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04
April
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Kids enjoy science and they like to do experiments, but most families don’t try this at home. Many believe that experiments must be performed in schools and science labs, places that have fancy equipment and chemicals on hand. This is wrong, of course. A typical kitchen has all the equipment and materials needed to conduct many fun and educational experiments.

For example, by dropping a few raisins in a glass of clear soda, families can learn a lesson in buoyancy. When soda is poured into the glass, the liquid releases carbon dioxide in the form of small bubbles that begin at the bottom and rise to the top. The bubbles rise because the CO2 inside them is not as heavy as the liquid that surrounds them. Raisins, however, are heavier than the liquid, so when they are dropped into the soda, they sink to the bottom. At this point, the bubbles attach to the surface of the raisins and start lifting them to the top of the glass. This happens because the gas gives buoyancy to the raisins, making them lighter than the liquid. Once the raisin reaches the top of the liquid, the bubble pops and releases its gas into the air. This causes the raisin to sink again due to its weight.

A popular kitchen-based experiment is invisible ink. Basically, invisible ink is any liquid used to write an invisible message on paper that remains unseen until the ink is revealed by another action. One of the easiest inks to find is any kind of acidic fruit juice, like lemon or apple juice. The ink can be applied to paper with a toothpick or cotton swab. Once the ink is dry, it will remain invisible until the paper is heated by ironing it or holding it near a hot light bulb.

Finally, a bottle and a hard-boiled egg can be used to show how air pressure works. The shell must be removed from the egg and the bottle must have an opening slightly smaller than the egg so the egg can sit on top of the opening without falling in. Fruit drink bottles are good for this. Next, a small strip of paper should be lit on fire and carefully inserted into the bottle. Once the burning paper is safely inside, the egg should be placed on top of the bottle’s opening. In a few seconds, the egg will squeeze through the opening and drop into the bottle. So, what does this have to do with air pressure? At first, the air pressure inside and outside of the bottle are the same. When the lit paper is placed in the bottle, the heated air inside expands. When the egg is placed over the opening, it stops the oxygen flow, the fire goes out, and the air inside rapidly cools and contracts. Suddenly, the air pressure outside of the bottle is greater than the pressure inside and the egg is pushed down into the bottle.

These and many more fun science experiments can be performed safely in just about any household kitchen.  For more fun kitchen science experiments, choose any of these websites and have a look around!

About the Author:

This article was written and provided to Who Needs Oxygen by one of our writing partners Hayley who is an amateur scientist, author, and blogger. Haley recommends Microscope.com for a great selection of high performance microscope for school science projects. To find a fun and fascinating science project, visit chemistry.about.com

To learn more about guest posting for us, please visit our Write for Us page.

Categories: Technology Blathering

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