• UnEarthed

5 DIY Science Experiments You Can Try at Home!

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

By Samira Mehta


Below are 5 cool DIY science experiments that simple, fun, and educational!

1. Learn how plants "drink" water

2. The wonders of oobleck

3. See the rainbow!

4. Make your own lava lamp

5. Make a hovercraft

1. Learn how plants "drink" water


Supplies:

● White flowers

● Scissors

● Cup or vase to hold the flowers

● Water

● Food coloring


The experiment: Using scissors, cut about an inch off of the end of the flower stems. Then, fill your cup about 2⁄3 of the way with water. Add about 10 drops of food coloring (any color of your choice). Stir the water and food coloring together, and place the flowers in the solution. Place your flowers in indirect sunlight, and watch them turn the color of the food coloring over the next 48 hours!

How it works: Over time, water will evaporate from the flowers and the leaves in the plant. As this occurs, an attractive force between water molecules draws water from the cup up into the stem to replace the water molecules that are leaving from evaporation. Water travels through tubes in the plant’s stem called xylem. The combined attractive force between water molecules, called cohesion, and the sticking of the water molecules to the walls of the xylem, called adhesion, is stronger than the downwards force of gravity. Because of this, water is able to travel upwards into the flower.

Because we put food coloring into the water, the food coloring will hop along for the ride up the stem and into the flowers, causing the white petals, stem, and leaves to become colored.


2. The wonders of oobleck


Supplies:

● 1 cup of dry cornstarch

● Large bowl

● Food coloring

● 1⁄2 cup of water


The experiment: Pour the cornstarch into a bowl and add 2-3 drops of food coloring. Slowly add water to the bowl, making sure to mix the contents with your fingers until the starch and water are well-combined. Now, try tapping the surface of your oobleck. It should feel solid. This time, try slowing dipping your fingers into the oobleck. It should act like a liquid and allow your fingers to easily move through the solution. Play around with the oobleck to see what it can do! What happens when you squeeze hard? What about when you release your grip? There are so many things that you can do test the limits of oobleck!

How it works: In the 1700s, Isaac Newton, one of the most prominent physicists of all time, identified properties of ideal liquids. The thickness, or viscosity, of these fluids remains the same, no matter the amount of stress applied to them at a constant temperature.  Liquids that exhibit this property, such as water, are known as Newtonian fluids. Oobleck is known as a non-Newtonian fluid because its thickness changes depending on the amount of stress applied. It is made up of cornstarch molecules that are suspended in water. When pressure is applied to the oobleck, its thickness increases, making it feel hard when you squeeze or tap it. This is because the sudden pressure moves the cornstarch particles together. When you slowly dip your fingers into the oobleck, the cornstarch molecules have sufficient time to move away from your hand. This allows your hand to easily slide through the solution, as if it were water.


3. See the rainbow!

Supplies: