Super Science Saturday 1999

List of borrowed supplies:

1999 Halloween Science Demonstration

  1. Orange & Black

  2. Orange to Black
  3. Firefly Juice
  4. Orange to colorless oscillating
  5. Monster Juice
  6. Secret Messages
  7. Magical Bleeding Pumpkin
  8. Hand in a vat (ambiance)
  9. Polaroid Ghost (modified)

Thanks to Tim Barnes, Pat Baker, Peter Harley, and Geoff Tyndall for donating supplies.

Complete List of Supplies:

Orange & Black

Orange colored and scented liquid turns clear and odorless.

Start with beaker of tap water, add orange food coloring and orange extract (smell). Add decolorizing charcoal (black), pour through funnel with filter paper-->solution is colorless and odorless. Can use the "effluent" to start over (make it look and smell orange). Can also put the charcoal in the funnel rather than with the liquid.

Orange to Black

Standard Iodine Clock reaction (will do many demonstrations)

Standard Iodine Clock reaction with orange food coloring added to the potassium iodate solution. Add second solution (sodium thiosulfate + starch), after 10-20 seconds, it "snaps" to black (well, very dark blue)

Firefly Juice

Luminescent reaction (will do 5 demonstrations)

Luminol + hydrogen peroxide luminescent reaction. We used Tygon tubing to spell "BOO" in script inside a cardboard box. Pour the solutions in the top, and you see the word glowing.

Orange to colorless oscillating reaction

(per demonstration)

This is a repeating reaction that works several times over 15 minutes. Malonic acid + potassium bromate _ manganese(II) sulfate solutions.

Monster Juice

Mix applejuice, cinnamon and cloves. Add dry ice. It's great because the CO2 expands in apple juice, in addition to the bubbling and fog this weird looking foam grows out of the top. Kids love it.

Secret Messages

Magical Bleeding Pumpkin

hand in a vat

Polaroid ghosts

This trick (lifted directly from Penn & teller's "How to Play in Traffic") might work well for a member's Halloween event - but it could be done to be rather scary. If you want to explain how it works, that's doable, if you want to discuss the science involved in photography. And the real downside: it's expensive.

Take a polaroid camera. After loading the film, open the back (this exposes one picture; and polaroid film is around $9 for 10 shots.) Insert a square of clear acetate (stuff used on an overhead projector on which you've drawn a picture in permanent marker. Draw whatever you like, but keep the doodle in the upper right corner. Once this clear film is in place, close the camera, take the exposed picture + dispose of it. Then find someone + snap their photo. The shadow from your picture shows up on the print, making it look like a ghost (or whatever) is hovering above their right shoulder.

This could be done quite eerily. At the Halloween event, signs at the entrance could warn that the museum is haunted. Museum workers (dress as the ghostbusters or men in black if you're really over the top) can roam with their special 'ghostcams' and offer to photograph patrons with the ghosts. The fact that the picture takes a minute to develop is the crowning touch.

Other ideas




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