Refraction is when light changes direction and speed as it passes from one object to another. Only visible objects reflect light. When two materials with similar reflective properties come into contact, light will pass through both materials at the same speed, rendering the other material invisible. Check out this video from BritLab on how to turn glass invisible using vegetable oil and pyrex glass.
Baking soda volcanoes are one of the classic science projects for kids, and they’re also one of the most popular. It’s hard to top the excitement of a volcano erupting inside your home. This experiment can also be as simple or in-depth as you like. For the eruption, all you need is baking soda and vinegar (dishwashing detergent adds some extra power to the eruption), but you can make the “volcano” as elaborate and lifelike as you wish.
This Rainbow Skittles science experiment can be done in seconds, making it a great way to try science at home even with the most easily distracted of toddler-sized assistant. All you’ll need to do is arrange Skittles in a circle on a plate and fill the middle with warm water. Then sit back and watch as the colours drain and mix with the water, creating a cool rainbow pattern in front of your eyes. Plus, any bonus Skittles = a tasty treat for you.
London Science Museum | ThinkTank - Birmingham Science Museum | Aberdeen Science Centre | Glasgow Science Centre | Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester | Life Science Centre (Centre for Life), Newcastle | National Science and Media Museum, Manchester | Techniquest, Cardiff | Museum of Victorian Science, Whitby | Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Cambridge | Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Making a borax snowflake is a crystal-growing project that is safe and easy enough for kids. You can make shapes other than snowflakes, and you can color the crystals. As a side note, if you use these as Christmas decorations and store them, the borax is a natural insecticide and will help keep your long-term storage area pest-free. If they develop a white precipitant, you can lightly rinse them (don't dissolve too much crystal). Did I mention the snowflakes sparkle really nicely?
Penguins, and many other birds, have special oil-producing glands that coat their feathers with a protective layer that causes water to slide right off them, keeping them warm and dry. You can demonstrate this to kids with this penguin craft by having them color a picture of a penguin with crayons, then spraying the picture with water. The wax from the crayons will have created a protective layer like the oil actual birds coat themselves with, and the paper won’t absorb the water.
The Big Bag of Science is filled with all sorts of scientific ingredients and tools for your child to conduct his or her experiments. The bag also helps to teach observational techniques and skills like understanding measurements, experimentation, and analyzation. Note that there are some ingredients not included that can be found in the house (like soda).
Ah, slime. It’s the one thing that parents across the UK have been being pestered to make, so why not turn it into a science activity? For our concoction, we mixed shaving foam, PVA glue and a little bit of air freshener (fabric conditioner can work too!), to create a slime that you can swirl, stretch and crack, providing hours of fun. Try changing the quantities to see how the mixture changes, and ask the kids to explain the differences.