Science Activities
by Eric Muller
Some activities are  published as pdf's and may require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Physical Science
Earth and Space Science

Physical Science

Simple Spinner
Build the world's simplest electric motor.

Lagging Sound
See and hear the speed of sound.

Portable Potable Pressure
Feel one atmosphere of pressure.

Skin Size(Exploratorium Snack version can be found here)
Figure out the forces on your body

Feeling Pressured (Exploratorium Snack version can be found here)
(Older video can be found here )
Get into air pressure

Graph Dance
Students do a dance of motion based on a graph.

Inverted Bottles
Investigate convection by using food coloring and water of different temperatures.

Beating Gravity
Make a device that seems to define gravity

Groovy Sounds
Make a phonograph out of simple materials

Blues Tooth Headphone
A headphone for your mouth

Gummy Growth
Soak some Gummies, use displacement and see that volume change is cubed3.

A Stand-up egg
Get an egg to stand-up on its long-axis.

Canned Heat
Make a simple thermometer with a soda can and straws

Holding Charge
Use static electricity to stick a straw to the palm of your hand, a window, a door, a wall - or just about anywhere (another version)

Condiment Diver
The world's simplest Cartesian diver

Pie Pan Convection
Create convection cells with soapy water and a heat source

Energy Can
A kinetic and potential energy drink.
This device is also known as a "
Roll-Back can, " "Come-Back Can" or Magic Can."

Foiled by Density
A crumpled and folded way to investigate density.

Watts in the bag
Lift a bag feel the definition of a Joule and Watt.

Resetting Dominoes
Make a device for experimenting with falling dominoes.

The Biggest Mouth in Class
Figure out who has the biggest mouth in class!....volumetrically.

Vocal Visualizer
See your voice in a new way! Using simple materials, build a device that will make sounds visible (with laser light). Create cool patterns or maybe even a light show.

Mystery Block
Create a mystery by making a piece of wood stop in mid-fall. Have it stop anywhere a rope you want it to.

Pop Bottle
Twist a bottle into a smaller shape and change it’s volume, pressure and temperature…all with a bang!

Refridgerator Magnets
Play with two flexible magnets and see how they feel.

Drip Chamber
Cool Caustics.
Viscous liquid drips down, creating unique shapes and shadow patterns.

Scanning for Time: Science and art on a photocopier (Gallery)
Combine the scanning properties of a common office photocopier with an object in motion to create stunning imagery. Investigate vibrational and rotational motion just by the press of a button!

Mini Marble Run
Build a mini marble run that is cheap and easy to assemble as well as easy to store. Hours of fun

Watts Hitting the Earth
Pie Pan Solar Calorimeter: Finding out how much energy and power is delivered to the earth from our sun is a piece of cake (or Pie).

Burping Bottle
Tap out a tune with this classic activity!
See and hear the effects of expanding gas.
Chill the air in a bottle. Cover the opening with an inverted cap, then watch and listen as the bottle warms.

Personal Pitch Slider
The length of a vibrating object affects the sound it makes.

Screwing with Sound
By placing the screws of various lengths in a board, investigate and create an instrument that can make a variety of tones.

World's Cheapest Electroscope  
Use your fingers to turn a plastic soda bottle label into an electroscope.

 PVC Membranophone
Plumbing the depths of sound.
A sturdier version of the Exploratorium Science Snack, “Water-Bottle Membranophone.”  

Putting Your Finger On Atmospheric Pressure
Simulate the pressure caused by our atmosphere on your finger tip!


Three Cirlces of Pigment
Learn about color subtraction with Cyan, Yellow and Magenta

Phantom Phlame
Hold your hand over a candle and not get burned.

Personal Pinhole Theater
Put a box on your head to see the world in a new way...upside down and backwards.

Grey Step
This is a Grey Step image that goes along with theExploratorium's Grey Step Snack located here.

Poking fun at Science
Build a simple camera obscura also known as a pinhole viewer and a multi-colored light source (RGB). Use these tools to investigate, experiment and learn about a variety of concepts.
Here are the associated activities:

Looking a Little Spotty
Produce an image of a face with the minimal amount of information.
See how well our brain can resolve and recognize it.

Pixels, Pictures and Phones
Investigate how colored images are formed from red, green and blue pixels.

Bright Black
It’s all black and white?...or is it?
Lighting and surrounding can affect your perception of what’s light and what’s dark.

Unhandy Thermometer
So, you think you are good at determining what’s hot and what’s not….think again.

Earth and Space Science

Take of walk of science from the core of the earth to the atmosphere.

An associated poster can be found at:

Whose Fault is it
Shake hands and see how scientists figure out where the earth is shaking.

Single Serving Volcanism
Make a volcanic model in a plastic cup.

Squeeze Box
Make a box to apply pressure to sediment layers

Match Rocks
Find your rock partner by reading a description of their rock

Chocolate Lava
Use cold water to make a model of pillow basalts with chocolate.

The Crayon Rock Cycle
Investigate the rock cycle cycle with colored wax crayons.

To Topo Two
Create landforms out of clay and a topo map.

Hot Sauce, Plume Sauce
Model hot spot island formation, orientation and progression with condiments.

Personal Time Line
Make a time line of your life as an analogy of geologic history.

Inverted Foucault Pendulum
A variation of a Foucault pendulum, but upside down.

A Cubic Foot per Second
Visualize what a cfs of water might look like.

Gulping for Gravity
Feel how a cola on another would weigh.

Running in Circles
A new spin on the Coriolis effect

Mass of the Earth
Estimate the mass of the earth.

Earth Wedge
Scale and draw the Earth's interior.

Salt Wedgie
Make a jewel of a case for density difference.

Read-Write Earth's History
Use magnetic tape to learn about the ocean floor and it's movement.

Evaporation Extrapolation
Scale-up the evaporation rate from a cup to a lake.

Seismic Engineering
A design challenge in which students use principles of engineering to build an earthquake resistant model structure out of pasta. Good for correlation with the NGSS practices. This lesson is in three parts:

Strain Some Pasta-Seismic Engineering
Shake It Up-Seismic Engineering
The Rumble-Seismic- Seismic Engineering

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Why do stars twinkle?  Have a scintillating experience by making your own “light twinkler." Use a hot plate and a laser to show that light can change direction and appear to twinkle on and off.

Phast Car, Slow Car (P and S cars)
Seismic Racers
Two cars arrive at your location, but at different times.  You know that one driver likes to drive fast and the other slow. If they both left from the same place and at the same moment, can you tell how far they drove?
Find out how to solve this problem with toy cars and a mini-raceway.

Pie Pan Pangea
A sea floor spreading model.
An addendum to the Science Snack: Pie Pan Convection

How High Will it Rise
The ocean is rising, but how high can it rise? Using governmental projections (based on greenhouse gas emission rates), build a model to show where sea levels might be in the future. Use a weighted and labeled string to help visualize what might be inundated by the sea in your area.

What are the Chances: A storm surge event activity! 
Find out how often a big storm surge event might happen throughout a multi-year period.

Tubular Sound Interferometer
Make a sonic model of LIGO (Laser Interferometry Gravitational Observatory) made of PVC tubing.



The Periodic Periodic Table
Make visual representation of how the periods on a periodic table work.

A mole of gas
How big is a mole of gas at STP

Celebrate Mole Day!
Everybody's favorite holiday. Find ways to celebrate

What's a mole
What makes up a mole and how big is one.

M and M model of an atom
Use candies to mode protons, neutron and electrons

The Nuts and Bolts of the Periodic table
Screw around with elements and arrange your own periodic table.

Scaling of an atom
See how big or how small an atom is compared to its nucleus.

Rutherford Roller
Make a black box device that's a good analogy for finding the nucleus in an atom.

Percentage of Oxygen in Air
Figure out the percent of O2 in the air with steel wool.

Fast Rusting
Will steelwool weigh more or less when burned?

Electrolysis Device
Make a device to split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen gas.

Balanced Budget Chemistry
Balance chemical equations and discover the law of conservation of mass.

Chemical Change
Separate the zinc from a penny with toilet bowl cleaner.

Physical Change
Separate the zinc from a penny with heat.

Cola Gas
Measure the amount of Carbon Dioxide in a carbonated drink.

Illuminations on Rates of Reactions
Use light sticks to see the effects of hot and cold on chemical reactions.

What's your State
What matters is how you hold your matter!

Indicating Electrolysis
Use some acid-base indicator to see the production of Hydrogen and Oxygen.

Conductivity Tester
Make a qualitative conductivity meter with a battery, bulb and foil.

How Big is Small
A classic lab.  Use Oleic acid to estimate the length of a molecule.

Super Heated Steam
Use a teakettle or flask to create super heated steam

Mouth full of Moles
Calculate the number of moles someone can fit inside their mouth (this is an addendum activity to the "Biggest Mouth in Class" activity above).

Wait, Weight, don't tell me!
(Having a gas with the conservation of mass)
Can a simple chemistry activity disprove “The law of conservation of mass?” Is there something wrong with the laws of nature? Find out by doing this activity.


Puzzle Partners
Match your piece of a puzzle using chat room.

Locating Earth Quake Epicenters
Outline the shape of tectonics plates.

Bridge out
A communication and design challenge.

Fog in San Francisco
A starter for fog lessons

Fill it up
Fill a room with the flow of a river



Dollar Bill Tape Measure
Take me to your ruler!

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