Top 10 Science Experiments to Try at Home - Owlcation - Education
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Top 10 Science Experiments to Try at Home

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Home Science

Science is all around us - it is not just confined to the classroom or laboratory. There are plenty of fun experiments that need very little equipment other than a few household items and some curiosity. Not only will this foster a culture of life-long learning, but it looks great on a college application! These experiments make great family projects to do together too - much better than vegetating in front of the tv!

Below you will find a selection of science experiments spanning across Biology, Chemistry, Physics and the Earth Sciences. Each section will list the equipment you need, some instructions, and an explanation of what happens.

top-10-science-experiments-to-try-at-home

1. Plastic Chemistry - Making Slime

Equipment:

  • 2 Plastic cups
  • 2 Plastic Spoons
  • Food colouring - pick your favourite colour
  • Borax Powder (usually found next to laundry detergent)
  • PVA Glue
  • Water

What to do:

  1. Mix a tablespoon of borax into around 75ml of water in the first cup. Stir until it dissolves (this may take a while)
  2. Mix a tablespoon of PVA glue with two tablespoons of water. Add some drops of food colouring. Stir well until well mixed.
  3. Add one tablespoon of the borax solution to the glue mixture. Stir well and see the mixture turn to slime.
  4. Leave the slime for 30seconds and then pick it up!

What's happening?

Borax causes cross-links between the long strands of the PVA. This prevents the strands from sliding over each other making this an example of a Non-Newtonian Fluid.

Next? Play about with the ratios of the ingredients to make different types of slime - stretchy, springy, bouncy and wet slimes can all be made by experimenting with how much borax you add.

top-10-science-experiments-to-try-at-home

2. Soda Volcano

The Quintessential DIY experiment. You will need:

  1. A large bottle of diet coke
  2. A pack of mentoes
  3. Fast hands
  4. An open space (Do not try indoors)

What to Do:

Everyone knows this one. Drop a couple of mentoes into a cola bottle and stand well back.

What's Happening? The surface of the candy may look smooth, but in physical terms, its actually quite rough. Fizzy drinks are fizzy because they undergo a steady chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide. The rough surface of the candy provides extra sites for this reaction to take place over - they are known as nucleation sites

Next? Experiment with different flavours of mentoes, brands of cola, other sugar coated sweets. You could try a sports-drink cap on the cola to see if this makes a difference

3. The Science of Hypercooling

My personal favourite! This experiment is how I introduce the science of melting and freezing. You will need:

  1. A metal bucket
  2. 1kg of table salt
  3. 6x 500ml bottled water
  4. Two bags of crushed ice and Water
  5. Patience

What to Do: Check out this video for full details as this experiment, whilst straightforward, is delicate.

Next? Compete to see who can pour the tallest freezing tower

top-10-science-experiments-to-try-at-home

4. Rocket Science - Pocket Rockets

NASA aren't the only ones who can make rockets! You will need:

  1. A ye olde photo film cannister (most camera shops still have plenty to give away for free)
  2. Alka-seltzer tablet
  3. Small piece of blu-tak
  4. Water
  5. Water colouring or paint (optional)

What to do: Take the lid of the cannister and stick the blu-tak to the inside. Next, carefully but firmly stick your alka-seltzer tablet to the blu tack. Fill the cannister halfway with water. Firmly close the lid. You now have a fuelled pocket rocket. Simply turn upside down and step back.

What's Happening? This is simply an application of pressure. As the alka-seltzer dissolvers, it releases carbon dioxide. Because the cannister is airtight, it has nowhere to go! The pressure builds until it goes POP!

Next? Experiment with different amounts of water and brands of fizzing tablets. I play a trick where I count in my head whilst talking and snap my fingers just as each pocket rocket takes off :)

5. The Science of Double Glazing

Prove the effectiveness of your expensive double glazing with a simple experiment. You will need:

  • Two empty 1 litre plastic drinks bottles
  • One empty 2 litre plastic drinks bottle
  • Sharp scissors
  • Two identical glasses or paper cups - anything without a handle that is narrow enough to fit inside the smaller bottle
  • A jug or something to fill the glasses from
  • Hot water from the tap
  • Two thermometer strips (sold at chemists and supermarkets) and some sticky tape.

What to do: Lots of steps to this one (and it is neatly stolen from the Bang website) so take a look at this link for full details and explanations!

6. Physics Magic Tricks

Sticky Rice: Get a clean jam jar. Fill to the top with rice. Hold the jar firmly with one hand, push a pencil right to the bottom. Pull the pencil up slowly but not all the way out. The push it back down again. If the rice level starts to drop, top up the rice.

Eventually, the rice will compact around your pencil, and you will be able to lift the whole jar with the pencil. When this happens, the friction between the pencil and rice is so large that you cannot easily pull the pencil out!

Bend water with static electricity: Blow up a balloon and rub it against your head to build up a static charge. Do this for several minutes to really get a decent charge. Then, turn a tap on: it should be on enough for a steady but slow stream of water to come out, not just drips. Bring the balloon close to the stream of water and observe what happens!

Super bouncing: Grab a tennis ball. Drop it on the floor and see how high it bounces. Now grab a basketball. Drop it on the floor and see how high it bounces. Now put the tennis ball on top of the basketball; support the basketball with one hand and the tennis ball with the other. Drop your two balls at exactly the same time. Now go and ask next-door for your tennis ball back.

top-10-science-experiments-to-try-at-home

7. Rainbow in a Glass

Density is anything but dense - take advantage of this physical concept by making a rainbow in a glass. You will need:

  1. 5 glasses
  2. Sugar
  3. Water
  4. Different coloured food colouring
  5. Tablespoon
  6. Epic patience and a steady hand - this will take some practice!

What to Do: Line up the glasses and put 3 tablespoons of water into the first four glasses. Add one tablespoon of sugar to glass one, two to glass two, three to glass three, four to glass four. Stir thoroughly to dissolve the sugar. Now add a different colour foodcolouring to each glass. Pour 1/4 of glass four into glass five. That was the easy bit.

This is the tricky bit. You must pour the next layer (glass three) so gently that it doesn't mix with the first layer. You can put a teaspoon just above the first layer and pour the mixture gently over the back of the spoon to minimise splash. The more slowly you do this, the better the results. When you have filled the glass to about the same width as the last layer, repeat with glass two, and then with glass one. If you have done this right you should get something like the picture.

What's Happening? The different amounts of sugar in water create different densities of water. As you are layering them with the heaviest at the bottom, the different layers will 'sit' on top of each other. Eventually, due to particle dynamics, the layers will mix. The greater the difference in density, the longer the effect lasts. Unlike water and oil, however, once you mix the layers, they will not settle back.

Next? A similar, more palatable, effect can be achieved with 'squashes' (drink mixes) instead of food colouring.

8. Hot Ice

Ice is a crystalline solid that forms when water freezes. But water is not the only liquid that makes crystals. You will need:

  1. Parental Supervision
  2. Sodium Acetate (easily available online)
  3. Pyrex dish
  4. Saucepan
  5. Scissors

What to Do:

Pour the sodium acetate powder into a saucepan. Add water a little at a time. You want just enough to dissolve the gel, the less water you add, the better. Heat the mixture gently whilst stirring. You should notice the gel dissolving

Now pour this mixture into a glass, making sure not to let any undissolved gel into the glass. (Keep any undissolved crystals for later) Put this into the fridge for an hour to cool it.

Take out your 'hot-ice' mixture. It should be liquid. Touch it and watch the mixture instantly freeze. Feel the outside of the container - it should feel warm to the touch.

What's Happening? This is another example of supercooling, but with a liquid that freezes above 0. Remember, all freezing is is changing from a liquid to a solid - it doesn't have to be cold for this to happen

Next? To form the sculptures you need a metal tray scattered with a thin layer of sodium acetate powder to act as a nucleation site.

9. Grow Something!

I leave this to your imagination! Try growing flowers, tomatoes, herbs, anything! This will teach responsibility as well as open up avenues for different experiments (light levels, fertiliser levels, different places in the home, time of watering, regularity of watering) and allows children to develop their observation skills. Have them keep a journal or log of their observations over several weeks, writing down in detail what they do to the plant and what they see.

top-10-science-experiments-to-try-at-home

10. Self Inflating Balloon

Combine Biology and Physics to blow up a balloon with the power of yeast! You will need:

  1. A used washed fizzy drinks bottle (lid not required)
  2. Latex balloon (thinner the better)
  3. Elastic band
  4. Measuring Jug
  5. Yeast
  6. Sugar
  7. Water

What to Do: Place 2 teaspoons of yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar and one cup of water into the bottle. Put the balloon over the top of the bottle and secure with the elastic band. Leave, but keep an eye on it

What's happening? Yeast is actually a micro-organism. The yeast is 'eating' the sugar and respiring. A product of respiration is Carbon Dioxide, which slowly fills up the balloon.

Next? Experiment with different temperatures, different types of sugar, different amounts of sugar to see how quickly you can blow up the balloon.

Comments

dymond on June 30, 2020:

this is cool thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UwU on May 13, 2020:

Good

oVo on April 07, 2020:

It's not that good. Because of the whole quarantine thing, I cant use the yeast because it's so wasteful. Most of these experiments are wasteful.

Bob on April 07, 2020:

Fun and i hated that the colors in the rainbow mixed.

DJ ASHLYN on March 29, 2020:

no all of this stuff is good or has eggs

eeeey on March 08, 2020:

thats so cool

ruby on February 06, 2020:

this is so COOL!

Gowthami on January 05, 2020:

Please send any degree related experiments

mithun on November 01, 2019:

I like the pocket rocket idea I will have to do that one day and also Hypercooling

person on October 31, 2019:

I like the pocket rocket idea I will have to do that one day

Ann on October 22, 2019:

These are nice experiments but are rather not fit for school projects or exhibition. These are good experiments to do at home.

Debra on October 15, 2019:

The rainbow in a glass is interesting but needs lot of patience and attention to get the best result even though looks complex,but it amazing and superb.

Alice on July 31, 2019:

But what is the point of these experiments? We're not collecting results or finding something?

Vivek singh on June 23, 2019:

Good

Asif baig on June 14, 2019:

It's really intresting and fascinating

But somethings are difficult like water rainbow

But it is also intresting

No one on May 22, 2019:

Very cool

Saloni on May 21, 2019:

Very interesting experiment

Godsfavour on May 18, 2019:

do u have any group I want more

Anonymous on May 09, 2019:

INTERESTING SITE!!!!

Thanks!

random dude on May 01, 2019:

i need some cooler experaments

Person on February 18, 2019:

Are these for kids

ezekiel on January 24, 2019:

nice

ya boi on January 17, 2019:

im going to try the balloon

Angel on January 03, 2019:

Nice

Prinxyl on December 25, 2018:

These is one of the good websites to see some interesting things

Bobby on December 10, 2018:

let's go this actually works thanks for the tips.

Gayathri on November 30, 2018:

It is good for programs like exhibition day and it helped me for grand science exhibition day in my school

Isaiah on November 28, 2018:

Physics Magic is complicated but very helpful and fun.

riddhi on November 10, 2018:

Ice roll track experience idea

Riya rày on October 21, 2018:

Very nice

Qamar on October 10, 2018:

intresting

Ishu on July 27, 2018:

Nice

Tayla on July 26, 2018:

Hi my name is Tayla this is the best I will try Thease at home

Leni on July 26, 2018:

The slime lasted for a week for me

Aastha on July 15, 2018:

Thanks for sharing your knowledge

Rahul roy on July 13, 2018:

Nice thought of science

Krish vora on June 25, 2018:

Very nice website

lakshmi narayan sandal on June 21, 2018:

Very nice and excellent thinking that moderate the students

anu on June 13, 2018:

Nice

Raaga on June 13, 2018:

I liked it so much

Agnes on June 03, 2018:

I feel like doing everything at once.

Raviraj on May 17, 2018:

Nice. Yaaaaa

John on April 17, 2018:

great for class thanks

godesha on April 15, 2018:

this is awesome

Chandu on February 22, 2018:

Fantastic.

Rose Glitter on January 20, 2018:

Actually it is a very excellent thing which radiates the knowledge.

Sushma on January 19, 2018:

Wonderful

farha on January 15, 2018:

nice

Bella on December 14, 2017:

it is cool

Sandeep kashyap on November 17, 2017:

Good

Ajit kharel on November 06, 2017:

It's just cool buddy

Alok on September 26, 2017:

Bad experiments

Achchhelal chauhan on September 25, 2017:

Wow! Experiment....

surya on July 21, 2017:

Its good for school expriments thank a lot

amarbhovad on July 18, 2017:

cool

Asad Abbas khan on July 06, 2017:

That's very helpful site for helping me out in my assignments.

Muskan on June 22, 2017:

I like it so much.

Akshatha on April 15, 2017:

How long does it take for the balloon to get inflated in the self inflating balloon experiment?

mohammad nayeem on January 22, 2017:

very nice ideas

Kartik... on January 08, 2017:

Awesome ideas...used em for my school activities

yanna on November 18, 2015:

i think its really good

divya on October 11, 2015:

experiments are well and good

injila scientist on September 02, 2015:

Nice experiments

angel aana on July 07, 2015:

osm experiments...

Anitha Vallabhaneni on January 11, 2015:

its intresting

alishba on September 15, 2014:

I like this expriment and i will try at home

Aaron Sparks on July 02, 2014:

Thanks for the article, vet interesting!

i will try some of this with my kid, hoping this will get him to think i'm cool again.

although i think he already know the thing with the mentos...(pretty old)

riya student on January 09, 2014:

some new experiment for my science exhibition

anglina on November 27, 2013:

good experimnts but make other also that we can see .............. cool experiments these are

keep it up :-)

sprickita from Reno on November 17, 2013:

D all of the above.... (4 which cool trick2try) kinda mean only letting us pick one... Just kidding THANK YOU happy hubbing..

sundas on March 02, 2013:

I like this and keep it up

Amanda Littlejohn on March 01, 2013:

I have to say that I am really impressed by this: what fabulous ideas and all so clearly explained and presented.

Thank you very much for sharing all these great ways to get kids (and adults!) involved in practical science. Really lovely.

nikitha on February 23, 2013:

all experiments are good

Muhammad Zeeshan from Karachi, Pakistan on February 14, 2013:

ive tried some of them and they may not sound cool first but they are fun once you really get into them.

Rumana from Sharjah, UAE on February 14, 2013:

Wow, these are very interesting and funny things to do!! I specially like the rainbow in a water glass. Great hub!!

Chen on February 14, 2013:

Wow, these look like so much fun. I want to make slime right now, just looks kinda cool to keep in the desk drawer to sit around and play with when you're thinking. Great hub! Yay science, so much fun!

pinkhawk from Pearl of the Orient on February 13, 2013:

Fascinating! ^_^

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on February 12, 2013:

Great list of ideas to entertain the kids and do some science at home. I had one of those chemistry sets with little test tubes and bottles of chemicals when I was young. It was my favorite toy.

Jmillis2006 from North Carolina on February 06, 2013:

I am going to try the rainbow in a glass with my son. Loved this hub.

Frangipanni on February 06, 2013:

Great hubs. With kids in school your hubs are such help. I see you are one hub of the 100! Good luck!

siddhi shah on February 02, 2013:

its great i learn many things about the science n i happy to know this things , i like science subject n also maths

raising humans from North Carolina on January 23, 2013:

I LOVE this! Thank you! I love doing science experiments with my kids!

Riya Chaudhari. on January 18, 2013:

I like the Science Experiments soooooooo much!

I liked the balloon one and the rainbow in the glass the most!

I also tried and I was KAMIYAB! to do it1

Anil padhee on November 27, 2012:

great project of science

H Lax on November 20, 2012:

I love science projects. I'm going to have a lot of fun trying some of these out. Thanks for sharing.

LopezUnleashed on November 07, 2012:

This was pretty cool reading. As a homeschooling mom, any science experiments I can get my hands on that someone has actually done is a great thing. Sometimes I check out books from the library on science experiments, and I sometimes wonder if they ever try them before they publish them.

India Arnold from Northern, California on October 05, 2012:

What a fantastic article! Easy to follow instructions and great experiments! I may be giving the rainbow in a glass project a go! What fun!

Cheers~

liza on October 03, 2012:

nice and very interesting ideas .these experimets students can enjoy .go onn

Lena Welch from USA on September 18, 2012:

Aha! PVA glue is the international name for Elmer's I bet! I needed to verify that for my hub and there it is in yours! Get your goo on!

Jenn from Pennsylvania on September 01, 2012:

These experiments sound like they would be very fun to try. Awesome hub!

Ann Leung from San Jose, California on August 20, 2012:

Great ideas on science experiments for kids. They all sound fun to try. School has just started and this hub can help our kids to choose their science projects for the school science fair this year. Thank you for sharing this useful hub. Voted up, useful and shared!

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on August 15, 2012:

Great page TFscientist of good fun ideas for people to try at home - well described, well illustrated, and most importantly (for those who like to see science made clear), well explained. Hopefully the page will indeed encourage some to develop a greater interest in science. Glad I've found you. Voted up. Alun.

violy on August 06, 2012:

the experiment on this site is awesome.

robes on August 01, 2012:

Awesome ideas! I enjoy a good read over some small science experiments!

Mary Juett from Omaha, NE on July 19, 2012:

Great ideas! My girls are too young for some of them, but as parents we love to play and it might spark some thoughts about how our world works with their little minds! I'm loving the rainbow in a glass, I may be trying that one soon for some of our color experiments!

rneufeld from Virginia on May 24, 2012:

These expirements are awesome!

Yvonne Spence from UK on April 19, 2012:

My 12 year-old will love this! She’s done a few of these experiments, but there’s plenty here for her to try. This will keep her amused for hours, thanks!

WorkAllDay on February 13, 2012:

I do a lot of science work. These are great things for students to do for labs also. i like the fact that they are all very well hands on. its great! keep up the good work and you will get far with your web site wor and posting work. just keep in mind not everyone will like your work but you just need to minus all of them out of your head.

words cocktail from Australia on February 10, 2012:

I think 'Arts and Science' have always been married to each other!! :)

Rhys Baker (author) from Peterborough, UK on February 08, 2012:

@ oldandwise & perspycacious: Thank you so much for passing on my ideas. I really hope your grandchildren enjoy the experiments! Let me know how things go :)