Archive for April, 2013

Write a letter in invisible ink

Although letter writing is a dying art in the day of the internet and email, it may still be fun to share a note written in invisible ink with your friend. This simple science project based on elemental chemistry allows you to keep a secret message for your friend a secret even as you write it all down on paper.

Here’s what all you will need – a lemon, a knife, a bowl, a brush, a candle, a matchbox, a piece of paper and your very own secret message. Now cut the lemon using the knife into two halves and squeeze the juice of the lemon into the bowl. You may like to enlist the help of an adult for using the knife.

Next dip the tip of the brush into the juice extracted and use it on the paper to write down your message. Once the message is completed you can place the paper down to dry off. As the lemon juice dries the message will become invisible. Then you can pass it on to your friend to read it.

Your friend will need the lit candle to slightly warm up the paper for the secret message to show up. Have an adult around so that the paper does not burn and the message end up in ashes. Make it an even more interesting science project by using different types of fruit juices to see if they can be used as invisible ink as well.

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Rumbling Earthquakes

Earthquakes are caused by tectonic plates rubbing against each other in the Earth’s crust.These are the cause of mountains and valleys on the Earth. In fact the hot core of the planet is what has ensured that life survived and flourished here. They are not all doomsday and destruction.

With the recent spate of earthquakes that have been experienced over the globe in the last decade there is no need to testify to the destructive force that they can be. Human populations in urban areas are what get affected the worst in case of earthquakes. Here are some science projects that could help us deal with them in the future.

Make a study of how likely an earthquake is to strike your state and city. Naturally those states located within the “ring of fire” are likely to have a higher probability of an earthquake hitting them. Come up with the statistics of past earthquakes in the region and use them as a guideline to predict the damage that any future earthquakes in the area may do.

Work out an earthquake rescue plan for your neighborhood. It need not be very elaborate but try and deal with essentials like water, food and medicines. The science project will give you an idea of just what to expect in a real life earthquake situtation.


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The Google Science Fair

Do you have amazing ideas for science projects but are wondering what to do with them all since you have no outlet? Here’s your chance to get in to a global competition. You can enter your science project on the online Google Science Fair. This is an annual event open to people from all over the world.

You will need permission from your parents to participate and need to be in the age group of 13-18 years. The entry form can be downloaded from the Google Science Fair 2013 website and filled in by your parents. The form can be submitted via email after scanning, fax or regular snail mail. All addresses are available on the website. You will need a google account to participate, but if you have a gmail id you already have one.

Don’t think you can do it alone? The science project can be a team effort or an individual one. Think you have a world changing idea? This is the platform to showcase it. Just make sure that you read up on all the rules of the competition before you begin work on the project. Don’t want it getting disqualified for any silly reason, do we? Plan out the science project and work towards your deadlines. Avoid procrastination and push for creative thinking.

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Need a New Look? Just Move!

You’ve got a smart phone, he but do you have a smart dress? One which changes its hue each time you move? The latest in creative textile design allows you to have just that. Learn more about this innovative science project.

At the Concordia University in Canada researchers have come up with an interactive electronic fabric that uses body heat of the human wearing the fabric to change its visual look. The project has been aptly named Karma Chameleon said Joanna Berzowska, professor and chair of the department of design and computation arts at the university.

The biggest difference with this fabric is that the electronic components have been woven into the fabric itself rather than being attached to it separately. Many layers of polymers are used in the fabric which start interacting with each other as they are stretched giving rise to the different visual patterns in the fabric.

The textile industry is calling this the new “smart fabric” and there are hopes that the material will soon be available to make actual garments. There is more than one fashion house watching closely to see how this science project develops further. Imagine the possibilities of future garments made using this fabric!

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NASA to send out satellite in 2017

Exploring exoplanets seems to be next on the agenda for NASA. The space exploration authority has decided to send out a satellite in 2017 to study both exoplanets and neutron stars. It is called TESS or Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. TESS will handle the survey of habitable planets in nearby star systems.

As can be imagined while the mission is small the findings will have a huge impact. TESS will try to find terrestrial planets, those which have sizable land, located in the habitable zone around the central star. There are sure to be plenty of gas giants out there but the researchers are looking for some more rocky ones like Earth.

As per the head of the mission TESS will carry out the first space-borne all-sky transit survey, covering 400 times as much sky as any previous mission. It will identify thousands of new planets in the solar neighborhood, with a special focus on planets comparable in size to the Earth.

That much more chance of them finding a substitute Earth. The follow up will include the study of the atmospheres of such suitable planets. The results of this science project will surely have a huge impact on how we view other planets as possible future homes to civilization.


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