Experiments

Ripening Bananas

Here's what you'll need...
  • 3 Green Bananas
  • Freezer
  • Refrigerator

A banana is one of my favorite fruits to eat, unless it’s brown and overly ripe. When I was little, I refused to eat bananas that were busied, brown and mushy. They must be in that very perfect balance where they are yellow and lightly speckled brown.

But what’s the best way to get bananas to ripen to that perfect stage? Should they be left out at room temperature or refrigerated with other fresh fruits and vegetables?

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Rusty Nail

Here's what you'll need...
  • a couple of nails
  • cups
  • test liquids

The process of this experiment is simple. Place some nails in different types of liquids like water, soda, different types of soda, or really any liquid that you can find around your house! As usual, make sure you check with an adult before you use these liquids. Then let it sit for a couple of days!

The inspiration for this experiment was the idea that cola could dissolve a nail. I decided to test this idea and turns out, in this experiment, the exact opposite happened. The water was the most corrosive liquid that I used. Remember I just used water, Sprite, and Pepsi cola.

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Jumping Soap

Here's what you'll need...
  • 1 Bottle of Liquid Soap
  • A flat inclided surface

Many things can be explained through physics, but sometimes even physicists notice something and are unable to properly explain the science. This is exactly what happened to physicist Arthur Kaye in 1963. Kaye noticed a peculiar physical property connected to liquid soap. When he poured his shampoo on a flat surface it would occasionally “jump” or squirt up as opposed to gathering in a puddle. Although the effect was fleeting, it was consistent. Unsure exactly why this happened, he named the phenomena after himself and that was that.

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Mold Garden

Here's what you'll need...
  • jar or plastic container with lid
  • small paper towl
  • water
  • biodegradable materials
  • a dark place

Mold thrives in places that are dark, moist, and grows on biodegradable objects. In order to make a good mold garden you will have to replicate these conditions.

The first step is to find an appropriate container. You will want a container with a lid but you do not want to have an air tight seal. If you are using a jar, you can leave the lid on but not tightened. If you are using a plastic container that you could poke holes in the lid that would work as well.

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Crayon Rocks

Here's what you'll need...
  • Crayons of many colors
  • Muffin tins
  • Toaster Over
  • Cup cake liners
  • Scissors

There are three main categories in which to divide rocks; sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Each type of rock has certain characteristics and is formed in a different way. This experiment translates the characteristics of these rocks into the form of a homemade crayon.

Ask an adult to help shave crayons into small pieces using scissors or a pocket knife. While you’re shaving and breaking the crayons into small pieces turn your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (In my experiment I used a small toaster oven for convenience.)

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Fun with Pulleys

Here's what you'll need...
  • 2 PVC pipes or broom handles
  • rope
  • 2 volunteers

This experiment is an easy way to experiment with pulleys! Your pulleys are going to be simple PVC pipes. You can also use an old broom handle or anything that is rounded and pretty sturdy.

First tie one end of the rope to the middle of one of your pipes. Then wrap the rope around the other pull. Have your volunteers stand about three or four feet apart and hold the pipes sideways. You stand behind the volunteer holding the pipe with the rope tied on it. The rope should start on the first pipe, be wrapped around the second pipe and end in your hand. Now pull as hard as you can and instruct your two volunteers to not move!!! Be careful to avoid rope burns.

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