Tuesday, February 4, 2020

High School Science Experiment Projects to Try


Since some of my children are going to a Science High School, they do certain science experiments every now and then. Back when I was in high school (a typical high school), we didn't do science experiments such as these. 

Students can learn science concepts better if they perform experiments. The ones mentioned here are not really hard to make, but they require some effort and careful attention to instructions. They also look fun and interesting to make.

I will share some of the High School science experiments that my children performed in school or at home. As of this writing, I will just write about three (though they have actually done more). Sometimes I don't have pictures (because I forgot to take a picture), so I just looked for relevant videos or photos online. I will update and add more high school science experiment projects to this post as they do others. 


1. Multi-Colored White Roses

multi-color dyed flower

This experiment explores the concept that food/water travels from the roots through the stem to the leaves and flowers of plants.

Materials: white roses, food color, water, 2 to 3 glass jars, aspirin, scissors, cutter, and straw/stick.

Instructions: 
1. Cut a small piece (1 inch) off the end of the stem. 

2. Use a cutter to divide the stem into 2 to 3 sections (depends on how many colors you want your rose to have. Make the cut 2-3 inches long.

3. Put water in a glass jar and mix in the food color of your preferred color. The amount of food color depends on how deep you want your color to be. Put a lot if you want a deep-colored rose. Prepare 2 or 3 colored solutions in glass jars. Add powdered aspirin to the solution to preserve the flower.

4. Dip one section of the stem in a different colored solution. Tie a straw or stick in the middle as support for the stem/flowers.

5. Watch and see how the color of the petals change.


What makes this experiment difficult is the quick deterioration (drying up and falling off of the petals) of the rose. It's good to do the project the night before submitting the project to your teacher. Color absorption of the petals happens fast enough.

2. Flower Preservation Using Alum Powder

preserved flower using alum

In this second experiment, the students were tasked to put flowers in a glass jar and preserve it using alum powder. The teacher did not give clear instructions and so the result was not so perfect.

Materials: Flowers (any kind), wide-mouthed glass jar with lid, floral foam (green sponge), water, alum powder, glue gun and glue stick, cutter

Instructions:
1. Cut the floral foam to the size of the lid of the glass jar making sure that the lid can still be fitted to the glass jar. Glue the floral foam to the lid.

2. Arrange the flowers on the floral foam making sure that it can fit through the opening of the glass jar.

3. Warm some water and add alum powder until it dissolves. 
(Since the teacher did not say how much alum powder to dissolve, the first time my daughter did the experiment, she put too much alum powder into the water. The result is these flowers with crystals.) The second time my daughter did the experiment, she just added a tablespoon of alum, I think.)


4. Let the water cool and put it in the jar. 

5. Slip the flowers into the jar with alum solution and tighten the lid. (Note: Make sure that the solution is cool before adding the flower or the flowers will be decolorized and the solution will not be clear. My daughter put the flower a little bit sooner that is why the solution is not clear.)

6. Let the jar stand in a downside up position and check if there's no leak.

The flowers in this jar were indeed preserved. Months after doing this science project, the petals of the flowers are still intact. The only flaw is the color of the solution is a little bit discolored - not clear.


3. Making Crystals from Alum Powder

My two sons performed this science experiment on exploring the chemical properties of alum, but I'm not sure if I took a picture or not. If yes, I don't know where I kept the file. Anyway, I found this video on YouTube teaching how to create these crystals using alum powder. 

Materials: Alum powder, metal lid, glass jar with mouth greater than the lid, a thin metal wire (alambre) or nylon string, super glue, pan, food color or dye and stick.


Instructions:

Watch the video on how to make the crystals. The procedure and materials in the video are a little bit different from the instructions below but the principle is the same.

1. Put alum powder and water in a pan (or glass beaker) and heat it up until the powder dissolves. add more alum powder until the alum powder does not dissolve any more (that means the solution is supersaturated).

2. Transfer the alum solution into the glass jar.

3. Make a hole in the middle of the lid and put a metal wire through the hole and make a loop on one end of the wire so that it can't pass through the hole.

4. Tie the other end of the wire to a stick.

5. Put super glue all over the lid and sprinkle with alum powder.

6. Suspend the lid in the alum solution in the glass jar by hanging the stick over the mouth of the glass jar.

These are the three high school science experiment projects that your children might want to try. I will update this post with other experiments such as the dropping of three eggs from the third floor of the building without cracking them soon.


1 comment:

  1. I like the rose flower one and I will try that with my students. I recently did growing watercress in eggs with students. We emptied out the eggs - white and yoke. Made faces on them , using a marker. Made a large hole in the top. Stuffed them with cotton wool. Then planted watercress seeds. They watered it each day and within 10 days - watercress was growing. Love science and maths!

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