Free Experiments

  1. Spaghetti and Marshmallow Tower

    Spaghetti and Marshmallow tower:

    Spaghetti and Marshmallow Tower

    A variation on the Marshmallow Challenge, where this time marshmallows can be used to form part of the structure. Build the highest, free-standing structure possible out of 30 marshmallows and 20 pieces of raw spaghetti. (For extra challenge: The structure must support the weight of a book).

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  2. Marshmellow Challenge

    Marshmallow Challenge:

    STEM Challenges

    Build the highest, free-standing structure from 20 sticks of (uncooked) spaghetti, one metre of string and one metre of masking tape, in just 18 minutes. The tower must be able to support a marshmallow at the top.

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  3. STEM Bouyancy

    STEM Bouyancy:

    Book: WHO SANK THE BOAT? Pamela Allen

    Songs: “ROW, ROW, ROW Your Boat” and “A Sailor went to See See See"

    Key Concepts: Buoyancy, Hydrophobic materials, boat construction and mass.

    Bouyancy


    When a boat floats, it settles into the water, pushing the water aside to make room for itself. The force that it is pushing the boat into the water is called gravity. It is a two way pushing match, however. Water pushes back onto the bottom of the boat. This force, called buoyancy holds the boat out of the water. The more water a boat pushes aside, the more force there will be pushing back on the boat and supporting it. This is why a boat’s size and shape makes such a difference in how much of a load it can carry without sinking.

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  4. Preserve A Spider Web

    Preserve A Spider Web

    Preserve A Spider Web

    Spiders are not just creepy and crawly, they are truly one of nature’s great artists.  Spiders produce silk that they use to catch bugs, usually by spinning a beautiful web.

    In this activity, be a spider scientist and capture and preserve a delicate spiderweb to study.

    Suitable for kids aged 10+ with parental supervision.

    You Need:

    • Empty spiderweb
    • Talcum powder
    • Black construction paper
    • Hair spray

    What to do:

    1. Head outside, in the backyard, school ground or nature trail in search of an unoccupied spider web. To find out if the web is empty, tap it very lightly. You will see the spider move if it is occupied, and you will need to find another web to preserve. Look carefully in tall grass and bushes. 
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  5. Mouldy Bread

    Mouldy Bread

    The Mouldy Bread Experiment

    Learning Objectives:

    -      Students will develop and/or refine their skills in designing and conducting experiments.

    -      Students will understand the factors that promote and prevent the growth of mold on bread.

     

    Equipment required (per student or pair of students):

    -      2 slices of bread each cut into halves.

    -      4 small ziplock bags

    -      4 sticky labels and pen

    -      Access to water, a fridge and perhaps a toaster (optional)

    Some moldy bread in a sealed bag for demonstration purposes.

    Procedure:

    Show the mouldy bread to the students to prompt a discussion. (You could give it a little backstory, e.g. ‘I

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  6. Human Scale Model of the Solar System

    Create a human sized scale model of the solar system with your students.

    Learning Objectives:

    • For students to develop an understanding of the positions of the planets in the solar system, both relative to each other, and also their position and distance from the sun.
    • For students to gain a practical meaning of the words ‘rotation’ and ‘revolution’ and how those words apply in the context of the movement of planets.

    You Need:

    • A large open space, such as a park or football field

    • A long measuring tape (such as one used to mark out a sporting field). 

    • Possibly also

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  7. Explosive Cream Container

    Explosive Cream Container

    If you thought vinegar and bicarb were only good for making messy, oozy volcanoes, think again! Turn an empty cream container into an exciting, explosive rocket with this classic acid/base reaction.

    Suitable for ages 13 +, best used as a demonstration because of the speed and danger of the projectile

    You Need:

    • ¼ cup of vinegar
    • 600ml empty, clean cream container
    • 1 tablespoon of bicarb powder

    What to do:

    1. Add approximately ¼ cup of vinegar (acid) to a 600ml empty, clean cream container.
    2. Then, add one heaped tablespoon of bicarb (base).
    3. Quickly push the cream lid on, and point the container away
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  8. Straw Heart Monitor

    Straw Heart Monitor

    This DIY 'heart rate monitor' will open your eyes to the amazing muscle that keeps you alive and kicking.

    Suitable for kids aged 5+ with parental supervision.

    You Need:
    • Drinking straw
    • Lump of putty, plasticine or blu-tac - that's it!
    What to do:
    1. Poke the straw into the putty. Okay, so it looks nothing like an expensive ECG monitor but wait till you see what this thing can do!
    2. Lay on your back and find the pulse in your neck. Lay the putty on top of this spot so that the tip of the straw is just above your eye. Now watch what happens... it's a little freaky.

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  9. Recycled Paper Seedling Pots

    Recycled Paper Seedling Pots

    Recycled Seedling Paper Pots

    Its easy to forget that making paper consumes trees and energy. These recycled paper-pots are not only fun to make, but they give new life to old catalogues and newspapers - reducing waste and helping the earth Raise a seed in your new eco-pot, then, when its time, plant the seedling pot and all in the garden no need to worry because the pots biodegradable and will break down quickly in the soil.

    Suitable for kids aged 5+ with parental supervision

    CAUTIONThis experiment requires the use of hot water.
    You Need:
    • Cup, yoghurt container or bowl to mould your pot
    • Newspaper, or other scrap, used un-wanted paper
    • Large bowl or container
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  10. Colour Change Carnations

    Colour Change Carnations

    Colour Change Carnations

    See how water is absorbed into a plant by changing carnations cool colours.

    Suitable for kids aged 4+ with parental supervision. Only adults should cut the flowers.

    You Need:
    • 6 x white carnation
    • 6 x cups
    • Food colouring (red, yellow, blue and green)
    • Knife (to be used only by an adult)
    • Water
    What to do:
    1. Fill each cup half full with water.
    2. Add about 30 drops of colouring into four different cups. One cup with blue colouring, another red, one yellow and one green. The more food colouring the better.
    3. Before placing any of the flowers in coloured
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