Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chemistry Carnival @ PSN 15April2011

It is delightful that PSN, the National Science Centre in Bukit Kiara is showcasing interesting and hands-on science to the public - for free. The recently held Karnival Kimia was like a magic show for the kids.
Above: JY tossing a blazing cotton ball soaked in alcohol between her palms that were pre-soaked in water. The demonstrators assured us that it would not be hot but they were wrong, it was burning hot. Maybe she should have soaked her hands longer. As a reward, she got a bottle of slime.
Dry ice - solid carbon dioxide experiments. A small piece of dry ice was placed into a rubber glove. Tie up the opening of the glove. Wait. The solid dry ice will sublime into gaseous carbon dioxide - inflating the glove.
Showing what happens when dry ice is placed in water. It produced a dramatic haunted house effect
Pressing on to the dry ice with a warm tweezer produced a high pitch squealing sound.
When the demonstrator noticed Fai playing with his bottle of slime, she said she wanted to show him how he could make his own slime. Such initiative, I loved it that she was so willing to share her knowledge. she brought out a bottle of PVA glue, borax and a few science apparatus.
She mixed 10ml of PVA glue 10ml of water. A drop of red food colouring was added. Stir thoroughly.Add in 10ml of borax. Stir and you will get slime. Stir more until a stiff lump is obtained.
Fai stirring the mixture.

Remove the 'lump' and roll between the palms. It is sticky at first but it slowly solidifies and you get a bouncy ball. Han's ball bounced away and was out of sight. He got to make another.
From left: Han's very inflated rubber glove, bouncy borax ball and slime

Inflating a balloon with baking soda and vinegar.
When the boys saw this fruits and vegetable display, they went " I am starting to feel hungry..."
The purple cabbage can be used as a pH indicator - to detect acidicity or basicity. Cut the cabbage leaf into small pieces, soak in hot water till the water turns purple.
*purple spinach/bayam can also be used
3 conical flasks: The middle one is the cabbage solution. Can't remember which is the one with vinegar....oh well, one has vinegar added and the other baking powder. Vinegar is acidic and baking powder is basic.
This experiment demonstrates that soap will decrease the surface tension in milk. Milk was poured into a petri dish. A few drops of food colouring was added. Then pour in a drop of dish washing liquid.
The effect was stunning as the higher surface tension pulls the food colouring outwards in streams of colours.
The kids did the experiment repeatedly. Han played around with the visualizer until he was satisfied with the image projected on the screen.
Separation of the dyes in food colouring using a column filled with silica gel.

A few solutions of sugar with different density was prepared. Each density has a different colour. the solution will form layers from most dense at the bottom.
Lots of experiments can be done at home and with readily available materials. Can't wait to recreate some of the experiments we saw that day.


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