Jun 18, 2010 by Norene Wiesen
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fun science experiments

Yesterday’s blog post from Sherrelle Walker about making science fun really inspired me—so much so that I gathered up a few interesting experiments that will delight kids in the classroom or at home any time of year:

Bending Light
With just a strong flashlight and an empty soda can, you can make a beam of light follow a stream of water wherever it flows.

Screaming Cup
All you need is a large plastic cup, a piece of string, and some water (violin rosin optional) to create this eerie sound-effect and learn about the "stick and slide" effect that can amplify sound.

Dancing Raisins
Round up a can of colorless soda (e.g., 7-Up or Sprite), a tall clear glass or plastic cup, and some raisins, and find out why the raisins dance to the top of the cup and back to the bottom—again and again! 

Build a Film Canister Rocket
If you can find some white plastic film canisters, an Alka-Seltzer tablet, and safety goggles, you can launch a rocket from your school playground just by adding water.  (This experiment has a lot of "cautions"—for your safety, please follow them!)

A few months ago I did a version of the dancing raisins experiment with my three-year-old.  He loved it, not only because it was intriguing and fun to watch, but because he got to eat the extras!  I sat at the kitchen table with him, and as we ate raisins together we lingered over the experiment, delighting in the human element of togetherness—sharing food and wondering aloud in communal awe at the mechanisms of the world we inhabit. 

Over the next few weeks, my son asked to do the experiment again and again, kindling my hope that his future experiences in school and life will similarly nurture his curiosity and create an interest in science that will last a lifetime.

Is there a science experiment or science experience that has made a difference for you or your students?  Please share it with us!

Categories: Reading & Learning