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Welcome to Five Minute Science, where we offer up cool science experiments you and your kids can do together using everyday household items, in about five minutes! In this installment you get to make water bend and learn some science too, from the experts at Let's Talk Science.

Purpose:

To show how static electricity affects running water. Be sure to ask your child what he or she thinks might happen before you do the experiment - what result is expected when a comb that has been run through hair 10 times is placed near a stream of running water?

The Experiment

 

Materials:
  1. A dry plastic comb
  2. A faucet with running water
  3. A head of clean dry hair
bending.jpgProcess:
  1. Turn on the faucet slowly until you have a VERY thin stream of water flowing.
  2. Run the comb through your hair 10 times.
  3. Slowly bring the comb close to the water, without actually touching the water. What do you see?
Explaining the Science:

Did you see the water bend when you placed the comb near it? Why do you think it did? The scientific explanation is that when you ran your comb through your hair several times, tiny, invisible parts of the atoms in your hair, called ELECTRONS, collected on the comb. These electrons are negatively charged, and when they are attached to the comb, they make the comb negatively charged. The scientific laws of attraction say that opposites attract and likes repel, so the negatively charged comb is attracted to things that are positively charged. The running water is a POSITIVE force. The attraction is strong enough to pull the water towards the comb as it is flowing.

 

Curriculum Connection:

This experiment is simple, safe and appropriate for any age. In the Ontario Science and Technology curriculum, Forces in Nature is taught in Grade 3, Static and Current Electricity is taught in Grade 6.

 

Extra Credit!
  • Tear up pieces of tissue until they are as a small as possible.
  • Then charge your comb again by combing it through your hair, and bring it close to the tiny pieces of tissue. What do you observe?
  • Observe static electricity in other places- rubbing balloons on your head and sticking them to the wall with the charge - use a timer to see how long it sticks to the wall!
  • Go under the covers so it's dark, put socks on your feet and rub them back and forth quickly under the blankets - do you see the static electricity?

Welcome to Five Minute Science, where we offer up cool science experiments you and your kids can do together using everyday household items, in about five minutes! This week you get to see what kind of pop floats and learn some science too, from the experts at Let's Talk Science.

 

Purpose:

To show your child how two objects that appear to be the same can have different densities. Be sure to ask your child what he or she thinks might happen before you do the experiment - what result is expected when the regular and diet pop cans are placed in the container of water?

 

The Experiment

 

Materials:
  1. A can of diet pop
  2. A can of regular pop
  3. A deep tub of cold water

pop-301x225.jpg

Process:
  1. Immerse the can of regular pop in a deep tub of cold water. Observe what happens to this can.
  2. Immerse the can of diet pop in a deep tub of cold water. Observe what happens to this can. How does it differ from the can of regular pop?

 

Explaining the Science:

The regular pop can should have sunk and the diet pop can should have floated. Ask your child why he or she thinks that happened.The scientific explanation is that while both cans are the same size and have the same amount of liquid inside, not all liquids are the same density. Both the regular and the diet pops are mostly water, but the regular pop also contains a significant amount of sugar, usually in the form of corn syrup -- about 40 grams of corn syrup. Diet pop contains artificial sweetener which is much sweeter than corn syrup, so less of it is needed -- about 0.35 grams of sweetener. So the sweetener makes all of the difference. The regular pop is denser due to the 40 grams of corn syrup, which makes it sink. The diet pop is less dense due to the 0.35 grams of sweetener, so it is light enough to float.

 

Curriculum Connections:

This experiment is simple, safe and appropriate for any age. However, in the Ontario Science and Technology curriculum, density is taught in Grade 8.

 

Extra Credit!
  • Try using cans of juice and see what happens.
  • Ask your child to gather household items and predict whether they will sink or float. Test them out and chart the results on a graph.

Welcome to Five Minute Science where we offer up cool science experiments families can do together using everyday household items, in about five minutes!

In this experiment, you get to give a balloon gas and learn some science too, from the experts at Let's Talk Science.

 

Purpose:

To demonstrate how gas is created as a result of a chemical reaction.

Be sure to ask your child what he or she thinks might happen before you do the experiment – what result is expected when you mix vinegar and baking soda together? What will happen to the balloon?

 

The Experiment

 

Materials:
  1. Baking soda
  2. Vinegar
  3. Plastic bottle (we used a water bottle)
  4. A balloon
  5. A funnel

 

gassy_balloon_644x362-448x252.jpgProcess:
  1. Using a funnel pour baking soda into the balloon until it is ½ full.
  2. Clean the funnel or use a different one to pour vinegar into your bottle (until it is about 1/3 full).
  3. Place the opening of the balloon over the opening of the bottle. Make sure you don't let the baking soda fall into the bottle just yet.
  4. When the balloon is on tightly, lift the balloon but keep a hold on where it attaches to the bottle or use an elastic band to hold the balloon on. Let the baking soda fall into the vinegar.
  5. Observe what happens in the bottle and to the balloon.

 

Explaining the Science:

Did you see the vinegar bubble up when you added the baking soda, and the balloon blow up? Why do you think that happened? The scientific explanation is that vinegar is an acid, baking soda is a base, and when you mix them together they create an acid-base reaction. In this case, the reaction created a gas called carbon dioxide. Gases need room to expand, so once the carbon dioxide filled the bottle, it moved into the balloon and inflated it.

 

Curriculum Connection:

This experiment is simple, safe and appropriate for any age. In the Ontario Science and Technology curriculum, Properties of Liquids and Solids is taught in Grade 2 and Properties of and Changes in Matter is taught in Grade 5.

 

Extra Credit!
  • Freeze coloured vinegar, then drop into a pan with baking soda and water (250 ml water, 5 ml baking soda). What happens?
  • Try using different solids and liquids and see what happens: e.g. combine water with dish soap and add 5 ml of baking soda, or combine vinegar and dish soap and add 5 ml of baking soda.
  • Remember to ask your kids to predict what is going to happen first, then ask them to discuss what really happened, and why they think that occurred.