For the past month I have been designing fun, science related activites for our school’s out programs. These activities focus on direct immersion in scientific thought and experimentation in loose, fun, and creative ways. All of these activities are easy to do at home and my goal is to encourage students to take their curiosity about the natural world to the next level by trying these experiments outside of school. Over the past few weeks our various school’s out sites have been participating in the egg-drop experiment. This involves the kids working in teams using a variety of materials to create a container that will protec a raw egg from breaking when dropped (sometimes thrown) from a height of about 20 feet. Interestingly enough, we have lost more eggs on the drive over than we have during the actual experiement. Whether they break or not, the kids have been enjoying an unstructured activity where they work with their hands, their imaginations, and each other to accomplish a goal.

Here’s an fun experiment you can try at home:
Take either a rubber comb or a balloon. Rub it against a piece of wool clothing. This will charge the object with static electricity! Next, take the charged object over to a faucet. Turn the faucet on so that there is a very thin, but steady, stream of water flowing out. Move the charged part of the object slowly towards the water. You’ll be amazed to see what happens!

(the secret to this experiement is that water is neutrally charged while the balloon is negatively charged)

James Otwell