You are down to the wire with your kid’s science fair project — It needs to get done and it needs to get done quick. That’s we’ve provided a few great science experiments you can do at home, in one night, with things you most likely already have on hand.
When trying to think of a science fair experiment to perform at home, keep in mind some simple rules. Some of the most impressive experiments are the simplest, and demonstrate fundamental scientific concepts.
These are also great rainy-day activities with your kids, even if there isn’t a science fair in sight.
QUESTION: Does the colour of food affect whether or not we like the taste of the food?
Procedure: You can use any white food for this experiment, but we recommend plain yogurt. Divide the yogurt into four batches. Use food colouring to dye one batch red, one yellow, and one blue. The fourth batch is unchanged and acts as the control.
Put the same amount of each yogurt into unmarked plastic cups. Invite 10 friends over to your house. Give each friend one of each yogurt sample and ask them to identify the flavour and whether or not they like it.
The experiment will identify the link between colour and taste (For example, does yellow-coloured yogurt taste like lemon or banana flavour?), and if it affects appetite even if taste and smell are the same.
QUESTION: What is the best way to keep an ice cube from melting?
Procedure: Gather a bunch of different materials including waxed paper, aluminium foil, newspaper, and Styrofoam. Line a cardboard box with each of these materials, or other household items that might act as an insulator.
Place a cube of ice in each box and record how long it takes to melt compared to when it is left out in the open air. The experiment will determine what makes the best ice box.
QUESTION: What’s the fastest way to cool a can of soda?
Procedure: Grab four cans of soda at room temperature. Open the sodas and record the temperature, then reseal the top with plastic wrap and a rubber band.
Place one soda can in a bucket of ice, one in a bucket of water with ice, one in the freezer, and one in the freezer with a wet paper towel around it.
Check the temperature of the cans in five-minute intervals for 20 minutes.
QUESTION: Which type or brand of soap produces the most suds?
Procedure: Fill a container, such as a two-liter soda bottle, with two cups of water. Measure out one tablespoon of different types of soap, including laundry detergent, dish detergent, and hand soap, and dump into the bottle. Repeat this step with different brands of soap, such as Joy, Palmolive, and Dawn for different dish soaps.
Put the cap on the bottle and shake it for 30 seconds. Quickly measure the height of the suds and how long they take to dissipate to figure out which is bubblier.
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