PHYSICS EXPERIMENTS FOR CHILDREN
MURIEL MANDELL What better way is there to learn than by doing? This unusual book enables children to carry out more than 103 different experiments and demonstrations, carefully planned to illustrate important principles of modern science. Clear step-by step instructions, frequent diagrams, clear statements of conclusions all enable the young student to carry through these experiments with minimal supervision, yet full success. The science projects included demonstrate what things are made of and how substances are affected by the different forms of energy, heat, light, sound, mechanical energy, electricity and magnetism. The experiments show how a thermometer measures temperature, how an electric bulb gives light, how shadows are formed, holy a stethoscope works, how to make a periscope, how to make a rainbow, how straws work, how water changes size, and many other fascinating facts. Little is required in the way of equipment other than simple materials found at home, such as bottles, cardboard, wire, nails, cork, paper and magnets. This volume offers upper grade school, junior high school, and high school students a very entertaining way to enrich their background in science and its applications. It is also a very valuable aid to parents, teachers, and others who wish to make clear, forceful demonstrations to children. INTRODUCTION Science is a way of looking at things, a way of questioning and of figuring out answers by thinking, by trying them out (experimenting), and by reading about other people’s experiences and experiments. A scientist is a person who tries to understand and to find the answers to some of our questions about the physical world. You too can be a scientist. To begin, don’t take everything for granted. Start to question the world around you by performing the experiments in this book. Set aside a special corner or shelf for your odds and ends of equipment. Ordinary shoeboxes make good storage bins. You can perform the experiments safely by following directions and using simple care. (You can get burnt by drinking an ordinary cup of hot chocolate carelessly!) The experiments on electricity call for the use of storage batteries or dry cells. It is never necessary and it is dangerous to use house current. If you are not yet able to cook an egg over the stove, ask an older friend or adult to help you with those few experiments that require a candle or other source of heat. Always keep a basin of cold water handy. If an experiment fails to work, try it again—and find out why it failed the first time. Sometimes you can learn more from failure than from success. While you may start with an experiment from any chapter, it is best to concentrate on one chapter at a time and perform, most of the experiments, preferably in the order given, before you go on to another topic. The experiments are not meant to be tricks with which to amaze yourself and your friends (though they may do that, tool), but to provide experiences and to illustrate scientific principles. The world of fact, you will find, can be more exciting than the world of fancy.
1. MATTER: AIR
DOES AIR TAKE UP SPACE? Stuff a large handkerchief or some crumpled newspaper into an empty glass or jar. Make sure the handkerchief won’t fall out when you turn the glass upside down. Then, fill a pot with water. Holding the glass so that its mouth is down, put the glass deep into the pot of water and hold it there. After a minute or two, pull the glass out of the water and remove the handkerchief. You will see that: The handkerchief is dry. Explanation: Water cannot fill the glass because the glass is already ~lled with air. The “empty” glass is full of air. So, air takes up space. Air is a gas. It has no size or shape of its own but will fill every space it can.
CAN YOU FILL THE EMPTY BOTTLE? Place a funnel in the neck of an empty soda bottle. Pack clay around the neck of the bottle so that there is no space between the...
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