How to Make Shaving Cream Easter Egg Dye

This is how you can make some awesome marbleized looking Easter Eggs quickly and easily, without a lot of mess and spending a lot of money. Here’s what

Source: How to Make Shaving Cream Easter Egg Dye

I found a link on pinterest the other day that I just thought “Ooh, eggs and shaving foam”, pinning it for another day. Then I thought, let’s actually look at the method! It looks so, so simple. We’ve been planning on trying to make natural dyes (raspberries, coffee, etc) to paint some eggs here in school, but this method is much simpler and easier to put together.

In fact, I’ve put the ingredients on my shopping list to try at home!

Happy Easter!

E is for Explore!: Red Bull and Milk Reaction

E is for Explore!: Red Bull and Milk Reaction.

What happens when you add Red Bull to milk in a 1:1 ratio?

What about vinegar and milk in the same ratio?

Change the type of milk from whole, to semi, to skimmed!

Why does any of this happen?

This simple, quick and clean demonstration is perfect for an introduction to States of Matter, to get brains thinking on an Open Evening or as a mini experiment for a STEM session.

Definitely one to try out! And easily performed and explained at home.

How to Make Magnetic Slime – Frugal Fun For Boys

Homemade Magnetic Slime

How to Make Magnetic Slime – Frugal Fun For Boys.

I’m sure that most science departments have a whole array of magnetic toys, we certainly have – we may even have some magnetic slime. However, to be able to make more of the stuff? Even use it as part of a STEM session or get prospective students to make it on a school Open Evening… I think it would be pretty fun.

The ingredients are even simpler to buy if you have access to the school ordering system (at least for the iron oxide!) and who doesn’t have some PVA glue?

I think I’d want to try it out myself before I considered doing it at home with children — the iron oxide and breathing aspect makes me hesitant. I also prefer the idea of the slime over putty as think it would be more visual. Especially on an Open Evening in the Physics room!

Viscosity experiment for kids

Viscosity Testing

Viscosity experiment for kids.

This would be awfully messy to do at home, in school or as STEM, but isn’t science supposed to be messy and fun?

In the blog, different home-found liquids were used to test their viscosity in a simple ramp race. They used oil, water, passata, corn syrup, treacle and ice cream sauce. I love those options! I might change passata for ketchup and try other table sauces, too, even possibly different brands of one table sauce. Just to stretch the STEM Club into thinking a bit harder! It’ll be just as messy as the syrup one we currently do (syrup at room temperature, from the fridge and warmed in boiling water), but maybe a little bit less sticky. Plus, table sauces come in squeezy bottles and are relatively cheap for all of the waste that will come with it!

STEM – Blackcurrant Osmosis

Who doesn’t love Ribena? And chips? Okay, maybe not really together as such. I found this experiment through Practical Biology a few years ago, but have only just got around to testing it myself and then putting it into a STEM session. The Practical Biology/Nuffield site have lots of different experiments you can browse through, each with teacher and separate student guidance. I simplified the Blackcurrant Osmosis one for the time and age of the students.

It really is very simple and easy to set up. Also, it’s very visual for students to look at. Here are some of our potato chips after 15-20 minutes in different Ribena concentrations –

Blackcurrant Potatoes

It’s quite obvious which one is 0% Blackcurrant and which is 100%. It’s pretty clear even for the other concentrations. That wouldn’t happen with plain old sugar water, would it?

We did this with a group or KS3 who knew nothing about osmosis, nothing about concentration and had never done a practical quite like this before, but in the hour session they all did pretty well. I think this would be perfectly suited for an hour length lesson especially with the right background knowledge. I would simplify it for a repeat STEM session though and cut all of the chips to perfect size so that step could be cut out completely. I am pretty amazed at how well the year 7s did with making the different concentrations and, from the results, all of the concentrations were made pretty accurately. There was only one group with anomalous results that made no sense!

0% - 80% Strength

It’s all actually quite simple really – make 6 concentrations of blackcurrant squash (from 0% to 100%) (oh, and whilst Ribena works very well, so does the blackcurrant cordial we tried), put a pre-weighed potato chip into each concentration and leave for 15-20 minutes.

Floating Chips

(Note how the chips float with increasing squash concentration. Can you explain that?)

Then, remove each chip, pat them dry and weigh each one again. Then calculate the percentage change in mass.

0% - 100% Chips

The 0% blackcurrant was the only chip to not lose mass as water moved into it from the greater concentration outside of the potato cells. All of the others had water leave the chip via osmosis (to varying extents) as the water concentration was greater within the chips compared to the sugary Ribena.

For younger students, if you leave the chips in long enough they might get enough out of the experiment from just seeing the purple coloured chips. Can they explain it? And then with age/knowledge move on to the theory behind osmosis and the graphing example Nuffield gives.

I’d also like to try their example of altering this experiment to show the rate of water movement. Perhaps that would be better for understanding the basics behind osmosis for younger students.

British Science Week – Activity Packs

From 13th to 22nd March, it is British Science Week and a page of Activity Packs has been produced by the British Science Association, linking to 15 short activities, arranged by age that can be done to celebrate British Science Week.

There is also a flyer that can be printed, and a collection of curriculum links that apply to the under 11 and 11 – 16 year old activities.

Some of the activities included are building a giant egg timer (prepare in advance with multiple 2 litre plastic bottles!), battery building (not too different to the fruit battery testing that our own STEM group did), wireless signal blockade (handy if you have the right equipment and are allowed to use your phone in a classroom), metallic food (separation techniques, magnetism and easy to do at home as a nice food comparison), and many others.

I think it would be nice to give a class or STEM group their choice over which practical they’d like to do and to work their way through a selection of them. That’s why I’m going to post this earlier than British Science Week – to get you ready and prepared!

I might also keep this list handy to try some at home in a few years!

Experiments for Kids | Effecting Plant Growth – Lemon Lime Adventures

Experiments for Kids | Effecting Plant Growth – Lemon Lime Adventures.

I really like this idea. We already use a version where we grow plants lacking certain nutrients (without phosphate, without nitrate, etc), but for a STEM session or science at home, this might be far easier to come to grips with. In the experiment Lemon and Lime did, they used tap water, river water, salt water, carbonated water and soda. I would love to add in acidic and an alkali water (both can be made easily at home).

Then, measure the plants and their growth over a week or two – obviously at home that is far easier to do each day and in STEM the changes might be huge within a week, but I still think it would be so fun to do! Plus, we sometimes have an issue with getting our STEM members to make predictions and they do it during/after the experiment (you know, when they can’t be wrong! Haha!) and this one is ideal because they won’t see any results for a week!

I think it might also be far more visual than the in-school version that we do! It might also be worth trying in test tubes with cress seeds as the watering them aspect is never as much of an issue and the growth is far quicker.