The modern classroom is more practical than ever and science teachers are constantly coming up with new and exciting ways to engage their students in experiments.
We spoke to teaching experts ITN Mark Education, about some of the most exciting experiments to conduct in the classroom.
Blobs in a Bottle
This is a great experiment to teach pupils about different materials reacting to each other. It’s a very visual experiment and can be done in different colours. To make blobs in a bottle, you’ll need:
- A clean, 1ltr plastic bottle
- ¾ cup of water
- Vegetable or olive oil
- Fizzing tablets
- Food colouring
Start by pouring the water into the bottle. Then, using a funnel, slowly pour the oil into the bottle until it’s almost full, before waiting a few minutes for the oil and water to separate. For maximum effect, add some bright food colouring in at this point, which will pass through the oil and mix with the water at the bottom of the bottle.
Now for the fun bit! Break a fizzing tablet in half and drop one half into the bottle. It will sink to the bottom and watch the amazement on your pupils’ faces as colourful blobs of gas float to the top of the bottle – it’s like a lava lamp!
How does it work? This is because the oil is less dense than the water, so when you drop the fizzing tablet in, it creates a gas, which carries with it some of the coloured water to the top of the bottle.
Before you tell your pupils why this experiment produces this effect, why not have a brainstorming session with them and see if they can guess? This will get them chatting about more than just how pretty the bottle looks!
Bean plant in a CD case
Ever wondered what to do with all those CD cases now that all you’ve converted your music collection onto iTunes? How about using them for growing bean plants? This means your class will be able to see the plant as it goes through different stages of growth.
Simply let your class choose pairs, and get each pair to put potting soil into their CD case, and plant the bean plant seed in the middle of the soil. Lima beans are most commonly used for this, but any bean plant will do. Use labelling tape and markers to determine whose plant is whose. Once the plants start to grow, your class uses marker pens to mark each part of their bean plant.
TOP TIP: The hinges of each CD case should be at the top. This will prevent any soil falling out.
Growing gummy bears
This is a simple but effective experiment that’s perfect for younger pupils. All you need for this is:
- Gummy bears
In the morning, fill the bowl with water and add a gummy bear. Then leave it for the whole day and, before your class leaves to go home, check to see what has happened. The gummy bear will have absorbed the water and doubled in size!
For even more fun, fill various bowls of water around the classroom, leave gummy bears in them for different amounts of time and see what happens to them.