Just because National Science Week is now finished it does not mean that you have to put science out of your mind until next year. Remember, science is all around us all the time and it is very cool. Without it, we’d be living in the dark ages.
Thought I’d share some interesting tricks that I found in a little booklet that was distributed by SAASTA many years ago. Can you believe that you can wow your friends by making fireworks with a naartjie?
All you need is the skin of a nartjie, a candle (in a holder), matches or a lighter – and maybe you should keep some water close by too – in case somebody gets so excited that they set fire to something.
Remember – whenever you do a science experiment, no matter how simple it seems, you still need to be careful.
Light the candle. Take a piece of naartjie skin and fold it in half while holding the orange (outer) side of the skin a few centimetres from the candle flame.
See what happens… cool hey!
What does happen?
There are many little “bags” containing oil in a naartjie skin. The oil, which is responsible for the specific naartjie smell, is flammable. When you fold the skin, the little bags burst and spray the oil into the candle flame. The end result is a little sparkling mini firework show!
If you don’t have any naartjies you could try this experiment with a lemon or an orange and see what the result is.
Or you could make a flower bloom. All you need is some paper, pencil, scissors and a bowl of water.
Draw a flower on a piece of paper. Cut it out and fold the petals up. Lay the flower on the water in the bowl and watch it open up and bloom.
What happens? The paper gets soaked with water and expands. The petals open and the flower appears to bloom.
You could make all sorts of flowers – for everybody! Try it out.
Science really is fun!