Archive for June, 2010

Pickling prevents Fermentation

While fermentation is a process which denatures food to make a new substance, pickling is a process where certain foods are soaked in a solution to avoid getting spoilt. A science project could be made out of using the two processes on the same food to see what the end result of both the processes would be on the said food.

Pickling is an ancient cooking technique and is common in most global cuisine. There are a whole variety of pickles available across the globe from America to Australia. However the basic principle stays the same. When it comes down to the nitty gritty there are just two kinds of pickles. Those made in vinegar and those made in brine, that’s salt water.

The strong liquids do not allow most bacteria to flourish effectively ending the chance of the food spoiling. However as the liquids have a distinctive taste of their own they will influence the taste of the food being pickled.

For our experiment with pickling we are going to make sauerkraut, a kind of fermented cabbage which originates from Germany. It is the easiest pickle to make. You get a head of cabbage. Cut strips of the cabbage and wash well. Now dry them up with some kitchen tissues and keep aside. In a glass bottle with a wide neck toss in the cabbage. Now cover it with vinegar and leave for a couple of days. Take it out and eat pickled cabbage! For more fun science experiments check here.

Leave a Comment

Fermenting the Science Project

Would you consider taking some grapes and turning them into wine a science project? It may seem like wine making but it is essentially a scientific process called fermentation at play. You can see the products of fermentation in any kitchen. It can include bread, yogurt, wine, beer, pickles and cheese.

During the process of fermentation you encourage the growth of microscopic organisms which can quite literally change the look and taste of the food product that you started out with. Grapes to wine for instance or milk to cheese. By encouraging the right kind of micro organism, often a bacteria, to grow you can manipulate the taste of the final food.

This is why a cheese maker is particular about the quality of rennet added to curdle the milk. And also about the time before he removes the whey from the bowl to compact the curd. This curd will then evolve into a distinctive cheese. Similarly wine makers can add yeast or not when they make wine from a particular kind of fruit.

It is possible to make wine out of rose petals with out adding any yeast to aid the fermentation. Why not try it out yourself? Take a bowl of grapes and crush them with your fingers to let the juices run. Now add a bowl of sugar to a container and the crushed grapes and juice. Mix well and seal up the container for a month. When you open the container after a month fermentation should have caused the sugar and grapes to make wine. Try out more science projects here.

Leave a Comment

Planetarium Science Project

Have you been to a planetarium and been fascinated by the stars? Did the whole experience leave you wishing that you could head out on the next space mission? And are you too young to be eligible for the said mission? Well there is something that you can do about getting the same experience.

Build your own planetarium. A simple science project that can be used at will to escape into the vast expanses of space. Here is how you can do it. Get a cylindrical cardboard box. Take a few sheets of thin paper and punch out the different constellations that you know onto them.

Now dim the lights, face the wall and grab your flashlight. Just place the thin paper with the star shapes  face down on the outside of the bottom of the cylindrical box. From the other end end insert the flashlight into the cylindrical box. Shine the light in the box and not on the paper directly.

Hold the box up so that the light from the holes shines on the wall lighting up the constellation that you have punched into the paper. Make sure that the room is dark enough for the star like effect to come through on the wall. Change the paper for the next constellation that you want to show in your planetarium. Have more fun with the stars here.

Leave a Comment

Party games also Use Science

Some Science experiments are so much fun that we can also disguise them as party games. Don’t believe me? Here are a couple of examples. Have you ever challenged a person to pick up an ice cube out of his glass without touching it with his hands or using a spoon or fork? If you have not, you can try it out now.

The trick is to carry a piece of string and use the salt shaker on the dining table. When the ice cube is floating in the glass place the string on top of it and then sprinkle some salt on it. This will make the ice melt and then refreeze over the string. Now gently lift the string and the ice cube will come right out with it!

If you enjoyed that, try asking them to open a bottle of beer without a bottle opener. There is more than one way to get that bottle open and using a door stopper is just one of them. Or how about asking them to balance two forks on a glass edge using a coin? This one works on the principle of shifting the center of gravity. Check out more fun science experiments here.

Leave a Comment

Flying Wood

Have you ever wondered at the big science project that an aircraft is? Imagine taking some stuff that is all heavier than air and then making it actually fly in the sky. It is indeed a miracle of sorts.

When a tribal from an undeveloped region sees these flying machines, it can be scary to say the least. We may find the reactions comical, but we do understand their fear as well. So how does one go about taking a whole lot of unrelated things and making them fly?

You don’t have to be an aeronautical engineer to design your own flying machine. All you need is the right set of raw material and some know how to get started. Think of this as a learning challenge as you get a piece of wood to fly.

You can get more details for your aerodynamics experiment in this article. I have a feeling that you will enjoy making your own little glider with some balsa wood. Once you get the basics you can move onto something more complicated.

Leave a Comment

Blowing Bubbles is also a Science

The science of bubblology may not be quite as serious a science as that which goes with the image of a researcher, but bubbles can be great fun. And they can make interesting science projects for the day. There are a number of things that you can experiment with.

You can take different types of soap solutions to see which ones give you the largest bubbles with the most tensile strength. The same soap with a stronger solution makes different sized bubbles as compared to with a weaker solution. And of course what you use to blow the bubbles will also make a difference.

What are you using to blow the bubbles? A wire, a plastic ring, a water bottle, a closet hanger? The size, shape and life of a bubble may depend on the implement you use to blow it up. So it is actually a science to get the soap solution right and blow lasting bubbles.

Some people have used straws and soap solution to make bubble castles as well. Learn more about bubbles and how to blow them in this article. It is a great home school science project to involve home schooling kids in. Also you learn a lot of science.

Leave a Comment