examples where hydrometers might be used?




Now think of your own scientific experiment to test the density of different solutions.




Erin Linek


“It’s in the Bag!”


Material: paper bags, pencil, 5 small food samples such as:  Potato Chip, Cookies, Raisins, Cereal, Bread, Grapes, Oranges, Banana, Celery


  1. Fill paper bags with the 5 different foods and number them so that every person will be working with the same food at the same time.
  2. Ask students What are the five sense?  Then tell them that we won’t be using the sight sense.
  3. Give everybody a handout with a chart on it.
  4. Pass out the bags tell the students to get bag number 1 and shake it to listen for clues inside, then have them write what they heard down.  Next, have them touch what is in the bag and write what they felt down.  Then, have them smell what is in the bag and write what they felt.  Then have them write what they think is in the bag.  Finally, have them close their eyes and put what is in the bag in their mouth and taste it.  Then have them say what it is.
  5. Repeat with bags 2, 3, 4 and 5.




“It’s in the Bag!”






?  Guess

































“It’s in the Bag!”








?  Guess





































Which sense helped the most to figure out what was in the bag?







If you had to lose one of your senses which one would you pick?  Why?



Ling Ho


Lesson Plan


Title:  Table Salt Crystals



The purpose of this activity is to have students to get an idea of the pattern and connections of atoms in a cubic crystal.



Students will be able to make a model of a crystal of common table salt (sodium chloride).


Materials or Resources Needed

27 Gum Drops

54 toothpicks



Although atoms and the bonds between them look nothing like gum drops and toothpicks, scientists can still learn a lot from making models.  Three dimensional crystal models show the distances from one part of the crystal to another.  What the crystal looks like from many different angles, the shape that would result if the crystal were cut in a certain way, and other pieces of information.


First, ask the student to come and get the gum drops (27) and the tooth picks (54)

Second, Use your toothpicks to connect nine gum drops in a square as sown.  Push the toothpick well into the gum drops so that the connections are strong.


Second, Build two more squares of nine gum drops like the first one and stack them to make a model of cubic crystal.


Third, have students work on question activity using the model that they have just made to answer the questions.


   Name:______________     Date:_______________ 




Table Salt Crystals




1.               Because this is a model of cubic crystal, what does each side or face of the crystal have in common with the others?



2.               Are they the same size?


3.               Are they the same shape?


4.               What shape is each face?


5.               If you could see the atoms of a table salt crystal, they would not look like gum drops and toothpicks, so why do you think scientists build models to learn more about crystals?







Larry Lopez

                                                                                                            Sci 210Lab; Tuesday


From Magnet to Compass

(Based on project found:



The purpose of this activity is for fifth grade children to understand the concept of magnetic poles and to use the knowledge of this concept to create their own simple compasses.  The concept will be explained with board diagram, student role play, and working with magnets.  If there enough materials, students may work independently, otherwise they may work in teams of two.



Bar magnets,                                        Water source,

Sewing needles,                                    Cork (flat), or disks, cut from the bottom of Styrofoam cups,

Disposable cups,                                  Compass.



            1.         SET UP:

a.         Challenge the students to explain everything that they know about magnets.

                        b.         Discuss two identical pieces of metal: one is a magnet, the other is not.

                                    (In the magnet, the domains are aligned, while the other is not.)

                        c.         Draw an example of each metal type on the board in front of the students.



a.         Have the students stand and face different directions.  Ask them, if the room was a piece of metal, and each of them was a domain, then would they be a magnet?  (No.)

b.         Have the students stand in straight rows, aligned and facing the same direction.  Again ask them, if the room was a piece of metal, and each of them was a domain, would they be a magnet?  (Yes.)

            Where is the north pole of the room?  Where is the room’s south pole?


3.         ACTIVITY (assuming that the students will work independently):

a.         Provide each student with a magnet.  Challenge them to test different materials around their desk or workstation to determine what types of objects attract to the magnet.  Is a pattern discernable?

            What happens when two magnets are put near each other?  Is there a pattern?

            (Discuss opposite poles attract; similar poles repel.)

b.         Provide each student with a needle. 

Ask them if the needle has the characteristics of a magnet.  (No.) 

Tell them that they can indeed make the needle into a magnet.

                        Rub the needle many times in one direction across the face of the magnet.

                        This allows the domains of the needle to align, and become magnetized.

                        How can we tell?








c.         Provide the students with a cup and cork (or disk).

Have them fill the cups with water, place the cork on the water and place the magnetized needle on the cork.  Allow time for the needle to begin slowly spinning until it settles in one direction.  Take the compass to each student and allow him/her to compare the direction of the needle to the compass.  What is similar?  (Both needles should be pointing in the same direction.)

                        d.         Move the magnet around the perimeter of the compass and the cup.

                                    What happens? 

(One end of both needles is attracted to one end of the magnet.)


            4.         EXTENSION:

a.         The earth itself is one huge spinning magnet.  It spins with its poles as a center line.  The south poles of magnetic objects on earth are attracted to the earth’s north magnetic pole; the opposite is true for the earth’s south magnetic pole. 

b.         Discuss the poles of the needle and of the compass: which is the object’s south pole?  How do you know?  (The south pole of the needle points to the earth’s north magnetic pole; opposites attract.)


            5.         WORKSHEET:

                        a.         True or False (review).

                        b.         Short answer (review).

                        c.         Sketch (new material),

Discuss magnetic fields around a bar magnet, and around the planet Earth.






                                                                                                larry lopez

                                                                                                SCI 210L, spring ’04                                                                                                            student report II




True or False:


1.      Every magnet has a north pole and a south pole.      T       F


2.      Magnets are used as compasses.                             T       F


3.      Magnets exert force.                                                    T       F


Short Answer:


1.      Where are the magnetic poles on a bar magnet?



2.      Where are the magnetic poles on a horseshoe magnet?




3.      If a magnet is broken into two sections, what happens to the      north and south poles?




1.                Sketch the magnetic fields around this bar magnet.

          Label the poles.








2.                Sketch the magnetic fields around the earth.

          Label the poles.



Maldonado, Jennifer Noelie

SCI 210L

Dr. Hoeling

May 11, 2004


Science Report #2

Having Fun with the Blob



Objectives:  Students will learn to identify the sates of matter and test the states of matter and their properties.





* Pick up a handful and squeeze it. Stop squeezing and it will drip through your fingers.

* Rest your fingers on the surface of the blob. Let them sink down to the bottom. Then try to pull them out fast. What happens?

*Take your blob and roll it between your hands to make a ball. Then stop rolling. It will trickle away between your fingers.

*******  Try this:  What happens if you add more water, less water?  How does the substance change?  Which way do you like it best?  What if you were to add more food coloring?  How much of a change would your substance go through in its appearance?

Here’s Some Info:     

The substance that you have made with the water and the cornstarch is called a colloid.  A colloid is made up of tiny, solid particles suspended in water.  This colloid behaves strangely.  If you were to bang on it or quickly squeeze it, it freezes in place like a solid.  When your hand is open and you let it roll off, it behaves like a liquid.  It starts to drip.  If you were to try to stir it quickly, it resists your movements.  If you stir it slowly, it will flow around easily. 

            Compare this substance to ketchup.  Physicists say that the best way to get ketchup to flow is to turn the bottle over and be patient. Smacking the bottom of the bottle actually slows the ketchup down!  This substance does not act like a fluid and so it is a non-Newtonian fluid.  Newton in 1700 believed that water and other liquids would all have the same properties.  These properties change as new substances are added like cornstarch.


            Basically, the slower one moves with the substance, the easier it will move.  It will corporate.  If one moves to fast, it will rebel and remain like a solid rather than a liquid.



Science Activity Report Worksheet



Presented by Jennifer N. Maldonado for SCI 210L:  May 11, 2004













Put a 1/2 cup of cornstarch into the bowl. Add ¼ cup of water slowly, mixing the cornstarch and water with the plastic stir until all the powder is wet.  Add a drop of food coloring if desired to make your substance have color.


Some science to think about…


Does the material feel different when you squeeze it quickly between your fingers than when it just sits in the palm of your hand?  How does it feel different?








What is a colloid?





Is the substance you created with the cornstarch and water a Newtonian fluid or a non-Newtonian fluid?  How can you tell?





Ainette Martinez


Title of Lesson:

 Liquid Layers


Grade Level:  4th



v     Five large containers (to hold 1 gallon of water each)

v     Food coloring (at least 4 different colors)

v     Clear drinking straws (one per group)

v     Salt (5 cups)

v     Six clear plastic cups (for each group)



v     The students will be able to describe in writing the meaning of density.

v     The students will be able to identify which of the five solutions have either the highest density or the lowest density.

v     The students will be able to explain orally or in writing why the solutions either float or sink.



1)     Prepare 5 salt solutions, each containing different densities.

                                                          I.      Container # 1: 1 gallon of water + 0 cups of salt + bottle of yellow coloring

                                                       II.      Container #2: 1 gallon of water + ½ cup of salt + bottle of green coloring

                                                     III.      Container #3: 1 gallon of water + 1 cup of salt + no coloring (clear)

                                                    IV.      Container #4: 1 gallon of water + 1 ½ cups of salt + bottle of red coloring

                                                       V.      Container #5: 1 gallon of water + 2 cups of salt + bottle of blue coloring

2)     Mix the solutions thoroughly, until all the salt is dissolved. The solutions should be heavily colored so that they may be properly observed through the translucent drinking straws.

3)     Do not allow the students to see how much salt is in the solutions and place the five containers in random order.

4)     Separate the students into groups of two.

5)     Distribute a sample of each of the five solutions to the students, using the plastic cups. (Each group should have five cups with the solutions and one additional empty cup to be used for waste)

6)     Hand each group on clear straw and allow them to practice placing a finger over the end of the straw and picking up a sample of a solution.

7)     Direct them to select two of the solutions at random and to draw a small portion of the first solution into the straw. While holding the first solution in the straw, lower the end of the straw into the second liquid. Draw a sample of the second solution into the straw.

o       If the first solution floats on the second solution, the first one is less dense.

o       If the first solution mixes or falls through the second solution, then the first is denser

8)     Hand each group a worksheet to keep record of each trial. They should make comparisons of all five solutions and by doing so establish an order of density for the five solutions.

9)     To establish that their results were accurate, the students should get all five solutions layered in the straw.  



v     Density is the mass of substance per unit volume. It is known as D=Mass/Volume. When one liquid is denser then the other, it will sink. The heaviest liquid always sinks and the lightest one floats. By conducting this experiment students will experience analytical thinking by developing their own scheme to order the densities of the five solutions.






                        (MORE OR LESS)                                          (SOLUTION)


YELLOW IS ___________ DENSE THAN ____________

YELLOW IS ___________ DENSE THAN ____________

YELLOW IS ___________ DENSE THAN ____________

YELLOW IS ___________ DENSE THAN ____________


  BLUE IS ____________ DENSE THAN _____________

  BLUE IS ____________ DENSE THAN _____________

  BLUE IS ____________ DENSE THAN _____________

  BLUE IS ____________ DENSE THAN _____________


  GREEN IS ___________ DENSE THAN _____________

  GREEN IS ___________ DENSE THAN _____________

  GREEN IS ___________ DENSE THAN _____________

  GREEN IS ___________ DENSE THAN _____________


  CLEAR IS ___________ DENSE THAN _____________

  CLEAR IS ___________ DENSE THAN _____________

  CLEAR IS ___________ DENSE THAN _____________

  CLEAR IS ___________ DENSE THAN _____________


   RED IS _____________ DENSE THAN _____________

   RED IS _____________ DENSE THAN _____________

   RED IS _____________ DENSE THAN _____________

   RED IS _____________ DENSE THAN _____________




#1__________; #2__________; #3__________; #4__________; 





Liquid Layers




1)    What is Density?



2)    Which solution contained the highest density?



3)    Which solution was the least dense?



4)    Why does one solution either sink or float?



5)    How are you able to layer the five solutions into the straw?



Patricia McDonnell                                                                               Professor Hoeling

Sci 210L

Lab Experiment



Newton’s 3rd Law


Two Toy cars (about the same size)

Ruler or Yard Stick, masking tape



Newton’s third Law states that, whenever one body exerts force on a second body, the second body exerts an equal and opposite force on the first.

            The purpose of this exercise is to give students hands on perspective of how Newton’s third Law works, and what it looks like to have and equal and opposite reaction, using toy cars to illustrate this function



a.       Give each group of two students two cars, a ruler, and a small strip of tape to mark the starting point

b.      Have students follow procedure below and record data below.

c.       Class will do two experiments.

Estimated Time :20 minutes Car A at the tape. Roll Car B toward car in a straight. Stop about 3 inches before you get to car A. Record How far car A. Measure How far Car a moved in centimeters after the crash. DO THIS THREE TIMES!

Test 1/cm

Test 2/cm

Test 3/cm







2. Each Partner rolls one car toward the other. Let go Three inches before the line. Record three times.

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Car A

Car B

Car A

Car B

Car A

Car B







                                                                                                Xuan Phuong Pham

                                                                                                SCI 210



Materials Needed:


-One Glass Bottle

-One Quarter

-Access to Water


Optional Materials:


-Plastic Bottle

-Dishwasher Soap

-Larger Coin







          First, wet one side of the quarter.  Then wet the rim, or opening, of the glass/plastic bottle. (Be sure to not let any water enter the bottle, it may affect the expected outcome.) Then, place the quarter (wet side) on top of the (wet) bottle.  Next, with both hands (rubbed against each other), grip the body of the bottle.  After waiting a minute or so, the quarter should lightly lift/dance.


Conclusions & Connections:


Prior to this experiment, the students should be informed of issues regarding the heating and cooling of air particles.  The experiment is intended to show the effects of the heating of air.  By placing the quarter on top of the bottle, some cool air is trapped inside the bottle.  Then, by placing your hands around the bottle, you are heating the air that is present within the bottle.  Atoms have more energy because they are warmer, they actually start to move faster, and hot air takes up more space than cool air. In other words, if the students are aware that when air is heated it expands, then they will understand that the heated air within the bottle is expanding or attempting to get out.  In its efforts to do so, the quarter is being lifted to let some of the expanding air out.  This experiment can work with a plastic bottle as well, but as most of us know, glass is a better conductor of heat.


*Note: Let the air in the bottle cool down before repeating this experiment. Also, when adding soap with water, make sure that it does not form a bubble underneath the coin. This may prevent the air from coming out, or it may possible create little bubbles.




NAME OF SCIENTIST:_______________

              PARTNER’S NAME:_________________


1. What happens when you put the coin on top of the bottle without water, gripping the bottle with both hands?



2. What happens when you wet the rim of the bottle and one side of the quarter, gripping the bottle with both hands?



3. What happens when you hold the bottle lightly or tightly, does it have the same or different results? __________________________



4. Hold the bottle for a long time, does the coin continue to move? Why or why not?  _______________________________________



5. What happens if you use a different size coin?



6. What happens when you add soap and water to the rim of the bottle and one side of the quarter, gripping the bottle with both hands? Does the soap influence the experiment in a positive or negative way? __________________________________________




*Note: This worksheet is for both the glass and plastic bottle.





                                                                                                                        (Dancing Coin)



Jessica Renfro

May 11, 2004

SCI 210

Pitch Switcher



Materials you will need:


Questions:  Was the sound different than before?

Question:  How does changing the length of the vibrating part of the rubber band change the pitch of the sound?



The Best of Wonder Science.  Delmar Publishers: Boston, 1997.





Pitch Switcher



Name of Scientist:____________________


1.      How does changing the length of the vibrating part of the rubber band change the pitch of the sound?





2.       How do you think the sound will change if, instead or pressing the rubber band down closer and closer to the cup, you press the rubber band down farther away from the cup?  Try this.





3.       How is this similar to the way a guitar player can change the pitch of  a string on a guitar?





4.      Can you use this idea to make a homemade guitar?






Geodesic Gumdrops

Racquel Rodarte

SCI 210


Objective:  The students will learn about compression and tension by building their own structures.  They will also learn how to make strong structures in compression and tension.


Materials:  Gumdrops and round toothpicks


What is tension and compression?

Tension is a pulling force.  It is when material stretches out.

Compression is a pushing force.  It is materials get squashed.


Let’s Make Square and Cubes!!!

1.   Start with 4 toothpicks and 4 gumdrops.  Poke the toothpicks into the gumdrops to make a square with a gumdrop at each corner.

2.     Poke another toothpick into the top of each gumdrop.  Put a gumdrop on the top of each toothpick.  Connect the gumdrops with toothpicks to make a cube.  (A cube has a square on each side.  It takes 8 gumdrops and 12 toothpicks.)

3.   Use more toothpicks and gumdrops to keep building squares onto the sides of the cube.  When your structure is about 6 inches tall or wide, try wiggling it from side to side.  Does it feel solid, or does it feel kind of shaky?


Making Triangle and PyramidsStart with 3 gumdrops and 3 toothpicks.

1.    Poke the toothpicks into the gumdrops to make a triangle with a gumdrop at each point.

 2. Poke another toothpick into the top of each gumdrop.  Bend those 3 toothpicks in toward the center.  Poke all 3 toothpicks into one gumdrop to make a 3-sided pyramid.  (A 3-sided pyramid has a triangle on each side.  It takes 4 gumdrops and 6 toothpicks.)

3.       Use more toothpicks and gumdrops to keep building triangles onto the sides of your pyramid.  When your structure is about 6 inches tall or wide, try wiggling it from side to side.  Does it feel solid, or does it feel kind of shaky?


Making 4-Sided Pyramids

            You can make a very big structure out of squares and cubes, but it’ll be wiggly and will probably fall down.  If you try to make a structure out of only triangles and pyramids, it won’t be wiggly, but you’ll probably run out of gumdrops and toothpicks before it gets very big.  A 4-sided pyramid has a square on the bottom and triangles on all 4 sides.  When you make a structure that uses both triangles and squares, you can make big structures that are less wiggly.

  1.  Build a square, then poke a toothpick into the top of each corner.
  2.  Bend all 4 toothpicks into the center and connect them with one gumdrop, to make a 4-sided pyramid.
  3. What other ways can you use squares and triangles together?  How big a structure can you make before you run out of gumdrops?


What’s going on?

       Stretching and Squashing---Some Basic Principles

Even though your gumdrop structures are standing absolutely still, their parts are always pulling and on each other.  Structures remain standing because some parts are being pulled or stretched and other parts are being pushed or squashed.  The parts that are being pulled are in tension.  The parts that are being squashed are in compression.

Sometimes you can figure out whether something is in tension or compression by imagining yourself in that object’s place.  If you’re a brick and someone piles more bricks on you, you’ll feel squashed and you’re in compression.  If you’re a rubber band and someone stretches you out you’ll feel being pulled apart and you’ll be in tension.

As you’ve probably already discovered, squares collapse easily under compression.  Four toothpicks joined in a square tend to collapse by giving way at their weakest points.  A square can fold into a diamond.

But if you make a toothpick triangle, the situation changes.  The only way to change the angles of the triangle is by shortening one of the sides.  So to make the triangle collapse you would have to push hard enough to break one of the toothpick.

If you want to, you can use your gumdrops and toothpicks to build some strong structures that are made by combining triangles and squares.  The pattern you should try to get is one similar to some used in modern bridge design.





Julio Rodriguez

Airplane Without Wings (Aerodynamics)

Area of Science: Physics

Grade level: 4-6

Strategy: In pairs or individually

Time: 15-20mins



Aerodynamics is the science that studies what happens when air or any flying gases/liquids are moving.   The name aerodynamics comes from two Greek words meaning “air” and “power”. Have you ever wondered what helps an airplane fly? Airplanes use the air moving over the wings to help them lift and to stay in the air. This is called the Bernoulli Effect.



To make a wingless airplane to teach the students how the Bernoulli’s Principle is used in everyday life.




*          Scissors

*          Ruler

*          3-x-5-inch index cards

*          Clear plastic tape

*          Plastic straws



1)             Cut an index card the long way into three equal strips.

2)            Put a piece of tape on the end of one strip. Curl the paper into a little hoop and tape the ends together.

3)            Put the other two strips end to end, so they overlap a little. Tape them together to make one long strip, and put another piece of tape on one end. Curl the strip into a hoop and tape the ends together.

4)            Put one end of a straw onto the middle of a strip of tape. Put the big hoop on top of the straw and fold the tape up the sides of the hoop.

5)            Put another strip of tape at the other end of the straw. Press the small hoop very gently onto the tape. Move it around until it lines up with the big hoop, then press the tape down firmly. 

6)            Hold the glider in the middle of the straw, with the little hoop in front. Throw it out like a spear.



There is air that is passing through the hoops which creates a lift that allows the glider to glide through the air.  The air travels faster above the circular wing and therefore there is less pressure above. The air moves slower inside the hoops and therefore has more pressure. This means there is more pressure underneath the paper than on top.




Airplane Without Wings


By Julio Rodriguez







What is Aerodynamics?






Where does the word Aerodynamics come from?






What helps an airplane fly?






How far do you think our wingless airplane will fly?






 If our wingless airplane fly’s what made it possible?



Laura Romero



            Has anyone heard of static electricity?


·        It occurs when you slide down a slide and you touch something and you get zapped.

·        It occurs when clothes are pulled out of the dryer and stick to one another.

·        It also happens when you slide your feet across the floor and touch something you get zapped.


Do you know what static is?


·        Static is a force caused by energy that cause things to stick to one another.


            Do you know what electricity is?


·        Electricity is made when there is friction between two things. 


1.      Such as when your feet rub against the floor.

2.      Or when clothes rub against one another in the dryer.

3.      Or when your body rubs against the slide when you slide down it.


How exactly is it made?  Draw on Board

·        Tiny atoms make electricity.

·        These atoms have electrons floating around them.

·        When two atoms rub one another some of the electrons from one atom will leave it’s atom and join the other atom.

·        The atom with fewer electrons is negative and the atom with more electrons is positive.

·        When a atom is negative it is attracted to a positive atom

·        However this negative atom is not attracted to negative atoms only positive atom.



So, when you have a negative atom and a positive atom them stick to one another, but when you have two negative atoms they don’t want to stick together.





            We are gonna try and create some static electricity ourselves.


1.      Rub balloons on heads.  See how they attract to hair.  Talk about it.

2.      Tie thread on two balloons and rub both on heads. See how they repel on another.  Talk about it.

3.      Put tape on desk.  See how it repels.  Talk about it.











Static Electricity


1.      Draw a positively charged atom                              Draw a negatively charged atom









2.      What happens to atoms when you rub a balloon on your head?






3.      What happens when you rub two balloons on your head and try to put the balloons next to one another?






4.      What happens when you pull two pieces of tape off your desk and you try and put the tape next to one another?






Maria Ruizvelasco


How does an electromagnet work?


1.     Long piece of paper wire

2.     Screwdriver

3.     Tape

4.     AA, C, or D battery

5.     Paper clips


1.     Leaving about 3 inches of one end of the wire free, wrap the wire around the screwdriver 10 times.

2.     Tape one end of the wire to the negative terminal (marked with a “-“) of the battery. 

3.     Hold the handle of the screwdriver in one hand while you touch the free end of the wire to the positive terminal (marked with a “+”) of the battery.

4.     See how many paper clips you can pick up and hold with screwdriver.

5.     Remove the free wire from the battery and wind another 10 loops around the screwdriver.

6.     Repeat the experiment and count the number of paper clips you can pick up.

7.     Again, remove the free wire from the battery.

8.     Wind any remaining wire around the screwdriver, leaving about 3 inches of wire free and repeat the experiment. 

Science Concept:


Since one wire is known to produce a magnetic field, wrapping a wire into a series of loops or coils strengthens that effect.  These coils are called solenoids; when they are used with a metallic core (like a screwdriver), they produce surprisingly strong magnetic fields.  When an ordinary nail is exposed to those fields, it, too, becomes magnetized, as long as the field is there.


Words to Know:


Electromagnet:  a magnet made by passing electrical current through a wire.

Building an Electromagnet


Questions for the Scientist:

1.     What made the screwdriver turn into a magnet? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

2.     How did you turn the electromagnet on and off? __________________________________________________________.

3.     What effect did adding more coils to the screwdriver have on the number of paper clips you could pick up? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

4.     What advantages might there be to using a magnet that can be turned on and off? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.




Alka Seltzer Rockets

By JoAnn Shaffer

SCI 210


Grade Level: 4th-5th

Time:  30-45min.


Purpose:  Students will design paper rockets using alka seltzer and water to illustrate the concepts of Newton’s third law of motion.  Students will also practice the scientific method of experimentation.


Preparation:  Review and prepare materials needed for the activity.  Be sure to get film canisters with lids that snap inside (the clear fuji film canisters.)


Materials needed:

            Film canister for each rocket to be made

            Some “Alka Seltzer” tablets

            5x8 index cards




            Protective eye goggles



1.      Hold the film canister open end down and wrap the 5x8 index card around it, taping it together securely.  (Rim of the canister should be visible.)

2.      Now tape the 8-inch long seam of the index card together.

3.      Cut out two triangular, paper fins and tape them onto the rocket body on the end that has the film canister attached.

4.      Make a small paper cone and tape it to the top of the rocket.

5.      Hold the rocket upside down and fill the canister about 1/4th full of water.

6.      Drop half of an alka seltzer tablet into the water and quickly snap on the lid.

7.      Place the rocket on the ground with the lid down.  Stand back and count down while waiting for the launch.


Explanation:  Carbon dioxide is the gas at work inside of the canister.  Alka Seltzer is made with citric acid and sodium bicarbonate, an acid and a base.  When the tablet is added to the water, a chemical reaction takes place.  This Co2 gas released creates pressure inside of the canister, which causes it to pop apart and launch the rocket off of the ground.










Name of scientists:



1.      Measure the peak height of the rocket after take-off. _____


2.      What happened when the alka seltzer was added to the water?


3.      What action happened inside the film canister?


4.      What was the reaction of the rocket?


5.      What is the principle behind this activity?  (Hint:  Isaac Newton’s law)


6.      Now experiment with the different amounts of alka seltzer and record your results on the chart below.



Size of tablet

Rocket height

1/4th of a tablet


½ of a tablet


Whole tablet





The Straw Flute

Danielle Vollers

What to Do

you need: Straw, Scissors, Someone who can blow hard

Here’s what you do:

1.)Take the straw and the scissors, and cut off the tip of the straw to a point. ( Try to get both the sides the same!)

2.) Now, gently chew on the straw to soften the tip, and to get the edges to be smooshed together. You would like the two tips to be almost touching each other.

3.) Now, take the person who can blow really hard, and have them put the pointy end in their mouth, and blow really hard. If they do it right ( it might take some practice), they will get a very loud sound from the flute.

Other things to try:

* Cut the non-pointy end of the straw. What does this do to the tone?

*Can you cut holes so that it plays like a real flute?


Questions/ Results:


* How do different size straws work? Does it make a difference?



* Do different designs of the tip work?



* Which works best?



* Does it matter how hard you blow?


Magic Markers

Nicole Widmer



·       To find out what makes up the color black.



ü    White coffee filters

ü    Black marker (not permanent)

ü    Water

ü    Coffee cup or sometime of cup



1. Fold the coffee filter in half and then in half again creating somewhat of a triangle.


a.                                            b.                                        c.








2. Fill cup with water.


3. Draw a black line about one inch from the point and draw designs about it on both sides of the coffee filter.







4. Put the pointed side of the coffee filter in the water.  You just need to put the tip in the water. Let the water soak all the way up the coffee filter.


5. Observe what is happening.


What’s Going On?

          Most nonpermanent markers use inks that are made of colored pigments and water. On a coffee filter, the water in the ink carries the pigment onto the paper. When the ink dries, the pigment remains on the paper.

In this experiment, you're using a technique called chromatography. The name comes from the Greek words chroma and graph for "color writing." The technique was developed in 1910 by Russian botanist Mikhail Tsvet. He used it for separating the pigments that made up plant dyes.

There are many different types of chromatography. In all of them, a gas or liquid (like the water in your experiment) flows through a stationary substance (like your coffee filter). Since different ingredients in a mixture are carried along at different rates, they end up in different places. By examining where all the ingredients ended up, scientists can figure out what was combined to make the mixture.

Why does mixing many colors of ink make black?

Ink and paint get their colors by absorbing some of the colors in white light and reflecting others. Green ink looks green because it reflects the green part of white light and absorbs all the other colors. Red ink looks red because it reflects red light and absorbs all the other colors. When you mix green, red, blue, and yellow ink, each ink that you add absorbs more light. That leaves less light to reflect to your eye. Since the mixture absorbs light of many colors and reflects very little, you end up with black.



Magic Markers





1. Fold the coffee filter in half and then in half again creating somewhat of a triangle.


a.                                b.                                c.







2. Fill cup with water.


3. Draw a black line about one inch from the point and draw designs about it on both sides of the coffee filter.







4. Put the pointed side of the coffee filter in the water.  You just need to put the tip in the water. Let the water soak all the way up the coffee filter.


5. Decsribe what is happening.








Ginger Williams


Presentation #2


Bouncing Raisins



You will need:


-4 Tablespoons of vinegar

-3 Tablespoons of baking soda

-Clear glass


-8 or more raisins


Here’s what to do:


  1. Fill the glass half full of water
  2. Add the vinegar and baking soda to the water
  3. Drop in the raisins one at a time into the mixture




  1. What happened to the water when you added the vinegar and baking soda to the water?




  1. What happened to the raisins when you added them to the water?




  1. Why do you think this happened?

Bouncing Raisins



Hypothesis: What will cause raisins to bounce within water?


What you will need:

-4 Tablespoons of vinegar

-3 Tablespoons of baking soda

-Clear glass


-8 or more raisins



1. Add the vinegar and baking soda to the water. The mixture will begin to fizz.
2. Drop raisins one at a time into the mixture. The raisins may sink at first. Soon they will rise to the surface, then sink, then rise again. The raisins will continue to “bounce” for at least an hour.


Why it happened?

The bubbles due to the baking soda mixing within the vinegar cause the raisins to rise to the surface, due to the air within the bubbles being lighter then the water.  They move them up like little floats, though, once they reach the surface, they pop and the raisins sink back down, the process will begin again!





Water density in

Latex balloons


Lorena Young




·        Teach class about density

·        Show the class how density affects a balloon from a lit match





·        Latex balloons

·        Water

·        Matches or candles





·        Have students pair up in groups of two

·        Fill balloon #1 with water until latex expands

·        Fill balloon #2 with air until latex expands

·        Have students answer questions on worksheet

·        Try the experiment

·        Student should hold balloon #1 over a sink

·        lite a match and place close under balloon #1…see what happens

·        Lite a match and place under balloon #2…see what happens





·        Students should be able to see how the density in water protected the latex balloon as opposed to the latex balloon filled with air.



Water density in latex balloons




·        Get two latex balloons from presenter

·        Fill one balloon in sink with water until balloon expands

·        Close off balloon #1

·        Fill second balloon with air by blowing into it

·        Close off balloon #2

Answer the following questions:

Remember:            balloon #1—filled with water

                              Balloon #2—filled with air

What do you think will happen to balloon #1 if you place a lit match underneath it?



Do you think the balloon will explode? Why?



Do you think it will melt a hole through and let the water out?



What do you think will happen with balloon #2 if you place a lit match underneath it?




Do you think the balloon will explode? Why?



Do you think it will melt a hole through and let the air out?




·        Place balloon #1 over a sink

·        Lite a match

·        Place lit match close underneath(not touching)

·        Lite a new match

·        Place lit match close underneath balloon #2

What happened to balloon #1?


What happened to balloon #2?


Why do you think this happened?







SCI 210 L

TUESDAY, MAY 11, 2004




            Students will understand the following:

1.      Gravity is the force of attraction that causes objects to fall toward the center of the earth.

2.      Air resistance, or air friction, can slow down the acceleration of a falling object.

3.      The area “fronting the wind” affects the amount of air resistance a falling object encounters.

4.      Terminal speed is the speed at which the downward pull of gravity is balanced by the equal and upward opposing force of air resistance for a falling object.



            Provide the following materials for each group.

         Lightweight plastic trash bag



         12 20 inch lengths of light string

         3 raw eggs


1.      Divide the class into several small groups and distribute materials to each group.

2.      Have the students build three “parachutes” for an ordinary egg:

§         With the lightweight plastic trash bag, cut out three squares: 10” x 10”, 20” x 20”, and 30” x 30”.

3.      Have the students draw out the dimension of the three parachutes on their worksheet.

4.      Ask students to predict which egg has the best chance of surviving a drop from about ten feet from the floor.  Students should explain the reasoning behind their predictions.

5.      Have the students write their predictions next to each parachute drawn on their worksheet

6.      Have the students drop their parachutes from about ten feet above and determine whether their predictions were correct or not.  Write down result on worksheet.

7.      After each group have done the experiment, ask students to describe the changing forces that acted on the parachutes as they fell and the resulting changes in the parachutes’ motion.  How did the falls of the larger parachutes differ from the falls of the smaller ones?

8.      Review with the students that gravity pulled the parachutes downward; air resistance worked as an opposing force to gravity; the parachutes accelerated until the air resistance equaled the gravity, at which point the parachutes reached terminal speed; the bigger parachutes with a larger area fronting the wind created more air resistance than the smaller ones, so the bigger parachutes reached terminal speed earlier.





NAME: ___________________


DATE: ___________________


Draw the three parachutes that you have created. Label the dimensions next to your drawings:


10” x 10”:







  Prediction: _____________________________________________________


  Result: _________________________________________________________



20” x 20”







   Prediction: ___________________________________________________


  Result: _______________________________________________________



30 “x 30”








Prediction: ___________________________________________________


Result: ______________________________________________________






                                                                                                            Xuan Pham


Plastic Breakthrough


Grade Levels: 2-4


Materials Needed

-         Access to Water

-         Plastic Bags; such as zip lock bags, grocery bags, trash bags, etc.

-         Pencil/Pen; preferably a stick that has the same diameter throughout. Need a dull point; sharp pencils/pens may not work as well. A chopstick may work better than a pencil/pen.




1. Fill the bag with some water. (¾ full of water for zip lock bags. Other bags should be filled approximately one liter.)

2. Close the zip lock bag to trap the air. Other bags should be tied with a knot with half (or less) of the amount of air compared to the amount of water. Assist children with making a knot.

3. Push the point of the pencil/pen/chopstick through one side of the plastic bag into the water. Observe closely, and then push it through the other side of the plastic bag.




          The flexibility of plastics allow them to cling (grab) to surfaces (or objects) and fit tightly around or inside it. For instance, the plastic was grabbing onto the surface area of the pencil/pen/chopstick, which prevented the bag from leaking. Some plastics have carbon fibers in them which makes them lightweight and stronger than steel!


Question: Can you think of any special uses for this type of plastic?

Answer: These plastics are used in racing bicycles, tennis racquets, and even airplane bodies. The reason is that these things need the strength, but not the weight.



Scientist’s Name__________________

                                Assistance’s Name________________


Answer these questions before performing the experiment.


Do you think that the thickness of the plastic bags matter? Why or why not? _____________________________________________________



Do you think these bags will or will not leak? (Check boxes)


    Zip Lock Bag

      Grocery Bag

       Trash Bag





No Leak





Answer these questions when performing the experiment.


Did the bags leak or not? (Check boxes)


    Zip Lock Bag

      Grocery Bag

       Trash Bag





No Leak




Note: Try pushing the pencil/pen/chopstick through the other side for further observation.


Look closely at the plastic bag around the pencil. How would you describe the way the plastic bag fits around the pencil? _______________________




Did the thickness of the plastic bags play a role? Why or why not? _______




Can you think of any special uses for plastics? ________________________





(Plastic Breakthrough)