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Dec. 31, 2014

Science Friday Home Science Highlights of 2014

by Ariel Zych

Click to enlarge images
Winter break is the perfect time to do a little at-home science. To help you ring in the New Year on a scientific note, we've pulled together our favorite hands-on science projects from 2014. Plus, tune in to Science Friday on January 2, 2014, for more home science ideas.
 
Before you chuck your Christmas tree, try this at-home experiment that explores combustion using festive fuels such as fir, pine, spruce, and cedar.
Materials: pine tree sprig, matches, foil, cookie sheet, water
{"input":{"width":490,"photo":"combustion","row":"5049","table":"DOCUMENT"}}
 
 
Act like an experimental chocolatier and determine how different melting and cooling procedures impact the shine, hardness, and texture of finished chocolate.
Materials: chocolate bar, bowl, spoon, microwave, cookiesheet, water, salt
{"input":{"width":490,"photo":"chocolate","row":"5049","table":"DOCUMENT"}}
 
 
Learn how insects have inspired engineers to make a robot that walks on the surface of water. Design your own water-walking critter using thin wire, and test its effectiveness: How many paperclips can it hold up using surface tension?
Materials: bowl of water, wire, scissors
{"input":{"width":490,"photo":"wire","row":"5049","table":"DOCUMENT"}}
 
 
Test a few common household ingredients to see which is the most effective emulsifier for making salad dressing—and you can eat your results!
Materials: oil, vinegar, clear cups, mustard, garlic, timer 
{"input":{"width":490,"photo":"dressing","row":"5049","table":"DOCUMENT"}}
 
 
Add some pizzazz to your favorite clothing and accessories while learning about electrical circuits.
Materials: Wire, tape, a battery, small LED
 
{"input":{"width":490,"photo":"circuit","row":"5049","table":"DOCUMENT"}}

 
About Ariel Zych

Ariel is Science Friday's education manager. She is a former teacher and scientist who spends her free time making food, watching arthropods, and being outside. You can follow her @arieloquent

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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