Fill 1 Created with Sketch. Event Science at Al's House

Alan Nursall, President & CEO of TELUS World of Science - Edmonton, shows of some science!
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  • Our very own Alan Nursall, President & CEO of TELUS World of Science - Edmonton, shows off some amazing science experiments that you can do right at home.

    Check out these exciting DIY science experiments you can try, using household items:

All Ages

Included with Science Centre Admission

All Ages

Included with Science Centre Admission

All Ages

Included with Science Centre Admission

DIY Science Experiments

Poking holes in plastic

Fill a plastic bag about half full of water. Stand over the sink! Take a sharp pencil and give it a deliberate push so it pierces both sides of the bag. The bag remains sealed! You can keep adding pencils and the bag will stay sealed. (Don’t be too violent, as that usually creates a larger tear.). The polyethylene molecules are long and springy and will easily keep the bag tightly wrapped around the pencils when they pass through. There is just enough natural stretch to keep the bag watertight, as long as you are careful when pushing the sharp pencil through!

You need:

One zip-close polyethylene bag (Ziploc is one brand), half full of water and zipped shut

A couple of sharp pencils

Just to be safe, a sink

Dancing popcorn

Fill a transparent glass with a clear carbonated beverage, like club soda. The bubbles in carbonated drinks are bubbles of carbon dioxide gas, and the bubbles like to form on surfaces, like the side of the glass or any object inside the liquid. Drop in about ten popcorn kernels. They quickly sink to the bottom. They also start to accumulate bubbles! When an individual kernel accumulates enough bubbles, it becomes buoyant and rises to the top of the glass. At the top, the bubble pop, the kernel can no longer float, and it sinks back to the bottom. And the cycle repeats, often for longer than half an hour!

You need:

Unpopped popcorn kernels

A clear carbonated beverage, like club soda

A clear glass

Candle magic

Please be careful with this one – open flame!!

Light a candle and let it burn for a minute. Have a lit match or lighter ready. Blow out the candle and quickly bring the flame of the lighter close to the hot wick. The candle will re-ignite without touching the wick. The candle should easily light when the flame is about 5 mm above the hot wick! That’s because the flame of the candle is primarily burning the invisible wax vapour from the melting candle!

You need:

A lit candle

Matches or a lighter

Coat Hanger Gong Show

Sound needs a medium to pass through. It requires substance to vibrate and propagate the sound. Not surprisingly, different substances propagate sound differently. The way we hear a sound depends very much on the matter through which it is passed.

One of the reasons our own voices sound different to us when recorded is that we are used to hearing our voice propagated through the bone and flesh of our skull (ick). But it sounds a little different when propagated through air. But air is the medium we’re used to. And actually, it is not that great a medium. Sound loses a lot of power and scope when it moves through air.

A wire coat hanger banged against a surface sounds unimpressive when the sound passes through air, but sounds like a highly resonant gong when the sound passes through the hanger, the string, and your fingers. Try it!

What you need:

A wire coat hanger

About 1 metre of string

Two fingers and two ears

Best Curriculum Fit:

- Grade 3 D: Hearing and Sound

See the Video

Defying Gravity

In this experiment you will learn about the amazing properties of water.

What you need:

A Glass

A Piece of Paper

Water

What you do:

- Fill a glass approximately half way with water

- Take your piece of construction paper on hold it over the top of the glass so the lip of the glass is firmly against the paper

- Over a sink, flip the glass over, keeping your hand on the paper holding it against the top of the glass

- Now for the tricky part. Remove your hand!

Best Curriculum Fit:

- Grade 6 A: Air and Aerodynamics

See Video

Moose Call

Alan Nursall, President & CEO of TELUS World of Science - Edmonton shows off Today's "Science at Home" and how friction helps create better music!

Best Curriculum Fit:

- Grade 3 D: Hearing and Sound

Learn More

Firewood Inertia

Alan Nursall brings us a "Science Moment" all about inertia! Much like trying to wake-up on a Sunday morning, objects at rest tend to stay at rest.

Best Curriculum Fit:

- Grade 7 D: Structures and Forces

- Grade 10 B: Energy Flow in Technological Systems

Learn More

Static Electricity

Alan Nursall, President & CEO of TELUS World of Science - Edmonton shows off how Today's "Science at Home" can be quite "shocking"!

Best Curriculum Fit:

- Grade 5 A: Electricity and Magnetism

- Grade 9 D: Electrical Principles and Technologies

Learn More

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