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The Secret Science Society's Experiment Series: Lava Lamps

Mona likes to moan. facebook lavaLamp
Kiki is a worry-wart.
Bart loves following rules.
And Zane HATES following rules.

When the four of them are put into The Secret Science Society together, this could only mean one thing: DISASTER!

Now you can join the Secret Science Society too! We have a fun experiment that you can try at home. 

We're making lava lamps! This experiment has way less mess than the Secret Science Society's exploding volcano!

  • What you need:
    An empty, see-through water bottle
  • Water
  • Food colouring – choose your favourite colour!
  • Effervescent aspirin
  • Vegetable oil

Picture 1

1. Fill the empty water bottle about two-thirds full of vegetable oil. You might want to wear a lab coat so you don't get any on you! 

Picture 2

2. Next, fill the rest of the bottle with water until it is almost full to the very top. If you look carefully, you will see that the water sinks straight down to the bottom of the bottle. Oil and water don’t mix.

3. Now it's time to add your favourite colour! Add a few drops of food colouring. To mix it in, use a straw or chopstick.

4. Once the water is coloured, you can break one effervescent aspirin tablet into four pieces and drop one piece in at a time. You will see the lava bubbles start to rise to the top and fall back to the bottom of the bottle. How cool!

Picture 3

So how does it all work? When the aspirin tablet sinks to the bottom of the bottle and starts fizzing, it creates gas bubbles. With each bubble that rises to the top, some coloured water rises with it. When the gas bubble reaches the top of the bottle, the coloured water sinks back to the bottom of the bottle. This happens over and over again until the aspirin tablet is dissolved. How awesome!

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The Secret Science Society's Experiment Series: Bending Water

Mona likes to moan. facebook bendWater
Kiki is a worry-wart.
Bart loves following rules.
And Zane HATES following rules.

When the four of them are put into The Secret Science Society together, this could only mean one thing: DISASTER!

Now you can join the Secret Science Society too! We have a fun experiment that you can try at home. 

What you need:

  • A water tap
  • A plastic comb
  • A head of hair!

Firstly, we have to do a control test so we can see what happens with a normal comb. I know you’re probably bored by this part, like Zane, but control tests are very important for experiments says Bart! Run the tap so that a very thin stream of water is flowing straight down, then move the comb close to the water (but make sure it doesn't get wet!).

Does anything happen?

Next, we can begin the real experiment! Brush your hair with the comb at least ten times, then move it slowly towards the thin stream of water (but make sure it doesn't get wet again!).

CH7aDoes anything happen? Yes!

So how does it all work? Brushing your hair with the plastic comb collects electrons from your hair. Electrons have a negative charge. When you move the comb close to the running water, it is attracted to the water because that has a positive charge. Negative and positive charges are how magnets work.

In this experiment the attraction is not strong enough to move your hand, but it does pull the water toward the comb. Try to find some other small items around the house to test the comb on now. Zane is already looking in his grandpas's workshop!

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