How To: Build a Winogradsky Column

The Winogradsky column, invented by Sergei Winogradsky, is a device for culturing a large diversity of microorganisms. Pond mud and water are mixed into a column using carbon sources like newspapers and sulfur sources like egg yolks. Left in the sun for a few months, the column becomes a colony rich with microorganisms, bacteria, cyanobacteria, and algae. In this video, scientist Karen Dodson shows you how to make your own.

Classic Chemistry: Colorize Colorless Liquids with "Black" Magic, AKA the Iodine Clock Reaction

Want to make boring old colorless water brighten up on command? Well, you can control the color of water with this little magic trick. Actually, it's not really magic, but a classic science experiment known commonly as the iodine clock reaction, which uses the reactions between water and chemicals to instantly colorize water, seemingly by command. You can use different colorless chemicals to produce different colors, and you can even make the color vanish to make the water clear again.

How To: Use vinegar & hydrogen peroxide to reveal fingerprints

Learn how to find latent finger prints on brass surfaces, such as fired cartridge cases. Called the Acidified Peroxide method, using only white distilled vinegar and hydrogen peroxide that you can find at your local drugstore, you can uncover fingerprints that is usually impossible to see using other methods. After mixing the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide the solution should start turning a greenish color around the brass object after 5 to 10 minutes. After you see the green color throw away ...

How To: Implode a soda can with heat

Check out this science experiment video to see how to implode a soda can with heat. That's right, implosion. Take an empty aluminum soda pop can and put a spoon of water into it. Heat it over the stovetop for about thirty seconds, then invert the can and dip it into a bowl of water. This is as simple as science gets, and easy to do, just be safe around the stove flame and don't burn yourself.

How To: Make a pH indicator out of red cabbage

In this video, we learn how to make a pH indicator out of red cabbage. Red cabbage will work because when it absorbs an acid then it changes color and reflects light differently. To do this at home, try to add different types of acids to the cabbage. Start off by putting the cabbage in the blender, then make sure it's shredded. Now, put it in a jar with some boiling hot water. Shake up the jar, then place the water into some separate cups. Now, add chemicals into the juice and depending on th...

How To: Create a plankton science model

In this tutorial, we learn how to create a plankton science model. You will first need a clear bucket with water, modeling clay, toothpicks, sponge, beads, buttons, pipe cleaners, Styrofoam peanuts, and more. To make the plankton, you will first take the peanut and stick a toothpick into it. Then, add a paperclip on top of that to give it some weight. Drop it into the water and see if it floats or sinks. Add some more weight to it to see how much weight it takes to sink it to the bottom. Have...

How To: Make hydrochloric acid from salt

In this tutorial, we learn how to make hydrochloric acid from salt. First, you will pour some salt into a distil flask. After this, you will add in some concentrated sulfuric acid to the salt. Next, you will let these react with each other. You will start to see gasses bubble up and the excess hydrogen chloride gas come out through the top of the tube. To create a stronger reaction, you can add heat underneath the reaction. Then, test this by exposing it to ammonium chloride. If it's the righ...

How To: Use a Peltier module to create free electricity from heat

A Peltier module allows you to turn heat into electricity. Because you can place it in areas that are normally warm anyway, the electricity created is "free" in a sense, though it does work best when one side of the module is cold and the other is hot. In other words, all you'll need for this project is the Peltier module and a cooler surface such as soil or water, and a warm area such as a well lit window or warm pan.

How To: Make Potassium Chlorate from Ordinary Household Bleach and Salt Substitute

If you're not just a chemistry nerd, but also a firearms freak and explosives nut, then this home brew chemistry concoction is just what you need for some cheap homemade potassium chlorate. It's a mixture of potassium, chlorine and oxygen (KClO3) and is used for such things as gun primers, propellents, and explosives (when mixed with the appropriate fuel). And guess what? NurdRage is going to show you the steps for this makeshift potassium chlorate.

How To: Measure the volume of a balloon

Here we will demonstrate how to measure the volume of a balloon. A balloon is not a straight edged polygon shape, usually, so the mathematical equations get that much harder, on the flip side, it may be a spherical or ovalish shape, but measurements with math alone are detrimental due to the uneven sizes of the balloon. Here is how to do it properly. You will need a bucket, preferably, to hold water, a larger container than your original bucket, and a measuring container. Place the bucket ins...

How to Be Your Own SpaceX: Design, Build & Test Liquid-Fueled Rocket Engines

Move over NASA— SpaceX is taking over. Well, not really. But today, the privately funded spacecraft company broke all expectations when their Dragon capsule fell to a soft landing in the Pacific Ocean, completing an undoubtedly successful demo flight of nearly two full trips around Earth. It was the first re-entry of a commercial spacecraft ever, bringing commercial space transportation closer to reality.

News: Build Your Own Oscillating Wave Machine

Transverse wave motion is the beautiful rippling effect that occurs when a moving wave causes oscillations that travel perpendicular to the direction of energy transferred. (For example, via Wikipedia: "If a transverse wave is moving in the positive x-direction, its oscillations are in up and down directions that lie in the y–z plane.")

How To: Make nitric acid

Watch this science video tutorial from Nurd Rage on how to make nitric acid. They show three ways to make nitric acid based on two different chemical approaches, both of which can be done using easily accessible materials.

How To: Make Your Own Homemade Glow Sticks

Glow sticks, a popular favor at parties and outdoor events, and a must-have on Halloween, can be traced back to the United States Navy in the mid-1960s. The military desired improved visibility during night operations, and glow sticks, with their small-size portability and lack of batteries, were a perfect tactical solution.

How To: Use baby powder to reveal latent fingerprints

This short video shows us how to reveal latent fingerprints on a glass surface by dusting. Anyone interested in forensic science would enjoy trying it as it shows simple steps in dusting and lifting fingerprints. It does not require any chemicals and we can do it with baby powder. The steps involved are so simple and easy to follow that even kids can try it out for fun. This gives a clear idea about fingerprints on different objects like porous, non porous and metals. Enjoy viewing and detect...

How To: Make your own thin-layer chromatography (TLC) plates

The price of TLC plates can add up. See how to make thin-layer chromatography plates (TLC plates) for a few cents each that are as good as commercial TLC plates that sell for a dollar or two each. You can use these home-made TLC plates the same way you'd use chromatography paper, but the plates provide sharper separations and require far less analyte. They also lie flat, and are much easier to store for later reference. For more information, including step-by-step instructions, and to get sta...

DIY Plastination: Turning Dead Animals Into Science-Jerky

If you found the world renown Body Worlds exhibition gnarly and perverse, perhaps you'll find this latest parade of plastination a little less so—considering we don't share the same DNA as these specimens of jerky-in-the-name-of-science. The Koerperwelten der Tiere—or Animal Body Worlds–doesn't showcase preserved corporal matter, but rather 20 odd plastinated mammals, currently on display at the Cologne Zoo in Cologne, Germany.

How To: Analyze cheap sulfuric acid for concentration & purity

In this home scientist video the instructor Robert Bruce talks about cheap sulfuric acid. He says that sulfuric acid is very important in any lab both as a reagent and a precursor for preparing other chemicals. He points to the battery acid saying that it is a good source of sulfuric acid which is 35% concentrated. Now he shows various methods to obtained sulfuric acid and shows how to test one of the thus obtained sulfuric acid for its concentration. In this video the author talks about sulf...

How To: Reveal latent fingerprints on paper & other surfaces

In this tutorial, we learn how to reveal latent fingerprints on paper & other surfaces. The item you will need to do this is crystal iodine and plastic sheeting to protect your work surface. Place your specimen into a plastic container with the iodine, then put the top on and let sit, placing your hand under to warm it up. Within a few minutes you will see a violet color vaporizing in the container. When finished, you will be able to take out your specimen and see the fingerprints that are al...

Prev Page