Ink Sandwiches, Electric Worms, and 37 Other Experiments for Saturday Science

I am always looking for science/engineering projects that would be fun to do, and to encourage students to try. Neil Downie's first book, "Vacuum Bazookas, Electric Rainbow Jelly, and 27 Other Experiments for Saturday Science" was a Pick for March, 2002. His latest one has three electrochemical projects, "Red-Hot Batteries", "Unusually Cool Sunglasses", and the surprising "Wet Solar Cell" (the earlier one also had only a few that were explicitly chemical). However, there are plenty of other phenomena that are part of the chemistry curriculum, such as "Coulter's Bubbles", "Glacial Oscillations", and "Electronic Elastic". In this last one, it is shown that a rubber band becomes more opaque to the light of a green LED as it is stretched, contrary to what you might expect. The science in these projects is very nicely explained and the directions are good enough for their completion, although some improvisation and experimentation will be necessary. Of course, that's where much of the fun lies!

Publication information
Pick Attribution: 

Neil A. Downie

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, January 1, 2003