Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Halloween Science

It is close to that time of year again!
Here are some ideas for fun experiments. Just check out Pinterest to see what those amazing American home school mums get up to.

Fill some thin latex gloves with coloured water and spooky bits such as plastic spiders, googly eyes etc then freeze.
Once frozen you can either use warm water and drizzle over or sprinkle salt and watch the hands slowly melt revealing the spooky bits. Lots of fun for small folk!

You've probably tried  using vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to blow up a balloon. But why not try this alternative for Halloween - a white balloon with ghost eyes and mouth. Another idea is to do the freaky hand using a thin latex glove which you can draw fingernails on or make it have hairy knuckles.

Of course we have to go one better... it took quite a bit of tweaking to get the right amount of vinegar and bicarb to blow this veterinary examination glove up.

I came across this gloriously messy activity on Pinterest - a bowl full of the most gruesome gunge and other creepy stuff covered in bubbles. The brave victim has to feel through the bubbles revealing the "horrors" beneath. (Not sure why but the pasta freaks me out the most!)

This is a brilliant idea from Left Brain Craft Brain
Using a brain mould - I went on AmazonUK and found lots of different ones in all sizes including life size. You can fill the mould with a variety of gungy materials. They have used left over cornflour gloop which was quite thick but you could make this edible using jelly with spooky sweets in it or green coloured blancmange. 

I love this slime with added spooky bits

Here is a slightly different take on slime - I love the eyes. This is really for those who don't want the mess everywhere or for really little ones who wouldn't be able to resist trying a bite! Sensory bags are great fun at any time of the year but this is super for Halloween.
There are so many different slime recipes around. You will see PVA school glue used which gives an opaque result but American's often use clear Elmer's school glue for this transparent effect. I have discovered that you can buy it now on AmazonUK and you can still get Borax - there is nothing else that will produce the wonderful slime effect as well. You will probably have to go online for it since the EU directive ban on it as a food substance and cleaning additive.

Finally I thought you might like to see this........

A few years ago we did a Spooky Science show at Catalyst Science Discovery Centre and created this pumpkin puke demo.

This can be done using the classic Elephant's toothpaste which is hydrogen peroxide, washing up liquid and either potassium or sodium iodide. The result is spectacular but messy because of the iodine yellow everywhere plus we wanted to be able to repeat this demo four times a day for a week so clearing up the mess everytime wasn't an option.

So we used what is often called the "safe" method using hydrogen peroxide, liquid soap and a warm solution of dried yeast. After a bit of tweaking the result was pretty great!
If you follow the link you can find a short YouTube clip

Have a great Halloween and enjoy the science!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


Welcome readers and blog followers

Science2U publishes an electronic newsletter which until now has been monthly.
As you can imagine this takes quite a bit of effort and this blog has suffered as a result.

So we have decided to make the newsletter half termly and any extras/news etc will be published on this blog.

So for our first bit of news.

British Science Week 2017 10th - 19th March

There are grants available to help you fund a science event.
Up to £300 for a school event
Up to £700 for an event which involves your school and wider community
Between £500 and £1000 for those falling in the under represented in science community group.

We have worked with schools who have qualified for funding and I thought you might be interested to hear of a couple.

One school went for a Kickstart more grant which involved their local community.
They booked us for a morning of shows with the pupils and then the afternoon had two hands on session with families. Staff helped us to run a fun workshop of experiments for all the family.

Another school used their money to book us for an extra long day of shows - school children in the morning, family in the afternoon and an early evening open event for their  village.

One idea we had was to work with some pupils to help them put on a science show for the wider community - great for your budding science presenters

It is definitely worth looking into seeing whether you could organise an event that would qualify.

Have fun!!