STEAM activities

Charles law

This is a modern version of a classic experiment by Jacques Charles (who was also interested in flying balloons). Charles studied the volume of a sample of air—sealed in a glass tube with a U-shaped curve—as he systematically changed the temperature by immersing the tube in a water bath. The air was trapped by a …

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Homemade Thermometers

Clear plastic drinking straw, preferably a 0.2 inch diameter straw. Metric ruler Fine-tipped permanent marker Clean narrow-necked, small bottle with lid. Travel size bottles like these available from Amazon work well. Washed empty food coloring or vanilla extract bottles work well too. Rubbing alcohol A few drops or red, blue, or green food coloring. Liquid food coloring …

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Building an infinity mirror

Introduction An infinity mirror creates an optical illusion of an infinitely long tunnel. It actually consists of two mirrors — a regular mirror and a one-way mirror — with light emitting diodes (LEDs) sandwiched between them. When the LEDs are turned off, the infinity mirror acts just like a regular mirror. But when the LEDs are turned on, the infinity mirror looks …

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Solar-powered Chemistry in Ultraviolet Beads

Introduction Though ultraviolet (UV) light can be detected with electronic devices, a simple and colorful way to detect ultraviolet (UV) light is with UV-sensitive beads. UV beads change color when they are exposed to sunlight or to another ultraviolet (UV) light source, but they remain white or off-white when indoors. Because lightbulbs in homes and businesses do …

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