Simple and easy science experiments can be a wonderful way to get kids and teenagers interested in the wide world of science. Instead of being dreaded forms of homework, science experiments can encourage children to think and reason scientifically. Whether needed for a science fair, class project, or even some educational summer fun, here are a few simple examples of science projects that can educate and entertain.
Electricity is a lot cooler when it is shown as homemade lightning bolts. For this experiment, take a large piece of Styrofoam and cut a small piece off. Attach the small piece to an aluminum pie plate, creating handle on the plate. Rub the Styrofoam™ vigorously against a person's hair for a few moments, then place on a table. Take the pie plate by the handle only and drop on top of the Styrofoam™, then touch the aluminum to create extremely cool sparks.
This experiment demonstrates the power of static electricity, and can be a good way to show that the energy that creates electricity is in all around. It can be a good way to get young people interested in lightning and the history of electricity. For even cooler sparking results, perform the experiment in a darkened room.
To figure out just how those lava lamps really work, try this interesting experiment. Fill a clear glass jar ¾ full of water and add a few drops of food coloring. Then, fill the remainder of the jar with vegetable oil, allow the oil and water to separate, and slowly pour salt on top of the oil. Watch as the oil divides into slowly descending blobs through the colored water, just like a lava lamp. For extra sparkle, add a handful of glitter with the oil.
The kind of all science experiments may be the classic volcanic eruption. To create, model a cone-shaped volcano with modeling clay, scooping out a center section for the lava. Pour baking soda, red food coloring, and just a little dish detergent or bubble bath into the hollowed section. Very carefully, add vinegar, and get ready for the volcano to go off. In addition to looking cool and making a mess, this can be a great way to get interested in both the chemical reactions that cause the eruptions, and how a real volcano works. Because of the eruptive power of this experiment, it should be done outdoors or in a stain-proof environment.
There are many excellent ways to get kids interested in science. If children show interest in the above science experiments, consider searching online for additional ideas. There are whole archives of science experiments designed for children available on the interned. Additionally, consider purchasing a kid's scientific magazine subscription for a child fascinated by science. Many offer fun and easy experiments to try each month, that will help children develop their passion for the scientific world.