Physical Science & Chemistry Projects

Question: Can You Measure Surface Tension of Water With a Penny?

Did you know that even though water is a liquid, it isn't always able to get into little cracks and crevices? So how do clothes go from caked with mud to clean? How can dishes go from greasy to glistening? With a few simple household items, you can find out!

Materials Needed:

Tap Water

Dish Soap

Drinking Glasses

Spoon

Dropping Pipet

Penny

Paper Towel

Lab Notebook

 

Project Procedure:

1. Create a table in your lab notebook like the one below.

Type of Water Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Average
Regular Water
Soapy Water

 

2. Fill a glass with tap water

3. Fill a second glass with tap water. Add a few drops of dish soap and mix gently with a spoon

4. Use the bulb on the Pipet to suck some of the plain tap water into the Pipet

5. Place your penny on a flat level surface 

6. Use the Pipet to drop one drop of water onto the center of the penny

7. Continue slowly adding drops until the bubble of water on the penny bursts and spills over the edges.

8. Make sure and record the number of drops it took before the bubble burst

9. Dry off the penny and repeat steps 5-7 twice. Record the number of drops in the table each time

10. Repeat steps 4-7 with soapy water. Again, be sure to record your data in the table

11. Calculate the average drops it took for each of the two kinds of water

12. Based on the number of drops for each attempt, do you think adding soap increased or decreased the surface tension of the water?

Posted by Isaac Fornari on 13 February, 2017 elementary, physical science fair projects | Read more →

Question: Do All Liquids Evaporate At The Same Rate?

Summary: The process of evaporation is when liquids are turned from their liquid form into their gas form. This usually happens over time and elements can effect the speed at which it occurs namely, heat, wind, movement. In this experiment we are going to evaluate the speed at which 4 different liquids evaporate to see if they're all the same, all different, or a mix of different and the same.

Materials Needed: 

4 Beakers with Measure Lines

Rubbing Alcohol

Water

Orange Juice

Nail Polish Remover

Pen and Paper for Notes

Project Procedure:

1. Pour 80ML of each liquid into its own beaker. Make sure to keep track of which liquid is in which beaker by either labeling the beakers, or placing markers near them.

2. Set the beakers in a dry location at room temperature.

3. Monitor the levels of the liquids for 1 week and note any differences.

4. Which liquid evaporated the most? Which liquid evaporated the least? Did they all evaporate the same amount?

 

 

 

Posted by Isaac Fornari on 11 February, 2016 Read more →

Question: Can You Make a Hand Warmer?

Ever been outside on a winter day and had your hands get cold? Chances are, you have. Most camping and outdoor themed stores sell hand warmers that use a chemical reaction of some sort to produce a low temperature heat that can help warm up your frozen digits. But, wouldn't it be cool if you could make one of these hand warmers yourself? With this experiment you can! We'll show you what materials you will need, as well as how to perform the experiment! 

Materials Needed:

Jelly Crystals

Small cups (2)

Iron filings

Calcium chloride

Zipper-lock bag

Water

Project Procedure:

  1. Fill a cup with 9 oz of water.
  2. Add a generous scoop of Jelly Crystals to the water and wait until the crystals are fully grown. You’ll know that the crystals are done growing when there’s no more water in the cup.
  3. Add 4 tablespoons of the full-grown Jelly Crystals to a zipper-lock bag.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of iron filings to the bag.
  5. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of calcium chloride.
  6. Carefully mix the contents of the zipper-lock bag by squishing the bag with your fingers. Once the contents are mixed, seal the bag.
  7. Shake and squish the bag to mix the contents even more. Once mixed, feel the heat coming from the bag.
Posted by Isaac Fornari on 22 December, 2015 elementary, middle school | Read more →

Question: Will adding glycerin or corn syrup help your homemade bubble solution work better?

Summary: Making your own bubble solution is fun, but sometimes the bubbles don't seem to work as well as the solutions you buy in the store. In this experiment you can test if adding corn syrup or glycerin to your bubble solution will make it just as good as the stuff you can buy. This experiment will have you blowing bubbles!

Looking for a kit with everything you need to complete this experiment? Click Here!

Materials Needed:

3 Glass Jars

Graduated Cylinder (for measuring liquid)

Distilled Water

Liquid Dishwashing Soap

Glycerin

Light Corn Syrup

Pipe Cleaners

Permanent Marker

Stopwatch

Project Procedure:

 1. Use the table below to make 3 separate bubble solutions in the Mason Jars, label these according to their ingredients. 

 

 

Ingredient Solution #1
detergent only
Solution #2
detergent + glycerin
Solution #3
detergent + corn syrup
Water

1 cup (240 mL) +

1 Tbsp (15 mL)

1 cup (240 mL) 1 cup (240 mL)
Detergent 2 Tbsp (30 mL) 2 Tbsp (30 mL) 2 Tbsp (30 mL)
Glycerin
-----
1 Tbsp (15 mL)
-----
Corn Syrup
-----
-----
1 Tbsp (15 mL)

 

2. Now make a pipe cleaner wand for each solution. Pinch a pipe cleaner in the middle and give it a kink. Bend one half of the pipe cleaner into a circle and twist together at the center. Repeat with the other two pipe cleaners, and make sure that all 3 wands are approximately the same size.

3. Go outside and test your bubble solutions. Blow a bubble and catch it on your wand. Immediately start the stopwatch and time how long the bubble lasts. This will take some practice, so try it out on some extra solution before you start!

4. Repeat the experiment as many times as possible for each solution.

5. Record your data in a data table like this one:

 

 

  Solution #1 - Bubble Time (secs) Solution #2 - Bubble Time (secs) Solution #3 - Bubble Time (secs)
Trial 1      
Trial 2      
. . . . . . .      
Trial 20      
TOTAL      
Average Bubble Time in Seconds      

 

6. For each bubble solution, calculate the average time in seconds that the bubbles lasted. Do this calculation by adding up all of the data for a solution, and dividing by the number of trials for that solution.

7. Make a graph of your data. For each solution, make a bar of the average time in seconds that the bubble lasted.

8. Analyze your data. Which formula worked the best?

Posted by Isaac Fornari on 20 August, 2015 elementary, middle school, physical science fair projects | Read more →

Question: How Do Acids and Bases Affect Enzymes?

Summary: Enzymes are proteins that accelerate chemical reactions. They occur in the body in our digestive system, for example, to speed up the process of breaking down food into molecules that provide nutrients to the body. They are also using in many manufactured products, including cleaning products, cheese, beer, and biofuels. This experiment tests the effect of different levels of acids and bases on a common enzyme—yeast.

Materials Needed:

5, 70 mL Glass Test Tubes   

Plastic Test Tube Rack  

Masking Tape

Permanent Marker Pen

5 plastic drink stirrers

1 small glass

Distilled Water (1/2 Cup)

Active Dry Yeast

Baking Soda

Set of measuring teaspoons

Hydrogen Peroxide

Lemon Juice

Baking Soda

Ruler

Measuring Cup

pH test strips                    

Pen and Paper for Taking Notes

 

Project Procedure:

  1. Label the test tubes as follows: #1-Control, #2-Low Acid, #3-High Acid, #4-Low Base, #5-High Base using the masking tape and permanent marker and place each test tube in the stand.
  2. Place one of the drink stirrers in each of the test tubes. Do not move them from one test tube to another.
  3. To the test tube marked #1-Control, add 2 teaspoons of distilled water, 1/8 cup (1 oz.) of hydrogen peroxide and 1/8 teaspoon yeast. Use the ruler to measure the highest point that bubbles reach and record that on your note paper.
  4. To the test tube marked #2-Low Acid, add one teaspoon of distilled water, one teaspoon lemon juice, 1/8 cup hydrogen peroxide, and 1/8 teaspoon yeast. Stir. Use the ruler to measure the highest point that bubbles reach and record that on your note paper.
  5. To the test tube marked #3-High Acid, add two teaspoons of lemon juice, 1/8 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1/8 teaspoon yeast. Stir. Use the ruler to measure the highest point that bubbles reach and record that on your note paper.
  6. Pour ½ C of distilled water into the small glass. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, stirring to dissolve.
  7. To the test tube marked #4-Low Base, add one teaspoon of the baking soda solution you created. one teaspoon of distilled water, 1/8 cup of hydrogen peroxide, and 1/8 teaspoon of yeast. Stir. Use the ruler to measure the highest point that bubbles reach and record that on your note paper.
  8. To the test tube marked #5-High Base, add two teaspoons of the baking soda solution, 1/8 cup of hydrogen peroxide, and 1/8 teaspoon of yeast. Stir. Use the ruler to measure the highest point that bubbles reach and record that on your note paper.
  9. Use the pH test strips to measure the pH of each test tube Record this information and and use it, along with the measurements of the height of the bubbles, to hypothesize about how acids and bases affect enzyme activity.
Posted by Isaac Fornari on 24 July, 2015 high school, middle school | Read more →

Question: Does Mint actually make things cooler?

Summary: Mint is an herb that is known for creating a light, cooling effect when used in gum, hard candy, breath fresheners and in teas. This experiment is designed to measure any cooling effect that mint has in liquids.

Looking for a kit with everything you need to complete this experiment? Click Here!

Materials Needed:

Package of Regular Mints (Mentos, Tic-Tacs, Altoids, or similar)

2 Glass Measuring Cups or Glass Flasks  

Scientific Thermometer    

Pen and Paper for Taking Notes

Project Procedure:

  1. Carefully measure the same amount of water into the two measuring cups. Heat the both cups of water for 1-1/2 minutes in a microwave oven.
  2. Use the thermometer to take the temperature of both cups of water. Record both on your note paper.
  3. Place 5 mints in one cup of water and take the temperature again after 30 seconds. Was there a change? Record this temperature.
  4. Wait 10 minutes, and add 5 more mints to the cup with the mints in it. Record the temperature of both cups of water again.
  5. Wait 10 more minutes and add 5 more mints to the cup with the mints in it. Record the temperature of both cups of water.
  6. Use the data you have recorded to answer the question, “Does Mint actually make things cooler?”
Posted by Isaac Fornari on 24 July, 2015 elementary, middle school | Read more →

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Latest Additions to Our Science Project Database

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