Is your summer filled with a lot of TV-watching and couch-sitting? Well, we have some fun ways for you to get off the couch and awaken your scientific brain! Keep your brain sharp and have some fun with your friends with these creative experiments that you can try at home!
- Brighten up your silver. If you’re looking to give a new shine to some tarnished silver pieces, boil about 4 liters of water and then add 1 cup of baking soda (be careful – it might froth over a bit, so you should put the pot of boiling water over the sink first). Next, put your silver pieces at the bottom of an aluminum foil-covered pan, and pour the mixture over the pan. Then watch as the tarnish starts to disappear. The baking soda and aluminum help reverse the tarnish back into silver!
- Send secret messages. *Note: You will need a black light for this experiment. Take some petroleum jelly and write out a message on a piece of paper. Wipe off any remaining jelly from your fingers, and then put the message underneath a black light and watch it glow! The phosphors in the petroleum jelly react with the black light to give off a nice glow.
- Make some “heavy” bubbles. If you want to take a closer look at bubbles, you can use vinegar and baking soda to create “heavier” bubbles that will stay suspended in the air for a longer period of time. Mix ½ a cup of baking soda with 1 cup of vinegar in a transparent container. This will create carbon dioxide inside the container, which is denser than air. Next, use the regular bubble solution to gently blow bubbles into the container filled with carbon dioxide. But don’t blow the bubbles directly down into the container; rather blow the bubbles over the container and let them naturally fall into it where they should float on top of the layer of carbon dioxide, allowing you to take a closer look at them.
Have fun exploring science in the comfort of your own home!