Here are the first 5 experiments that we did at the Mad Scientist Party, in more detail:
1. Jelly marbles with food coloring in a test tube: Courtesy of Steve Spangler, we started out with this fun and easy experiment. We added some tiny jelly marble pellets, a food coloring tablet, and water to the test tubes. As the party progressed we checked the status of the jelly marbles. They took on the color of the food coloring and kept growing by absorbing the water until they were size of marbles and filled the test tube. I thought this was one of the coolest experiments.
2. Rainbow cupcakes made with sprite: Inspired by the recipe in the link, we made rainbow colored cupcakes. Before I started this experiment I asked the kids if they thought we could make cupcakes using just a cake mix and a bottle of sprite. No one thought it was possible, but it worked. I let each team mix their share of batter with the sprite and color it with food coloring. Then they lined up and made their own cupcakes. Unfortunately, we overfilled the cupcake liners so our cupcakes were really messy. But they still tasted great.
3. Blow up a balloon using baking soda and vinegar: The night before the party I filled up regular sized balloons with 1 Tablespoon of baking soda each using a funnel to get the baking soda into the balloon. At the party I had the kids fill up a plastic test tube with vinegar (about 2 ounces of vinegar). They carefully attached the balloon to the top of the test tube, letting the balloon hang over to the side so that no baking soda would spill into the test tube. Then when I gave the word, they all tilted their balloons up and let the baking soda fall into the vinegar, causing a chemical reaction that inflated the balloons. Simple, easy and with common household items.
4. Experimenting with dry ice, water and coins: Every mad scientist party needs dry ice. Dry ice is actually inexpensive and available year round. I let the kids touch the dry ice with coins (never just their hands) which made a screeching noise. Then I let them add warm water to see what else dry ice can do. This made the characteristic dry ice fog. They could also cup the fog and smell it (but don’t let them inhale too much of it). I think we could have just kept refilling their dry ice and they would have been entertained for hours.
5. Make your own chocolates from a kit: This is a kit from Glee. Making chocolate is actually a bit of a scientific experiment since chocolate has to be tempered. Unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures of this. I brought an individual electrical burner and a pan and showed the kids how chocolate was made from the ingredients in the kit. I let them add nuts or marshmallows to their candy paper and then we filled it with the melted chocolate.
Stayed tuned for Part 2 of the experiments. Click on the Mad Scientist tag for more posts about this party.