Who doesn’t love science? It literally explains almost everything we find in the natural world today. Sometimes, when people think of a scientist, they imagine a very smart person with multiple degrees and diplomas, standing around in a white lab coat, writing down very complex equations and mixing chemicals in a pristine laboratory facility and this image can often intimidate people. However, science doesn’t have to be intimidating. It’s actually quite fun. And you may be surprised to know that you can practice science in your own home using everyday household ingredients. So go put on some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, an apron, and some latex gloves, and read on below for two super fun, simple science experiments that you can try at home.
Vinegar and baking soda volcanic eruption
This experiment is super exciting and easy. It is a great one to try if you enjoy being creative because you can have great fun building and decorating your volcano. You will need some vinegar, baking soda, and of course a model volcano. You could either buy a model volcano from the store or you can make your own one using clay. If you do use clay then make sure you leave a hollow space running down about two-thirds into the volcano from the crater. Once you have all your supplies, carefully pour some baking soda into the hollow of the “crater”. At this stage, you can add a drop of orange or red food coloring but remember that food coloring can stain clothes and certain other materials so only use it if you have your volcano on some old newspapers or wipeable surface. Next, slowly pour the vinegar into the ‘crater” and watch as your volcano starts to erupt with a thick lava-like substance spewing out of it. The ‘lava’ will quickly disappear and the residue can be easily wiped up with a damp sponge. This is a perfect scientific example of a chemical reaction. This occurs when two substances are mixed causing something to happen. In this case, when you mixed the acidic vinegar with the alkaline baking soda they reacted and caused a build-up of carbon dioxide which created the lava-like substance which rapidly grows and expands due to pressure until the bubbles rise up and pour out of the top of the volcano.
A bottle tornado is quick and simple to set up and can be very mesmerizing and beautiful to watch. For this experiment you need two clear plastic bottles, a tube to connect the two bottles together, and some water. For some cool-looking tornadoes, you can mix some glitter, colored oil, or food dye into the water. Fill one of the bottles almost to the top with the water and connect it to the other bottle using the tube, making sure that the tube is sealed and no air can escape. Now lift the filled bottle of water so that the water starts flowing into the empty bottle. As the water starts falling, watch the water in the top bottle as a mini tornado starts appearing. This is caused by the water flowing down into the empty bottle. But even though the bottom bottle may look empty it is actually full of air. The water falling then pushes the air up and out of the bottom bottle into the top one which creates a vortex that looks like a mini-tornado. You can also sometimes see this when you pull out the plug of a full bath. As the water drains out into the pipes, it pushes air up which causes a mini-vortex near the drain opening.