Tag Archives: Dirk Widdison

After I bought this experiment the other night for my son’s upcoming Halloween Party, I thought I’d post about some other science experiments for Halloween. Click on the pictures to see the original posts.

science experiments for halloween

science experiments for halloween

Photos by Nicole Hill Gerulat and Dirk Widdison, respectively.

I might have mentioned this, but my advice for the Mad Scientist party is to know from the get go that it’s going to be messy. Everyone will have a better time (especially you) if you just relax and have fun. And don’t plan on cleaning up until it’s all over. Just sayin’.

To see all of the experiments, get the whole scoop, and view the rest of the posts from this Mad Scientist Party, click on the tag below.

I wanted each of the kids at the mad scientist party to have a lab coat. But I wanted to spend the most money on experiments, so real lab coats were out of the question. This is the less expensive version.

You will need:

men’s medium size v-neck tee shirts

The shirts that I purchased already had a fold line down the middle of them, so I just cut down the middle on the line. It was that easy. And no, I don’t have orange shag carpet. That is a rug under the shirt. We added simple name tags to the coats at the party. These were just labels printed from a computer.
For more fun posts about this Mad Scientist Party, click on the tag below.

Here are the rest of the experiments we did at the Mad Scientist party, in more detail:

6. Make your own slime: once again, Steve Spangler came through. Using the polymer and liquid solution provided, I amazed the kids with my ability to create slime. My job was to pour in the right amounts of solution, they had the fun part of shaking things up and seeing what happened. I got free containers from the local pharmacy to shake the mixtures in. And as you can see, some kids decided to add food coloring to their slime.

7. A water tornado in soda bottle: this trick was pretty cool–and mess free. Here goes, first I filled one bottle with water and left the other bottle empty. Then I connected them with a handy dandy tornado tube connector. If you tip the bottles over so the bottle with the water in on top, the water won’t fall down into the empty bottle because the air holds it in place. I asked the kids what they thought would happen and some guessed it right away. But once I “swirled” the water, it formed an awesome tornado. Then we added food coloring (because really, they wanted food coloring added to everything) and I let them each have a turn creating a tornado with the water. Ahhh, the wonder of physics.

8. In seconds you can have fake snow: super absorbent polymers and water combine to make instant snow. It was pretty amazing how fast the snow appeared after we added water to the white polymer powder. A must do.

9. Can you turn grape juice into purple soda pop? I started this experiment with two different glass pitchers that were different shapes, but held the same amount of liquid. I asked the kids to tell me which container held the most water and we talked about how containers can look different but really be similar. I measured 4 Tablespoons of citric acid and 2 Tablespoons of baking soda into the tall pitcher and then I added some grape juice (and you can see what happened). For the apple juice I added some dry ice to the pitcher. This didn’t make as fizzy of soda pop and I think the citric acid and baking soda worked better. I bought empty soda bottles to fill with the “soda pop” but you could just use cups instead. Notice the dry ice fog from the apple juice and the obvious chemical reaction from the grape juice. Either way, the kids liked both flavors.

10. Please tell me you’ve heard of the ‘ole diet coke and mentos fountain: it’s so easy. I bought a bunch of bottles of diet cola. And lots of rolls of minty Mentos. This isn’t necessary, but I bought this kit from EepyBird to make the experiment easier and more fun. Each team got a cool top and a pin with a string attached. They loaded their topper with Mentos, put the pin in place to prevent the Mentos from going into the Diet Coke before they were ready, twisted the cool topper onto the soda bottle, then they stepped back and pulled the string attached to the pin to release the Mentos and cause an awesome soda fountain. It’s not as hard as I’m explaining it here. We did this experiment last and I think they liked it best. And for obvious reasons, do it outside.

Did you miss Part 1 of the experiments? This party was a blast. Click on the Mad Scientist tag for more related posts.

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.

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