Junior Science Club Experiment Circus

Senior School Science

The Junior Science Club third session of the term was a circus of experiments.

There were five short experiments in total. Mrs Sharkey demonstrated how to do the experiments before letting the pupils have a turn. The pupils were very excited to have a go themselves and to learn the science behind the experiments. They were assisted by Dr Adams and Mr Kalsi. The experiments the pupils completed were;

1) Rain cloud – shaving foam was sprayed on top of water in a beaker, a spatula was used to create an even surface, food colouring was dropped using a pipette on the surface of the foam, after a while the food colouring fell through the foam creating a rain effect. The shaving foam represented the clouds, the water represented the air and the coloured water represented rain. As the coloured water saturates the “cloud”, it gets heavy and eventually it is so heavy that it can no longer hold the coloured water. It “rains” down into the jar - through the “air.” It is just like real rain falls through the air

2) Relighting a candle – each group started by lighting two candles, they blew one out and used the lit candle to relight the candle again using the smoke trail. When the candle is lit, the flame makes the wax melt. Some of the hot wax turns into a gas and is carried up into the smoke. The bits of wax in the smoke are then relit by the second candle and the flame travels down to the wick lighting it again

3) Jumping discs - these metal discs are bimetallic which means that they are made from two different metals. The disc is slightly curved, heat the disc in your hands, click the disk so that it bends and then place it on a flat surface. As it cools, the disc will revert back to its initial shape. When this happens, the disc jumps several feet in the air

4) Glow in the dark water – the pupils were given two types of water (tonic water and tap water). They brought both types of water in a beaker close to a UV lamp and the tonic water fluoresced. Tonic water is a carbonated beverage that has a chemical called quinine dissolved in it. Under UV light the quinine in tonic water makes the water fluoresce a brilliant bright blue

5) Reversing the image – the pupils filled a beaker with water, drew horizontal arrows on a piece of paper and slowly moved the paper with the arrows behind the beaker full of water. As they watched from the front, they noticed that the direction of the arrows reversed. This Physics experiment demonstrated the concept of refraction which is the bending of light

The session concluded with Mr Kalsi demonstrating igniting a hydrogen balloon. A large balloon was filled with hydrogen and Mr Kalsi carefully ignited the balloon using a lit splint on the end of a metre ruler. The hydrogen balloon created a huge fireball and loud bang. A slow motion video was captured by Dr Adams which shows the moment the hydrogen ignited creating a huge fireball. It is amazing what can be captured using the camera on a phone which further fuels the use of technology in lessons!


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