Science Trick

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Elephant's Toothpaste
Mix two solutions together and you get an amazing eruption of foam.

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Mix two solutions together and you get an amazing eruption of oxygen-filled foam that looks like a giant stream of toothpaste... or elephant toothpaste. The classic reaction is a favorite of chemistry teachers who have access to these chemicals that you will not find around the house. This explanation is offered for information purposes only. * Email

Steve Spangler recently performed Elephant's Toothpaste on the Ellen Show.

Check out the kid-friendly version of Elephant's Toothpaste. Materials
This demonstration requires chemicals that are not available to the public. Chemistry teachers and science demonstrators are specially trained in the hazards of using these chemicals. * Hydrogen peroxide (30%) - This is ten times stronger than the normal hydrogen peroxide you can find at the store * Sodium iodide solution, 2 M

* Potassium iodide solution, 2 M
* Liquid soap
* Food coloring
* Graduated cylinder (500 mL)
* Safety glasses
* Rubber gloves for clean-up
* Experiment
* Video
* Related Experiments
* Reviews
Magic Spheres - Science of Density
A ball bearing magically becomes a ping pong ball in a jar of popcorn.

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"For this trick, all you need is a bit of un-popped pop corn and a ball bearing." It's the perfect phrase to get all of the people around you excited for a bit of science magic. Many people don't realize that pop corn and ball bearings have a remarkable chemical reaction that turns the ball bearing into a ping pong ball. In fact, when you perform the demonstration, your audience won't believe their eyes. * Email

* Large, clear container with lid
* Un-popped popping corn
* Ball bearing
* Ping pong ball
* Experiment
* Video
* Reviews

Fill a large, clear container 3/4-full with un-popped popping corn. 2. Here's the secret... push a ping pong ball down into the popping corn. Make sure that you cannot see the ping pong ball anymore. 3. Set the ball bearing on top of the popping corn in the container and place the lid on the container. 4. Conjure some magic and swirl the container.

5. Like magic, the ball bearing is changed to a ping pong ball! How does it work?
The secret is in the densities of the ball bearing and ping pong ball. If you compare the size, or volume, of the two spheres, you'll notice that they are very similar. However, if you compare the masses of the two spheres, there is a distinct difference. The ball bearing is much heavier than the ping pong ball.   

The two spheres share a comparable volume, but differ in mass. That means the balls have different densities. Density is the measure of how much "stuff" is in a particular space. In this instance, we are talking about how much "stuff" each sphere has in them. To calculate density, divide the mass of the object by it's volume.   

So what does density have to do with the ball bearing sinking while the ping pong ball rises to the top? The swirling motion of the popping corn (which has a density somewhere between the two spheres) let's the ball bearing sink past the kernels. The same motion forces the ping pong ball upwards as individual kernels slide down, past the ping pong ball. Color Changing Carnations

Where does the water go when a plant is watered?

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Where does the water go when a plant is watered? With this experiment, children can discover for themselves how essential the functions of roots and stems are to plant growth. As the colored water is absorbed, students will be able to see how the water is absorbed into the plant and will be amazed when the petals of the carnation change color. * Email

* 6 white carnations
* 8 plastic cups
* Food coloring (red, blue, and green)
* Knife (you'll need an adult helper...
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