Science doesn't have to be
complicated, expensive or use specialized laboratory equipment.
There are great science projects that can be performed using common
Whether you are a parent or a student trying
to find an idea for a science project, a teacher looking for ideas
for the classroom, or a science enthusiast who enjoys the delight of
experimentation, you'll find what you're looking for in this book.
First, find a piece of clear plastic that is big enough to hold
easily. It could be from a plastic bag or even from some old
Second, put a large water drop in the center of the
plastic. The water drop will be the lens for the
magnifier. Hold it about an inch (or 2 cm) over a piece of
newspaper. The text you see through the water drop should look
larger than the text surrounding it.
The surface tension of water causes the
molecules to create a rounded surface on the water drop. The rounded shape of the drop bends the light
(with the image) outwards. As it spreads out, the image that you see gets larger.
If the water drop is not exactly round, the image will be distorted. It will also distort when
the water wiggles. As magnification increases, any distortions are also magnified.
Surface tension of water makes it impossible to stretch out to
create a thin film or bubble. There is a strong attraction between
water molecules, preventing them from being stretched thinly enough
to produce a bubble. Fortunately, soap reduces the surface tension and allows
bubbles to form.
A soap film always pulls in as tightly as it can, just like a stretched balloon. A soap film makes the smallest possible surface area for the volume it contains.
Most bubbles are spheres because it is the shape that has the smallest surface area compared to its volume.
If you want to experiment with creating bubbles, you can make
your own bubble mix and
Websites with information on the Surface Tension of Water
Fill a large bowl or clean sink with water and place the boat on the water.
Put one drop of dish detergent one the water, just behind the V at the back of the boat.
What Should Happen
When the detergent touches the water, the boat will be propelled forward. You may need to empty and refill the bowl to repeat the experiment a second time.
When you place soap solution in contact with water, soap molecules try to spread over the surface of the water, at first, since they are confined in the cavity of the boat with only one way out they jet from the rear end of the boat creating a reaction force strong enough to drive the boat across the water. As soon as all the water surface is covered with a monolayer of soap molecules, the motion stops.
The Everything Kids' Science Experiments
Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You
Science has never been so easy -
all you need to do is gather a few household items and you can recreate dozens of mind-blowing, kid-tested science experiments.
1. What uses the surface tension of water to stock its prey?
Pond Skaters or Water striders are
some of the names used for insects that live on the surface of the
2. . How much does soap decrease the surface tension of water?
Soap decreases the surface tension of water
by about 1/3.
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