Homemade Bubbles This project gives children as well as adults the chance to make their own homemade bubbles. Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting. This project is rated VERY EASY to do. What You Need 1/2 cup Dishwashing detergent (120 ml) 4 1/2 Cup Water (1.1 liter) 4 Tablespoons glycerin (available at pharmacies) (60 ml) Container with a tight fitting lid in which to keep the bubbles Measuring devices Spoon How To Make It 1. Gather all your supplies. 2. Measure out the water, detergent, and glycerin into container. 3. GENTLY stir the mixture together. If a foam forms, gently skim it off the top. 4. Find something with which to blow bubbles and begin to have fun. Note: The longer you let the mixture set, the larger the bubbles are and the longer they seem to last. Bread Sculpting Dough A quick and easy clay recipe made from bread and glue! Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting. This project is rated EASY to do. What You Need 2 Parts Bread - approximately 2 pieces or slices 2 Parts Glue - approximately 1/4 bottle (Normal bottle of Elmer's Glue-All NET 4 FL. OZ./118ml ) 1 Part Food Coloring (optional ) - approximately 2 drops How To Make It 1. Crumble bread into small chunks. 2. Add glue. Mix immediately. If too dry or sticky add a little water. 3. Add food coloring for color. (optional) 4. How to mold: This is just like clay, but you need to be careful not to crumble it, or hold it in your hand for too long (It may get sticky and stick to your hand!) When you want colored figures, I suggest that you color the dough, before working with it. 5. How long will it dry? Usually, it takes one hour to dry. Due to amount and proportions. I suggest that you leave it in a cool room, (for instance, the garage, if clean enough) on a flat cookie sheet, with a nonstick spray, or wax paper on it. 6. How do I finish my items? When you finish your items, spray them with either ceramic spray or hair spray, both do the trick. Also clear nail polish or high gloss varnish work. All work the same. Make sure the items have dried before putting clear finish on them. Erupting Volcano This would be a fun experiment for classrooms, daycares, Girl Scouts, and Cub Scouts. This volcano takes a bit more time to create than our easy version. This also makes a fun birthday activity for a Dinosaur Birthday party! Parental supervision is recommended. Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting. This project is rated AVERAGE to do. What You Need Large plastic or foam plate Brown FIMO clay (or another clay you can bake) Orange FIMO clay Plastic film canister Plastic disposable knife Wax paper Aluminum foil Tacky glue Cookie sheet Oven Alka-Seltzer tablets (generic is fine) Water in a cup (with pour spout) How To Make It 1. Tear off a piece of wax paper and lay out on the table. 2. Tear off a piece of foil about the size of a piece of notebook paper. 3. Roll the foil into a snake-like form. 4. Wrap the foil snake around the base of the canister to create a wider base for the volcano. 5. Create additional foil snakes if needed. 6. Use glue to connect the snakes if you have difficulty with them staying in place. 7. Continue until you get the basic shape of the volcano created. 8. Knead brown clay until easy to work with then lay aside on the wax paper. 9. Knead the orange clay until easy to work with then lay aside on the wax paper. 10. Take the brown clay and push out on the wax paper until thin and flat. (Note: Do not use rolling pins that you would use again on food!) 11. Cover the canister and foil snakes with a flat layer of brown clay. 12. Do not have the clay enter the inside of the canister as you will need to remove the canister before baking. 13. Make an erupting lava look by using the orange clay and making lava drips. (see photo) 14. Remove the film canister. Make sure the volcano holds its' shape. 15. Tear off a piece of foil big enough for the volcano to sit on. Place on cookie sheet. 16. Place volcano on foil. 17. Bake according to manufacturer's instructions. Let cool. 18. Carefully insert the film canister. 19. Place the volcano on the disposable plate. 20. Add one Alka-Seltzer tablet to the canister. (Break tablet in half, if needed) 21. Add water about 1/2 way up the canister. 22. Watch your volcano erupt before your eyes! Erupting Volcano - Easy This would be a fun experiment for classrooms, daycares, Girl Scouts, and Cub Scouts. Parental supervision is recommended. Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting. This project is rated EASY to do. What You Need For the Volcano: Large paper plate Bathroom disposable cup (3 ounce is best) Aluminum foil Scotch tape Scissors To Make the Volcano Erupt: Water Baking soda Vinegar Tablespoon Cup Pan or tray How To Make It 1. Attach the paper cup to the plate by taping the bottom of the cup to the middle of the plate. 2. Tear off a piece of foil large enough to completely cover the cup and plate. 3. Place the foil over the cup and plate and turn the foil under the plate edge. 4. Tape the foil in place. 5. Poke a hole through the foil into the middle of the cup. 6. Use scissors to make slits from the middle of the cup to the inside edge of the cup. Tape the foil to the inside of the cup. (see photo) 7. Now make your volcano erupt! (see below) To Make Your Volcano Erupt: 1. Place the volcano on a pan or tray (or you'll get lava all over the place!) 2. Fill the volcano with 2 tablespoons of water and stir in a tablespoon of baking soda until it dissolves. 3. Measure 2 tablespoons of vinegar into a separate cup. 4. Pour the vinegar, all at once into the water/baking soda mixture and watch your lava bubble up! WHY'D THAT HAPPEN?? The bubbles that are created are filled with carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is a gas that forms when the vinegar (an acid) reacts with the baking soda (a base). For all you bakers out there, this is also what makes cakes and quick breads (the no yeast kind) get all nice and fluffy. Corn Chips A fun way to make homemade corn chips. Adult supervision is recommended. Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting. This project is rated AVERAGE to do. What You Need 1 cup Cornmeal 1 Tablespoon Oil 1/2 teaspoon Salt 3/4 - 7/8 cup Boiling water Mixing bowl Mixing spoon or spatula Measuring teaspoon Baking sheet Use of oven How To Make It 1. Mix all ingredients. 2. Scoop 1 heaping measuring teaspoonful of mixture. 3. Place on a well greased baking sheet. (Use plenty of oil, or they will stick) 4. Moisten fingers, pat out very thin. 5. Bake in 400 degree oven about 10 minutes. Crispy Pops This recipe is easy, it's fun, and it's great to eat! Kids love crispy marshmallow rice treats, and they love M&M's. Combine the two and put them on a stick, and you are a star in their eyes! Parental supervision is recommended. Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting. This project is rated EASY to do. What You Need 1/4 cup Margarine 1 (10 ounce) package Miniature marshmallows 6 cups of Crisped rice cereal 1 cup M&M's candy 12 (5 ounce) size paper cups (wax lined works best) 12 Popsicle sticks How To Make It 1. Combine cereal and M&M's, set aside. 2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine and marshmallows together, stirring constantly. 3. Combine marshmallow mixture with cereal mixture and stir well. 4. Mix completely until all cereal is coated. 5. Spoon mixture into paper cups and press lightly to fill. 6. Insert Popsicle sticks into the center of the mixture and press again lightly with fingers. Cool. 7. If you like, press half of the mixture into a 9x9 square baking pan and cool. Cut into squares. 8. Serve! Play Dough Provide cookie cutters, plastic utensils, and cups to use as rolling pin. The children will have a lot of fun creating with their imagination. Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting. This project is rated EASY to do. What You Need 2 cups flour 1 cup salt Water Oil, optional (if you no not want it to harden) Medium sized mixing bowl Spoon How To Make It 1. Mix the flour, salt, and water in a bowl. Add a small amount of oil if you do not want the play dough to harden. 2. Knead the play dough a little and watch the kids have fun. Silly Slime The longer you play with it, the more fun it gets! It stays fresh in a baby food jar for weeks. Try blowing bubbles with it, by stretching a blob over your lips and gently blowing. Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting. This project is rated VERY EASY to do. What You Need Note: This recipe is extremely messy. Be careful around furniture and carpets! Equal amounts of white glue and liquid laundry starch ( it's by the laundry products in the store). Start with about 1/2 cup of each. How To Make It 1. Measure equal amounts of the glue and liquid starch, about 1/2 cup to start, into a bowl. 2. Stir thoroughly. 3. Let rest 5 minutes. 4. Knead it with your hands, until it comes together. Just when you think it is ruined, it suddenly turns into a wonderful long-stranded glob! Magic Potion Most of you have probably done this in science class at one point...it's loads of fun for the kids and would go GREAT with a Harry Potter or wizard party. Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting. This project is rated EASY to do. What You Need Cauldron (see link to craft below) Water Baking soda Vinegar Tablespoon Cup Pan or tray How To Make It 1. Create the Cauldron. 2. Place the cauldron on a pan or tray (or you'll get potion all over the place!) 3. Fill the cauldron with 2 tablespoons of water and stir in a tablespoon of baking soda until it dissolves. 4. Measure 2 tablespoons of vinegar into a separate cup. 5. Pour the vinegar, all at once into the water/baking soda mixture and watch your potion bubble up! WHY'D THAT HAPPEN?? The bubbles that are created are filled with carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is a gas that forms when the vinegar (an acid) reacts with the baking soda (a base). For all you bakers out there, this is also what makes cakes and quick breads (the no yeast kind) get all nice and fluffy. Tips For those of you who don't allow Halloween, potions, witches or brews, this craft recipe is still a really NEAT science experiment! Nilly Dillyicious Pops If you are looking for a fun and easy recipe to do with the kids, try these deliciously simple Nilly Dillyicious Pops. Parental supervision is recommended. Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting. This project is rated EASY to do. What You Need 20 Vanilla wafer cookies 1/2 cup Peanut butter 1 (6 ounce) bag Chocolate or white chocolate chips Colored candy sprinkles Popsicle sticks Wax paper or paper plates How To Make It 1. Spread peanut butter onto the flat side of the cookies. 2. Place an Popsicle stick into the peanut butter on half the cookies. 3. Top with another cookie so the stick is sandwiched between the two cookies. 4. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, one minute, then in 20 second increments, stirring until smooth. 5. Dip Nilly Pops in the melted chips, covering completely. 6. Roll pops in sprinkles and lay or stand on waxed paper or paper plates. 7. Place in refrigerator to chill. Tips Note: If using white chocolate chips, you can tint the melted chocolate with food coloring, or leave the chocolate white and use chocolate sprinkles. Decorate with any other candies you wish, or leave some plain as we did here. Another variation is to use vanilla or chocolate frosting instead of peanut butter for the filling.. These can also be made without sticks. use one stick to be able to dip the cookies in chocolate and roll in sprinkles, then remove the stick and put on wax paper or paper plates, then chill. Stained Glass Cookies Colorful decorations you can eat or hang! Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting. This project is rated AVERAGE to do. What You Need Make basic refrigerator cookie dough, and chill Lifesavers candies Plastic sandwich bags (one for each color) Rolling pin How To Make It 1. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into strips about 1/4" thick. Use to make outlines on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Pinch ends together well. Start with simple shapes and then try more complex ones. 2. Sort the Lifesavers into plastic bags by color. Crush them with a rolling pin. Use to fill openings in the cookies. 3. If you want to hang the cookies on your Christmas tree, thicken dough at the top and punch a hole with a straw before baking. 4. Bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely, then peel off foil. Colorful Picture Frame This project involves using salt clay to decorate a picture frame. Parental supervision is recommended. Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting. This project is rated EASY to do. What You Need Salt dough - flour, salt, vegetable oil, water, bowl Cutter - kids get an adult to help Plastic knife (preferably the one in playdough) Tempera paints or poster paints in lots of bright colors Corrugated cardboard Use of oven Apron Rolling pin Strong glue How To Make It 1. Make salt dough. Here's my recipe: Ingredients: o 200 ml water o 1 tablespoon vegetable oil o 300 g. plain flour o 300 g. salt o bowl What to do: 6. Mix the flour, salt, oil, & water into a soft dough in the bowl. Add water if some pieces keep falling apart. 7. Sprinkle flour on your working place then start kneading. 8. The dough is ready to be worked on. 2. Roll out a piece of salt clay about 3-4 cm thick. 3. Using the plastic knife cut out a big flower with 6 petals. 4. Cut out a small flower with 6 petals and glue it over the big flower. 5. Cut out a circle and place it over the small flower. 6. Repeat steps 2 to 4 until you have 3 to 4 flowers to be in your picture frame. 7. Use the cutter to cut the corrugated card into 4 long pieces in any length you want. Kids, get an adult to help. 8. Glue the sides of the corrugated card to form a square, then let it dry. 9. Put your flowers in the oven and let it bake until it becomes a little bit yellowish. (Oven temperature is 180 C or 350 F or gas mark 4. Preheat first for 5 minutes, then bake about 20 minutes.) Parental supervision is recommended. 10. Cool the flowers. 11. Paint the flowers in exciting colors, try to use your imagination by adding dots or stripes. 12. Let the paint dry. 13. Glue the flowers any way you want in the frame. 14. It's ready to be given as a present or to put a picture in it. Kids in some parts of Mexico make clay animal figures called animalitos, which means “little animals.” You can create animalitos, too. Buy modeling clay or make some using the recipe below. • 2 cups (470 milliliters) of baking soda • 1 cup (240 milliliters) corn starch • 1 1/4 cups (300 milliliters) of water • 2-quart (1.9- liter) saucepan • Wax paper • Poster or acrylic paints • Colored felt- tip markers 1. Stir the baking soda, cornstarch, and water together in the saucepan. Heat for a few minutes on a medium setting, stirring constantly until the mixture is the thickness of mashed potatoes. 2. Remove the pan from the heat and scrape the mixture onto a piece of wax paper. You’ve made a kind of clay! Allow it to cool for at least ten minutes. 3. With your hands, roll the cool clay into a ball, then flatten the ball on the wax paper. Keep rolling and flattening the clay until it is smooth. 4. Look at pictures of animals to get an idea of their shapes and features. Start with a lump of clay about the size of a robin’s egg. Mold the clay into a simplified animal body shape. 5. Gently pinch out pieces of clay to form the animal’s head, ears, legs, tail, and other features. 6. Allow the animalitos to dry overnight or until they are hard. Then add markings and details with paint and colored markers. Tips • Make your animalitos very simple. • Keep unused clay from drying out by sealing it inside a plastic bag and putting it in the refrigerator. ANIMAL ART ROCKS You Will Need: picture of an animal face smooth, egg-shaped rock dishwashing soap water scrub brush newspapers sharp pencil acrylic paints wide brush (finger-width) narrow brush Hint If you mess up painting your rock, let it dry off, and paint it again! Here’s how 1. Look through magazines for a picture of an animal you would like to draw. Cats, dogs, birds, foxes, rabbits, and snakes work well. Use your imagination. 2. Find a smooth rock, the basic shape of the animal's face or body. 3. Scrub the rock with soap and water. Rinse it well, and let it dry completely. 4. Cover your work area with newspaper. 5. Pencil a design on the rock. 6. Paint the outlines and shadows of your animal using a wide brush. 7. Fill in big blocks of coloring with the wide brush. Let your rock dry. 8. Add details using a narrow brush. Wipe mistakes away with a damp cotton ball. Add white dots to the animal's eyes to make them sparkle. Batty Witch Mobile Spook up any haunted house with your own mobile. YOU WILL NEED a pencil black construction paper brown and black tissue paper transparent tape household glue scissors two straws needle and thread HERE'S HOW 1. PRINT TWO COPIES OF THE BAT AND WITCH DRAWINGS. Cut out the bat, witch, and witch's cape from one printout. Only cut along the solid lines. The cutouts will be your patterns. Use the other printout as reference. 2. PLACE THE BAT PATTERN onto a piece of black construction paper. Trace around the bat with a pencil, then cut out the bat. 3. GLUE THE BLACK BAT onto a piece of brown tissue paper. With a pencil carefully draw in the dotted-line wings freehand, using the original drawing to see where they belong. (See the photograph at left.) 4. CUT OUT THE ENTIRE BAT from the tissue paper. 5. PLACE THE WITCH PATTERN onto a piece of black construction paper and trace around it. Cut out the witch. 6. PLACE THE CAPE PATTERN onto a piece of black tissue paper and trace around it. Cut out the cape, then glue it to the witch's back. 7. FOR EACH MOBILE you'll need a least three figures—all bats, all witches, or a combination of the two. 8. NOW ASSEMBLE YOUR MOBILE. Build a frame by pushing a needle and knotted thread through one end of a straw and into the center of a second straw. Leave about 10 inches (25 centimeters) of thread between the two straws. Cut the thread and knot it so the thread stays in place. 9. PULL A SEPARATE THREAD through the head of a bat or through the witch's hat and draw the thread through one of the three straw ends remaining. Knot the end of the thread. Leave from 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) of thread between the bat or witch and the straw. Attach the other two figures to the other straw ends in the same way. 10. COMPLETE THE MOBILE THIS WAY: Loop a thread over the center of the first straw and knot the ends together. This loop is the hanger. To balance the mobile, slide the loop left or right, until the mobile hangs straight. Then tape the loop in place. Slime Punch Make this treat for a Halloween party. YOU WILL NEED large bowl half-gallon (2 liters) of lime sherbet one quart (one liter) each of ginger ale and lemon-lime soda one quart (one liter) of sugar-free lemonade (made from powdered mix and dyed green with food coloring) two surgical gloves, washed first in warm, soapy water, rinsed, and turned inside out string or rubber band HERE'S HOW 1. Fill the gloves with the green-colored, sugar-free lemonade and tie them securely at the wrists with string or a rubber band. Freeze until solid. 2. In the bowl, mix the sherbet, ginger ale, and soda. 3. With scissors, cut the gloves from the frozen hands. Discard the gloves and float the icy hands in the punch. You can bet a friend that you can put your head through a hole in a 3-by-5-inch file card—and win! 1. Fold the file card in half lengthwise and make 13 partial cuts widthwise. First cut through the folded side, then turn the card around and cut toward the fold. Keep repeating the process. (Cut to within a quarter inch of the edges of the card.) 2. Very carefully open the card and cut lengthwise along the fold. Do not cut the two end sections. 3. Gently stretch the card as far as it will go and put it over your head. DID YOU KNOW? The secret to this trick comes from a branch of mathematics called topology. It teaches that figures can be stretched without changing their area. Many kids have written to us asking for recipes for “slimy, goopy stuff.” Here’s a recipe for Blue Goo. IMPORTANT: Blue Goo is to play with, not to eat. 1. Mix together 2 tablespoons of white glue and 2 tablespoons of water in a Illustration by Rick Stromoski paper cup. 2. In another paper cup, mix together ten drops of blue food coloring, 1/4 cup of water, and 3/4 teaspoon of borax laundry detergent. 3. Add 2 tablespoons of the borax mixture to the glue mixture and stir well. 4. Have fun playing with your Blue Goo. Store it in an airtight container. To avoid stains, be careful not to let blue goo touch furniture, carpet, or clothing. DID YOU KNOW? Blue Goo is a non-Newtonian fluid, which means it is neither a liquid nor a solid but has properties of both. Have you ever seen a whirling funnel of water going down the drain of your bathtub? That whirlpool is called a water vortex. HERE’S HOW A vortex is a mass of fluid that moves in a circular motion to 1. Tape the washer to the top of either form a vacuum in its center. A bottle, as shown. (Make sure the tape vortex works with water much doesn’t cover the hole in the washer.) the same way a tornado works with air. A vacuum action tends 2. Fill that bottle three-fourths full of water. to draw everything around a vortex toward its center. You can 3. Place the empty bottle upside down on make your own water vortex by top of the washer. Tape the bottles securely following these directions. together. YOU WILL NEED 4. Turn the bottles over so the one on top holds the water. Quickly swirl the bottles in a two empty one-liter soft drink big circle several times and place the bottom bottles, rinsed out and with bottle on a flat surface. labels removed rubber or steel washer that 5. When you stop, the water should start has a small hole and is the same swirling down in a tornado-shaped funnel. width as the tops of the bottles roll of strong electrical, or duct, tape water • 4 tablespoons (60 milliliters) vinegar • 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) baking soda • 1 tall, clear glass or jar • Enough water to fill half the glass or jar • 8 or more raisins First get permission to use kitchen equipment and ingredients. 1. Add the vinegar and baking soda to the water. The mixture will begin to fizz. 2. Drop raisins one at a time into the mixture. The raisins may sink at first. Soon they will rise to the surface, then sink, then rise again. The raisins will continue to “bounce” for at least an hour. Combining vinegar and baking soda creates bubbles of carbon dioxide, the same gas that’s in carbonated soda. Bubbles collect on the raisins and lift them up. At the surface the bubbles escape, the raisins sink, and the process begins again. • Clear glass filled with water • Quarter-inch (one-half-centimeter) slice from the end of a cork • Magnet • Needle 1. Float the cork in the glass of water. 2. Magnetize the needle by rubbing it over the magnet in the same direction about 50 times. 3. Lay the needle on cork. 4. The needle will slowly turn and point in the same direction, no mater how many times you point it in another direction. Once magnetized, the needle lines up with the Earth’s north and south magnetic poles just as a magnetized pointer in a compass would. IMPORTANT: Before you begin, ask an adult for permission to use the stove. AND remember to turn it off when you're finished. You will need powdered alum, available in the spice section of the 3. Bring the supermarket mixture to a water complete boil, a small pan stirring for a a wooden few seconds spoon until all of the 5. After three food coloring alum is days, carefully 1. Measure 4 dissolved. pour off the (for amounts, teaspoons of excess water see below) water and 3 and gently several small teaspoons of remove the jars alum into the crystals. paper towels pan. 4. Allow the Spread them mixture to cool evenly on a 2. Add drops of two minutes. paper towel to "emeralds" food coloring to Carefully pour dry. 10 drops green achieve the the alum "rubies" desired color solution into 12 drops red (see the color the jar, and let "diamonds" list at left for it sit uncovered no color ideas). and "topaz" 10 drops undisturbed for yellow three days. "sapphires" Soon you will 10 drops blue begin to see "amber" crystals 6 drops yellow forming at the + 2 drops red + bottom of the 1 drop green jar. Do not move the jar. BOTTLED EGG | IT'S SQUISHY | BALANCING ACT | SPINNERS Like magic, you can put an egg inside a bottle. First get permission to use kitchen equipment and eggs. YOU WILL NEED one peeled, hard-boiled egg plastic or glass bottle with an opening slightly smaller than the egg large bowl of hot water large bowl of ice water Here’s how 1. Put the bottle in the bowl of hot water for about five minutes. 2. Move the bottle to the bowl of ice water. Wet the egg and place it pointed side down in the bottle opening. As the air inside the bottle cools, the egg will slowly move into the bottle. 3. To remove the egg, hold the bottle upside down so the egg is near the opening. Blow hard into the bottle with your mouth tight against the opening. Point the bottle away from you: The egg flies out! Why? Hot air expands. Cold air contracts. When the air inside the bottle is heated, the molecules, or tiny air particles, inside the bottle spread out, increasing air pressure. As the air in the bottle cools, the air pressure decreases. The greater outside air pressure pushes the egg into the bottle. Blowing into the bottle raises the air pressure again. The air and the egg rush out of the bottle. YOU WILL NEED HERE’S HOW • wide-mouthed, smooth, circular 1. Place the mirror glass jar or large inside the water-filled plain drinking glass jar. Tilt the mirror filled with water slightly upward. • small mirror • flashlight 2. In a very dark room with white DID YOU KNOW? walls, shine the flashlight onto the The mirror reflects mirror. A rainbow light that passes appears! (Hint: If no back through the rainbow appears at water, traveling at an first, just change the angle. The water angle of light from refracts, or bends, the flashlight or the light. As light change the angle of bends, it separates the mirror.) into the colors of the rainbow—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Illustration by David Bamundo •1/3 cup (80 milliliters) light corn syrup •1/3 cup (80 milliliters) glycerin (available in drugstores) •1/3 cup (80 milliliters) water •1/3 cup (80 milliliters) vegetable oil •4 small glasses •1 tall, clear glass or jar •Food coloring •Funnel First get permission to use kitchen equipment and ingredients. 1. Pour the corn syrup, glycerin, water, and vegetable oil into four separate cups. 2. Add a few drops of red food coloring to the corn syrup. Add drops of blue to the water. Do not color the oil or glycerin. 3. Pour the red syrup into the glass or jar. Try not to let it dribble down the sides. 4. Use the funnel to pour the glycerin down the inside of the glass. Pour carefully to avoid disturbing the bottom layer. Wash the funnel. 5. Repeat step 4, first adding the blue water, then the oil, washing the funnel between steps. The liquids will stay in separate layers if you are careful not to shake the glass. Each liquid has its own density. You added liquids in order from highest to lowest density. The oil stays on top because it is least dense. Scientists use optical illusions to study how the brain allows itself to be tricked. Can you be fooled? Try an experiment and see. The diagram at right Stand at arm’s length from your computer screen. Then close your left eye and focus your right eye on the fox in the drawing. Slowly move toward your screen, so your eyes are close to it—and see the rabbit disappear! Each eye retina has a blind spot where there are no light-sensitive cells. This illusion demonstrates the blind spot of your right eye. Scientists use optical illusions to study how the brain allows itself to be tricked. Can you be fooled? Try an experiment and see. A coin A clear drinking glass Water Want to see your money grow? Put a coin in the bottom center of an empty drinking glass. Put about an inch (2.5 centimeters) of water into the glass, making sure the coin stays in position. Look at the glass from an angle slightly above the water level. When you find just the right angle, you will see the coins—appearing to float! And on the bottom of the glass you’ll see a larger coin! Light rays reflect upward from the coin and bend toward your eye, making the coin appear to float. Also, the curved glass acts as a magnifying lens to make the real coin on the bottom look larger than it is. Scientists use optical illusions to study how the brain allows itself to be tricked. Can you be fooled? Try an experiment and see. A piece of paper 5 inches (13 centimeters) square Tape Roll the paper into a tube about an inch (2.5 centimeters) wide, and secure it with tape. Hold the tube up to one eye. With your palm facing you, place your free hand about an inch from the end of the tube. With both eyes open, focus on an object across the room. It appears that you’re looking at the object through a hole in the middle of your hand! One eye sees the distant object through the tube. The other eye sees the palm of your hand. Your brain combines the two views to create the optical illusion. Scientists use optical illusions to study how the brain allows itself to be tricked. Can you be fooled? Try an experiment and see. Two pencils With both eyes open, hold two pencils about 12 inches (30 centimeters) in front of you, level with your eyes. Slowly bring the tips of the two pencils together. Not difficult? Try the same thing with only one eye open. You’ll find that it’s very difficult! Each eye sees from a slightly different angle. Both eyes work together to give you depth perception—the ability to see things in three dimensions. You need depth perception for your brain to be able to judge distance. When you use just one eye, you have no depth perception. Scientists use optical illusions to study how the brain allows itself to be tricked. Can you be fooled? Try an experiment and see. The diagram at right Which figure is the tallest? You may be surprised to learn that all of the figures are the same height. Measure them to prove it. The lines in this picture come together in such a way that they create an illusion of depth, which tricks you into thinking the figures are different sizes. 1. First make a paper cone to line the funnel. Cut a circle out of the construction paper. Use the bottom of a bowl for a pattern. Remove a quarter of the circle, pull the sides together until they form a cone, and tape them. Leave a small hole at the tip. 2. Tie a string around the lip of the funnel. Use other string to suspend the funnel above the table from a light fixture or the handle of an open cabinet door. The funnel should hang a few inches above the table surface. 3. Place the black paper under the funnel, and put the paper cone into the funnel. 4. Block the funnel’s tip with a finger and pour in some salt. 5. Remove your finger, push the funnel gently, and let it swing. The salt should form a pattern on the paper. 6. After the funnel stops, pour the salt back into the funnel. Try pushing off the funnel again in different ways and see what other patterns it forms. 7. To make a picture that you can save, brush a thin layer of glue over a large sheet of black paper, making sure that every area is covered. Then follow directions 4 and 5. Let your paper dry completely before removing it from the table. • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) grape juice • Small, clear glass • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of baking soda • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of white vinegar First get permission to use kitchen equipment and ingredients. 1. Pour the grape juice into the glass. 2. Slowly mix the baking soda into the grape juice. The color at the top of the juice will change to blue. 3. Now add the vinegar to the mixture, a drop at a time. The color will change to pink where the vinegar drips. 4. When you pour out the liquid in the sink, notice how dark it has become. Grape juice looks purple because its molecules are arranged in such a way that it absorbs all the colors of light except purple. The purple reflects back to your eyes. This is how you see color. Adding other substances changes the molecular structure of grape juice, so its color changes. • Celery stalk • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of red food coloring • Tall, clear jar • Enough water to fill half the jar First get permission to use kitchen equipment and ingredients. 1. Pour the water in the jar. Add the red coloring. 2. Stand the celery in the glass. 3. Wait 24 hours, and the celery leaves will turn red. The celery absorbs the water—and the coloring—and carries it to the leaves. Plants absorb water and minerals in a process called osmosis. In osmosis liquids pass through a plant's membrane, or outer covering, and move through its stem to its leaves. Hurricanes are huge circular storms of wind, clouds, and rain that form over warm tropical oceans. The clouds in a hurricane can be seen as circular bands that spiral around a hurricane’s eye. You can duplicate the swirling motion around the calm eye of a hurricane. • Large round bowl or tub of water • Spoon • Food coloring with a dropper top First get permission to use kitchen equipment and ingredients. 1. Moving the spoon in a circular motion around the side of a bowl, stir the water. 2. When the water is moving fast, stop stirring and immediately put several drops of food coloring into the center of the swirling water. The color will move out from the center forming bands—much as clouds in a hurricane do. 1. Use a thumbtack to 4. Now pour out the water from the punch a hole in the bottom test run and fill the top cup again. of each cup. Tack the five Use a timer and, at the end of every cups to the cardboard, one five minutes, mark the water level on under another. the paper taped to the jar. 2. Tape the strip of paper 5. When all the water has dripped vertically on the glass jar, into the jar, you’ll be able to use this and put the jar beneath the “clock” to keep track of time. bottom cup. 6. For example, start your water clock 3. For a test run, fill the top again. Use the five-minute marks to cup with water and make time how long it takes you to do your sure the water drips homework, practice playing an smoothly through each cup. instrument, or setting the table.