Random But Cool: How to Make Bouncy Balls from Common Household Items!

created at: 01/04/2012

I realize that this how-to strays a bit from our normal fare, but goshdarnit, it’s too cool not to share!  Maybe it’s the overgrown kid inside me or my love of science (have I told y’all I was in the science club in high school??  Geek to the max.), but the idea of making bouncy balls–from scratch–out of regular ol’ household items totally intrigues me.  If you’re equally intrigued, or just want to impress your five-year-old, check out what you’ll need below!    Continue Reading

Make It: DIY Magnetic Silly Putty!

created at: 06/14/2011

Just because school is out for the summer doesn’t mean you can’t enlighten some minds with science!  I mean c’mon, kids of all ages are fascinated by silly putty, add some magnetism to that equation and BAM!  You’ve just blown a few minds.  What more coud you ask for?    

If blowing minds and tossing some education into the mix of summer activities sounds like a good idea, here’s the DIY project for you.  Instructables user mikeasaurus aka Mike Warren shows us how to turn regular old silly putty into a mind-melding magnetic toy.   Continue Reading

Desk-A-Day: Einstein’s Desk

You don’t have to understand the theory of relativity to know a creative workspace comes in many forms. And some of the most brilliant are also, well, messy:

Einstein's desk on the day he died

Here’s Einstein’s desk, photographed by LIFE’s Ralph Morse on the day the great physicist died (April 18, 1955). 

Einstein's desk

The point here, I think, is that a work space doesn’t have to be minimalist sparse and futuristic to be inspiring. For some people, a little clutter sparks the brain, and it’s got a cool aesthetic in its own right (in a weird way).  Continue Reading

How-To: Make Borax Crystal Snowflake Ornaments

created at: 12/09/2010

Bust out your lab coat and goggles, because we’re about to get down with some science.  Making your own borax crystal ornaments is not only super cool, it’s a fun project to do with kids (and keep the education going during that extra long holiday break)!  

First, I have to thank my friend Megan for sharing this with me.  She knows I’m a kid at heart and, well, easily amused.  If you’re the same way, or actually have kids to amuse, let’s see what we’ll need to get this little holiday experiment going. Continue Reading

How to Make a Dry Ice Crystal Ball

created at: 2009-10-15

Part science experiment, part magic this dry ice crystal ball could be the highlight of your Halloween party. The ‘ball’ itself is actually a soap film filled with water vapor and carbon dioxide. Here are the materials you’ll need to make one of your own:

  • a bucket that’s less than 12″ in diameter that has a smooth rim
  • dish soap
  • water
  • a strip of cloth, 18″ long 
  • gloves
  • safety glasses
  • a few pieces of dry ice
  • this tute from Steve Spangler Science (No relation to Egon whose last name is actually Spengler.)
Continue Reading

Cocktail Chemistry Set

If you like to mix your cocktails with the precision of a mad scientist, then you need this Cocktail Chemistry Set. It includes a beaker, vials, a shaker and a lab-stand. You can find it at Think Geek for about 35 bucks. However, you could always add geeky beakers and such to your barware collection just by visiting a scientific supply store.  The selection will be varied. I’d rather like these offerings for my libation laboratory:

 

Florence (or boiling) flask, 500 mlBeaker, glass, 400 mlVolumetric flask, 100 ml

Go here to see more Home Science Tools. Continue Reading

17 Cool Magnetic Tricks.

Home use and DIY projects, geek crafts, handmade toys…there’s nothing wrong with keeping a few neodymiums in your tool box. The clever team at Evil Mad Scientist have assembled seventeen helpful uses, with original photographs!Magnet tricks

Some highlights:

  • Extract batteries from stubborn holders
  • Find studs in your walls
  • Make a homopolar motor
  • Make LED Throwies
  • Demonstrate magnetohydrodynamic propulsion
  • Make a simple compass
  • Experiment with self assembly
  • Make almost anything (ferromagnetic) into a building set
  • Make a Curie motor

Check out the full list here. Continue Reading

DIY Bubbles and Giant Bubble Wand.

Welcome summer (it starts on Friday) with this easy and inexpensive bubble wand from Instructable member Egadsman. The materials only amount to $3, but I bet you could make them from ingredients you have about the house. The bubble potential promises diameters of two meters.

Materials:

  • Two dowel rods
  • Spool of non-absorbent string
  • Tap

Click here for full instructions, including a recipe for bubble solution.

Via and photo.

Liquid Floor Tiles

Modular Liquid Floor Tiles – Walking on them creates play and movement of light stimulating sensations of nature and atmosphere. The Mono-chromatic tiles leaves a diminishing ray of colors tones the memory trace of a footprint behind. The Bi-chromatic tile stimulates play with colors and forms in continuous evolution. Walking on a LIVING FLOOR is stimulates memories of nature like walking a sandy beach or across a green pasture.”