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How-To DIY: At-Home Science Fair!

Whether you’re learning at school or at home, you can take part in classic science experiments! Learn how with our Science Fair at Home tips!

How To DIY: At Home Science Fair

The best part of learning science is the hands-on, do-it-yourself mentality. Using your imagination and observations from the world around you, come up with an idea to test. Then gather your materials and test it!

We have some fun science fair-style experiments that you can do at home! Make sure to read our Beginner Science Vocabulary for Kids article first, and get ready to experiment! Take pictures and videos and send them our way — we’d love to share your results!

 

Baking Soda Volcano

It’s one of the most classic science fair experiments: a tabletop volcano that erupts baking soda!

There are a bunch of different ways to set up your volcano. You can order a paintable volcano kit, cover an empty soda bottle in clay, or simply use a cup as your base. Whichever you choose, feel free to decorate it first!

Once you have your volcano, it’s time to prepare for eruption! Pour water, baking soda, and dish soap into the volcano. Mix it up, and then add some drops of vinegar… and step back as the liquid comes rushing out!

Before the experiment, ask your kids what they think will happen when the vinegar is added. Are they surprised when the “lava” explodes? What happens if they add more vinegar, or more baking soda, to the experiment? Different websites suggest using different amounts of each material — document what happens when you add an extra spoonful of baking soda, or only two drops of vinegar!

For extra fun, add some colors to the volcano! Add food coloring or washable paint to the baking soda mixture. Preschool Inspirations offers great ideas for multi-color volcano explosions!

The Science Behind It: when the baking soda and vinegar mix together, they create carbon dioxide. Learn more about carbon dioxide and your volcano on ScienceFun.org!

Color Changing Celery

It’s a delicious snack, and it’s also the source of a simple science experiment. Watch color rise through celery stalks!

For this experiment, cut a piece of celery in half, so that one half still retains the leafy end. Stick both halves of the celery into a clear glass that’s half full of water, keeping the leafy side dry. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water, and take a photo of each of the celery halves. What color are they?

Leave the celery alone, and return in eight hours. Take more pictures, both of the leaves and the stalk. Do you see any color change?

Leave the celery for eight more hours, and then check it again. Take more pictures. Is the color darker now than it was before? Cut the celery stalks in half. Do you see the color moving through the hollow “veins” in the stalk?

If you have multiple celery stalks, try out multiple food colorings. Put red in one cup, yellow in another, and blue in another. Does one color produce more vibrant celery stalks? If you leave the celery in the cups for several days, what happens to the plants?

The Science Behind It: celery, like other plants, “drinks” water by drawing it through their roots. The water travels up through capillaries, which are the “veins” we can see in celery. Celery always draws the water up through the plants, and by adding food coloring, we can see it travel!

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