Here are a list of suggested ‘Eyecatching’ experiments to try when doing outreach – accompanied with a VERY brief description of the science behind them. Each experiment contains an ‘Equipment List’, an outline ‘instructions’, and additional links along with some suggested discussion points!
WARNING: Some of these experiments are potentially hazardous. Please take all possible precautions with all chemical, electricity and heated objects – and if something is unclear feel free to ask us before trying it.
MESA accepts NO responsibility for the consequences of these experiments as they are intended for trained teachers, educators and researchers.
- Invisible Glass? – Matching Refractive Indices
- Blind Spot – Lens Optics
- ‘Truth Goggles’ – Diffraction and Spectral Emission
- ‘Foam-tastic’ – Temperature and Surface Tension
- Dancing Cornflour – Polymer Properties and Sound Waves
- Spiny Fluids – Ferromagnets and Magnetic Fields
- Levitation? – Fluid Dynamics
- Strawberry Blueprints – DNA and Basic Biology
- Anti-water Sock – Charge and Electrostatics
- Magnificent Milk – Hydrophobicity, Hydrophilicity and Surface Tension
- Flubber – Soft Matter/Polymer Chemistry
- Levitating Magnet – Magnetism and Superconductivity
- Sunblock and Why the Sky is Blue – Optical Scattering
Additional Links:University of Canterbury Science Outreach New Zealand Physics Teachers’ Resource Bank ScienceShow Nanotechnology University of Wisconsin: Materials Research Science and Engineering Centre Activities UCLA Nanotechnology Outreach