About the event
If, like us, you like to watch science experiments on YouTube and TV, you’ll be familiar with a certain phrase: “don’t try this at home.” Of course, safety is a top priority for us here at Edinburgh Science, but sometimes we would just love someone to tell us what we CAN do at home.
Thankfully, the Institute of Physics have been thinking just the same thing, and have over 150 science experiments for you to try in the safety of your own home! Marvin and Milo, the premier cat and dog duo of the physics world, are here to show you all sorts of fantastic physics fun you can try on your own or with your family. A few of our personal favourites are below, but you can find all the others on the Institute of Physics website.
Have you ever wanted to fly a rocket of your own, but don’t have any rocket fuel? Don’t worry – you can make a rocket out of a balloon, because the only fuel it needs is air. If you’re feeling extra creative, why not decorate your balloon rocket? Design some rocket boosters and logos on some paper, and stick them on to your rocket before take off!
This one is great fun because you get to do a bunch of mashing and squishing. You might have heard that you need iron in your diet, and iron is magnetic – so cereal dust containing lots of iron will stick to a magnet! You can test this with a few different types of cereal and different types of magnets, if you have them. Make sure you grind the cereal down as finely as you can!
We like this experiment because it’s got an element of danger – but it’s still safe! You might need to practice a little bit with moving the broom just right, but if you try and copy Marvin and Milo closely you should be successful – though we recommend standing on two feet, not four!
We love that this experiment has a splash of colour to it – literally! Keep your eyes peeled when you add the drop of washing up liquid – the colours can mix and churn REALLY fast. If you have cotton buds, you can also try putting washing up liquid on the tip of one and touching the surface of the milk with that instead.
But wait, there's more!
The Institute of Physics’ online offering of activities you can try at home doesn’t end there. They also have a list of experiments that are easy to set up and take less than 20 minutes to run. If you want to do some physics in the classroom, but don’t have a classroom to go to just now, they’ve got you covered!
See below for some examples of the science you can learn:
You’ve probably had a static shock before – they come from a charge that builds up which escapes very suddenly. You can make static electricity yourself just by rubbing a balloon on your clothes! Try it out in the video above and see if you can use the power of static electricity to move a metal can without touching it. What else can you move with your new power?
It can be tricky to understand what sound is and how it moves, because we usually can’t see it. This experiment is a great way of understanding sound vibrations and you can eat the hundreds and thousands afterwards!
How’s your sense of balance? Are you a bit wibbly? Maybe a bit wobbly? This simple experiment tasks you with balancing spoons on your finger without dropping them. See if you can work out the best place to support objects of different weights – you can even try and have a competition to see who can balance them the longest!
Keep in touch!
Don’t forget to explore the rest of the activities the Institute of Physics has put up on their website for you to try at home.