Archive for March, 2010

Gas and Air Science Experiment

While we may conduct the majority of the chemical experiments with liquids, even gases react with air. The only reason that experiments in school tend to focus on more on chemical science experiments in the liquid state is because it is easier to the the end product of the process.

So if gases were to react with air how would you be able to see it? Would it cause any visible effect? Or would it be experience in some other form. The answer would depend on the type of gas that is reacting with the air and other factors as well.

For instance some gas reactions can be positively dangerous. If you have methane gas and release it into  the air nothing might happen initially. Now in that vicinity if some one was to light a match the methane combined with the oxygen in the air would catch fire.

That’s why it is best to avoid uncontrollable experiments of gases reacting with air. However if you want to try out a relatively safe experiment try out this science project. In this you will try to freeze bubbles. You will need an adult to give you a hand through so be sure to ask for permission and help with conducting the experiment.

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Acids and Bases

Chemicals can play an important role in any science project that you undertake. If you add the wrong chemical you may ruin the experiment or even worse, blow up your lab. Although that is a worst case scenario and may never realy happen with you if you are very careful about the chemicals that you use.

In most school labs the potentially risky chemicals are usually provided in a majorly diluted form to avoid any major mishaps. However it is important to know all the properties of a chemical that you may be handling in a science experiment. You do not want to burn yourself by accident.

So we know some chemicals are acids and it can be rather dangerous to drop these on our skin. So treat them with a lot of respect. The stuff that neutralizes or reduces the effect of acids is called bases. These are also quite strong and potent on their own, so make sure you handle them with care as well.

How would you care to use a vegetable like a cabbage to learn more about the properties of Acids and Bases? Yes it may seen like an unlikely teacher, but it is a good one. Check out this experiment over here. It does not need you to pick up any special chemicals to perform. All the stuff should be readily available in your fridge and kitchen at home.

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States of Matter

Consider a science experiment based on the states of matter. The states of matter are solid, liquid and gas. That we all know, but how does water change into ice, its solid form? Or water vapor, its liquid form? This has to do with the number of molecules of water that are packed together in a limited area.

When the water is placed in a glass in the fridge it will make the molecules shrink into a compact area and turn into a denser form. This dense form is the solid state of ice. Similarly the opposite happens when the water is boiled on the hob or in an electric kettle.

The heat excites the water molecules and they tend to expand into all the available space. Thus turning into a gaseous form called water vapor. The states of matter are not always followed in the transformation process. For instance a substance like Camphor has no liquid state.

Camphor exists in a solid form, generally in a white or cream color. If you apply heat to camphor in the form of a burning match stick it does not melt like ice would. In fact it catches fire and evaporates into a gaseous form right away. This is called spontaneous combustion.

But what about Fire? Is it solid, liquid or gas? And try making this gluep and try to figure out if it is a liquid or a solid.

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The Principle behind the Science project

Think of a science fair exhibition and you can see a number of working models and some three dimensional models all lined up for the judges. However it is not the size of you model that will make it an award winner. When you make a science project you are putting some scientific principle to use.

You model is based on some basic facts which are irrefutable. These facts or scientific principles is what the judges hope to hear you explain when you present the model to them. If you do not know what makes your model work, it means that even though you have built it, your knowledge is incomplete.

If you are making a parachute to bring down some thing safely from the top floor of a building you need to understand a few principles including that of gravity. Other terms that you need to understand will include things like air resistance, drag, load, and surface area.

Take a look at the science project here if you are interested in making a parachute. This may help you understand better why a sky diver lands softly on the ground with the help of a parachute, while without one he would have  a hard fall. These are the facts that your judges as the science fair exhibition expect you to bring out along with th eworking model of a parachute.

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Alternate Energy Source powered Science project

Considering that the fossil fuels are running low there will be a number of science projects researching other alternatives. Some alternative energy sources being considered are wind energy and solar energy. Both of which are clean fuel options as compared to fossil fuels which pollute the environment as they produce energy.

So what can you do with these alternate energy sources in your science fair project? There are many ideas that you can use. How about building a turbine windmill to produce electric power? Or may be you can try making a hydrogen  fuel cell that can operate a toy car.

There is a whole lot of things to do once you have established a small power source using alternative energy sources. You can even use a cycle as a power source for a grinding machine. The electric circuits you build can be used to power lights as well.

There is nothing nicer than flashing light bulbs to prove that your science fair project is a star! They are a sure shot attention grabber. You can add an extra dimension to the project by including a small useful function in the electric circuit along with the flashing light bulbs.

Use this idea here to get an unusual science project kick started.  Or work on a fresh one for yourself. There is no limit to the project that you can make.

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Working Models for your Science Fair Projects

One of the most exciting things about science fairs is the multitude of working models that you get to see at them. The thrill of seeing something that you made actually do what you wanted it to do can give you quite a high. Putting science into actual practice is what the whole deal about science fairs is.

So why not start early this year and pick up a proper working model for your science fair project. It can be something as simple as a conductivity test for metals and non metals. Or something as complicated as a remote controlled robot. There is no limit to what your mind can imagine as your science project.

So sit down and think of a list of things that can be made into working models. It can be a robotic arm which can pick and stack blocks. Or a car which you can control with a remote. Or even something as complicated as a robot that can climb stairs.

On paper there is no limit to what you may make. Try making a submarine! The only limiting factor will be the time and resources that you have at hand. While some projects are easier to make and will hardly take any time, if you are starting a more complicated project, make sure you do it as fast as possible.

It is always good to finish off the project a couple of days in advance so that you can see if any modifications are needed. It will also give you time to work on the project report, the display board and your presentation script. All of which are important components.

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