Science Behind the Project: Geodes are essentially rock cavities with crystals inside. They occur when gas bubbles become trapped in molten rock or rounded cavities form in sedimentary rock. Minerals dissolved in water seep into the space in the rock and are slowly deposited on the inside surface over time. Here, crystals form from a supersaturated solution and grow directly on the Alum attached to the eggshell by the glue. The egg dye gives the crystals their color and the result is very similar to a real geode.
Science Behind the Project: When an electric current flows through a wire, it creates a magnetic field. Each of the electrons (very small, negatively charged particles) that flow to make electric current creates a sort of magnetic tunnel around itself when it moves. When a lot of electrons are moving (like in electricity), a large magnetic field is created around the conductor (the wire) that they are flowing through. The magnetic field around each coil adds up to make one bigger field. This field magnetizes the nail or bolt, which then picks up the paper clips.
Science Behind the Project: Carbon dioxide bubbles form due to a chemical reaction that takes place in water between the acid (citric acid) and the base (sodium bicarbonate—baking soda) that are both in Alka-Seltzer. The gas bubbles draw the colored water up through the oil layer to the top of the container. Once the bubbles are released, the colored water (which is more dense than and doesn’t mix with the oil) sinks back down to the bottom of the container.
Science Behind the Project: As the super-saturated solution cools, Borax is forced out of solution (because the water can no longer hold all of it) and crystals form spontaneously on the millions of microscopic surfaces (called nucleation sites) all over the material of the pipe cleaner. As the number of Borax molecules increases, the crystals get larger, eventually getting large enough to make the fabulous crystals you see on your ornament!
Science Behind the Project: Plaster of Paris is composed of partially dehydrated gypsum that has lost about 75% of its water through an intense heating process. The gypsum absorbs the energy of the heat to release the water from its crystal form (an endothermic reaction) and results in a white powder. When mixed with water, the gypsum absorbs the water it lost in the heating process to reestablish its original crystal lattice form. This reaction releases heat (an exothermic reaction) and in the process the plaster hardens solid.
Science Behind the Project: When mixed with water, Borax creates an alkaline (basic) solution that reacts with glue to loosely tie its long molecules together, producing a putty-like material called a polymer. In simplest terms, a polymer is a long chain of molecules. Everyday materials like the plastic used to make soda bottles and the nylon fabric in a windbreaker are made up of polymers. The slime glows under black light because the ink in highlighters (that is in the glow water) contains a chemical called pyranine that is a phosphor, which absorbs radiation (like ultraviolet light from the black light) and emits it back as visible light.
Science Behind the Project: A bubble is a thin film of soapy water that has 3 layers: a thin layer of water molecules sandwiched between 2 layers of soap molecules. In this mixture, the glycerin slows down the rate of evaporation of the water from the solution and makes the bubbles bigger and stronger. No matter what shape a bubble has initially, it will always try to become a sphere because it minimizes the surface area of the bubble, and requires the least energy to achieve.
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