Science fair projects with salt sugar baking soda vinegar & cooking oil

Written by kali tyler
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Science fair projects with salt sugar baking soda vinegar & cooking oil
Common items found in your kitchen may be used for science fair projects. (D. Anschutz/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Science fair projects are fun for students but they are also a lot of work. Picking a interesting project will make the work go faster. Often the things we see around our house such as baking soda, vinegar, salt, sugar or cooking oil can be used to explore science. By exploring some of the other uses of these items you can help your child have fun and learn.

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Salt

Many people cook with salt, using it to add flavour to their food. But there is another reason salt is used when cooking. When it is added to boiling water it makes the boiling point temperature of the water rise. Boil 1 qt. of distilled water in a 2-qt. pot. Measure the highest boiling temperature, record the number, this is the control temperature. Add a teaspoon of salt to the boiling water and stir. Measure the temperature of the water three times and record the temperatures. Repeat the experiment, this time adding 2 tsp of salt.

Sugar

In science, a catalyst is something that causes a chemical reaction but the actual substance does not change its form. This simple experiment will teach your child what happens when you add the presence of a catalyst. First you will need to burn a small amount of paper for ash. Light a match and try to light a cube of sugar on fire. The sugar will not catch. Now rub a little ash on one side of the sugar and attempt to light it. The sugar will catch fire because of the presence of the ash, the catalyst.

Vinegar, Baking Soda and Cooking Oil

Using vegetable oil, white vinegar, water, baking soda, effervescent tablets and food colouring you and your child can learn about chemical reactions. Line up four small paper cups. Pour 2 inches of oil in all four cups. Pour 2 inches of water in two of the cups already containing oil. Now, pour 2 inches of vinegar in the two remaining cups with oil. Talk about and record what you notice about the mixtures. Add 3 drops of food colouring to all of the cups. Do not mix up. Observe and record what you notice happening now. Now predict what will happen when you add the effervescent tablets and baking soda. Add one tablet to one vinegar and oil cup and one water and oil cup. Add a teaspoonful of baking soda to the remaining vinegar and oil and water and oil mixtures. Observe and record what you see happening in each cup. Be sure to keep safe distance.

For More Information

Visit the PBS Kids website to find more ideas for science experiments. Some of the require preparation and some of them require very little preparation work. But they are all entertaining and will get your child thinking scientifically.

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