Crazy Science Demos Script

Equipment List  . Intro . Hat TrickEndo/Exothermic . Surface Tension . Acid Base . Densities of Fluids . Science Olympics

Props "One Time":

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Colored chalk
Hat Trick:
Change Bag
Colored Handkerchiefs
Heat Pack
Canned Air
Surface Tension
Pitchers, or something to hold lots of water
Small Bars of Soap
Lemon juice
Litmus paper
7 Up cans
Arm & Hammer baking soda tooth paste
Densities of Fluids
Yellow Oil
Red/Dark Vinegar
Mixing Sticks
Masking Tape
Magic Marker
Pieces of Metal same size, different densities
Science Olympics - Straws
meter stick

Props per Show:

Ice Pack
Boil Heatpack
Cabbage juice
Densities of Fluids
Helium Balloon
Science Olympics - Straws


Set up:

Have read through ALL experiments beforehand

Appoint one person to make notes on "script" regarding what went well and what needs work.

[Get all Props ready]

Get Water for Surface Tension (lots)

There's a fair amount of writing on the board - the person writing shouldn't be the person speaking.

Write Oil, Vinegar, indicator, bleach, Water, 7up, toothpaste, and lemon juice on needed cups


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Dartmouth College Engineers
Your first names

Let’s think about science...

Bring kids to the front of the room - just in chairs, or sitting on the floor - to be more fun

Spread yourselves out among kids, one person in front, rest with kids - to prevent unnecessary troublemaking

Change Bag
Surface Tension
Densities of Fluids (experiment)
Science Olympics - Straws

Thank the teacher
Clean up
Bring ALL props home (clean) 


Hat Trick or Change Bag - Explain the Scientific Method

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PRACTICE this one before you get to the classroom!

Change Bag

Let's think like scientists...

(Trick, there's a switch on the handle to switch the side of the bag you can see)

(May need some prompting.)

Hold switch one direction, ask someone on one side of the room what color handkerchief is.

Switch bag and ask someone on the other side what color the handkerchief is.

Make "observations"

Go back and forth a few times to get them to "hypothesize" that color switches every other time.

Experiment. Look twice on on same side of room and have it be the same color.

New hypothesis - Depends on side of room what color it is.

Test / Experiment.


(Note - if guess side of room first, then use every other trick, just so they have to form a new hypothesis and test it.)

Lesson: (write on board as you go along)

Scientific Method


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Canned Air
Heat Pack - reusable one with the silver disk
Ice Pack (One per class)

(There should be back ups of both ice and heat packs in case one is activated en route.)

Talk about energy -
list kinds of energy on the board as they say them
prompt them if needed (just some ideas)
light bulbs --> light, electricity
stove, cooking --> heat
tan, beach --> sun
batteries --> chemical
eat --> food
essentially, get them to say heat

Light candle
get one or two kids to feel heat (BE CAREFUL!)
give off heat (write on board)
exothermic (write on board)

Canned air
(just so you know - expanding gas is endothermic)

Dartmouth student should spray can (not kids) spray AWAY from everything
let two different kids feel the cold can
take in heat --> cold (write on board)
endothermic (write on board)

Two kinds sytems:
give off energy, take in energy
give off heat, take in heat
feels hot, feels cold
exothermic, endothermic
exothermic - heat Exits
endothermic - heat goes IN (en)

Hands On:
Divide class into two groups
Group 1: Heat Pack
Feel temperature before - write on board
Bend silver disk
Feel new temperature - write on board

Group 2: Ice Pack
Feel temperature before - write on board
Dartmouth Person activate Package (Be careful, chemicals are bad for skin)
Feel new temperature - write on board

Get them to decide if each experiment was endo- or exothermic

how do they know that?

Can they name any others?

Surface Tension

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You probably will need to practice this one beforehand - specifically the paperclip

Pitchers of water
Cups or Paper bowls
Paper clips

How many of you have seen those little bugs that walk on water? How do they do that?

(you might want to try this before you do it for the class!!)

(Have lots of dry paperclips - wet ones will NOT work.)

(Tip - if you're having trouble, try bending the center of the paperclip so that you can hold onto the paperclip without your finger touching the water.)

Make sure your hands are clean.
Fill bowl/cup with water, pour water slowly, don't get sides wet.
Carefully place paperclip on surface.
It better stay on the surface!
Touch soap to surface.
Paper clip drops.

Lesson:  Soap breaks surface tension.

Paperclip, like the bug, didn't float, it was sitting on a skin of water. Soap breaks that skin. Essentially, it makes the water, wetter.  That's one of the reasons we use soap, to make the water wetter so we can wash our hands better.

Waves also break that skin on the water, so those bugs only can walk on smooth water.

Keeping that in mind, make sure you don't make waves in your experiment.

Hands On:
Break kids up into groups - one Dartmouth person per 5 kids.
Fill cup/bowl with water - be careful not to get sides wet.
Sprinkle pepper on water.
It should float.
Touch soap.
Pepper should disperse and/or sink.
Why? (Surface tension breaks - a hole forms where soap touches and spreads to edges of dish.)

Where else have you seen water with a skin?
(glass being fuller than lip, beads of water on windshield or skis.)


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Cups (label)
Jar of Cabbage juice
Lemon juice
7 Up
Clear dish washing detergent
Litmus paper


- Hold onto markers


Who's tasted a lemon? What did it taste like? (sour)

Who's accidentally tasted soap when you're taking a bath/shower?


Generally, something sour is an acid (write on board). Something

bitter is a base.

However, do NOT taste things to try and figure this out. You should never put anything but food in your mouth.

So, how do you know if it's sour/acid or bitter/base?

There's something called an indicator (write on board) that will change colors to tell you.

Pour 7 up, water, and bleach into three different cups and put them on the table.
Write each on the board.
Ask the children to guess if each one is an acid or a base.
Explain that there is a way to figure it out using an indictor. Put colors on the board. Red, purple, blue, green, respectively acid to neutral to base.
Pour 1/4 cup of cabbage juice into three different cups

Pour SLOWLY 7up/water/bleach into cabbage juice in each cup and stir (use different stirs for each cup). Use your judgment and watch for the color change. 7up = pink, water = purple (no change), bleach = blue (NOT white)

Write color observations on the board that the kids tell you.

Make conclusions about acid base.

You can determine acid or base using an indicator, you don’t have to taste it.

Hands On:
Tell kids that there is another type of indicator called litmus paper.

Write color scheme for litmus paper (which is on the jar) on the board. Acid = low PH, neutral=7, and basic = high PH.

Break into groups of 5. Give each group a cup with either a table spoon of lemon juice or a table spoon of dish detergent.

Have kids test litmus paper and observe the color change (lemon juice = acid, detergent = base).

Conclusion: Strong acids and bases can be bad for you so indicators are a good way to test unknown substances. Ask if they have heard of acid rain.


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3 cups / group (label cups)
mixing stick
Masking tape
Metal pieces

- hold onto markers

Which is heavier, a pound of feathers, or a pound of lead?
(You know the answer)
Explain that they seem different because they have different densities

Pass around two pieces of metal
Ask why two metals feel different weights
Show helium balloon
Ask why balloon goes up (helium is not the right answer)

Even though metals the same size and shape, one is much more dense

Balloon - explain that helium weighs less than air

Hands On:
Works for solids (balloon), works for gases (balloon)
What about liquids?
What if you put chocolate syrup in your milk?
(they don’t separate - dark chocolate makes white milk, brown)
Divide into groups of five
One of you with each group of kids
Bring a 1/4 cup of oil and in a separate cup, a 1/4 cup of vinegar, empty cup
Put Team Number
Talk about mixing them together
Pour together (explain salad dressing)

Conclusion: [figure out which one sinks]

Can they think of any other things that separate, or float
(oil and water, bubbles underwater,

Science Olympics

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Straws (25 per group)
Meter stick

We're engineers. We like to build things! Our teachers give us problems, and we have to solve them. We'd like to give you a problem, and you guys can solve it. The problem is, we need a really tall structure. And the only material we have is straws. The structure has to stand on it's own. You can't touch it. And there's also a time limit of (how much time you have left (don't forget clean up and judging).)


Breaks kids into groups of three.
Dartmouth people wander between groups - make sure everyone is involved.
Encourage them to come up with team names related to science.
Make sure you're excited about everyone's tower, no matter how short.

One problem - lots of great solutions.


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Last updated 01/20/00 by S.R. Ashlock