Monday, October 3, 2011

Top Ten Favorite High School Science Experiments

Someone had recently asked me what my favorite science experiments were when I was in High School and after giving it some thought, I've got my list ready! I was always a very visual learner and these were the experiments that stuck in my head:

10. Free Fall Tube demonstration - evacuating the air from a tube and watching the feather and the coin fall at the same rate.

9. Toothpick Bridge - although I was never very good at this, the engineering shown by some of my classmates was impressive. We had to make a bridge using only toothpicks and glue that must be a specific size and would be tested with weights to see how much it would hold.

8. Dog Mouth/Human Mouth - I was crushed to find out that the petri dish swabbed from my pug's mouth had significantly less growth on it than one swabbed in my own mouth...especially after years of watching him eat any kind of garbage he could get into!

7. Pie in the Face - a great high school physics teacher of ours would allow us to throw a pie in his face if we could correctly figure the speed of said pie in the moment before impact.

6. Table Cloth (Inertia) - I think we all did this as a youth....yank the tablecloth swiftly enough so that the china didn't move but the table cloth came out!

5. Physics of a Curveball - I was fascinated to learn about the rotation and the laces on the ball causing a baseball to curve.

4. Blow up the Peep! - Stick one of those marshmallow peeps in a bell jar and evacuate the air and watch it grow!

3. Toilet vs. the phone - I still to this day wipe my office phone quite often after seeing how much more bacteria was on my phone compared to the toilet seat!

2. Watermelon Toss - In High School Physics, we took into account wind, height, weight, etc and place a hula hoop in the parking lot and rolled a watermelon off of the top of the bleachers. It was amazing to see it land exactly as we predicted with a very messy result!

1. Physics Day - Our local amusement park, Six Flags Great America, would host Physics day each year and we would be given handouts where we had to calculate the speed, acceleration, etc of many of the rides. Lots of fun topped off by riding a few roller coasters. There are few better ways than to keep the interest of a high school student!

Which ones were your favorites??

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