STEM club meeting demonstrates practical experiments

21 February 2019

The IOP gave a presentation at a STEM Club meeting held at Canterbury Christ Church University on 5 February 2019 where more than 15 schools and organisations took part.

The meeting attendees were shown how to devise instructive practical experiments using mainly waste product objects and easily obtainable and inexpensive materials.

The experiments included:

  • Making wind up cars:
    the cars were made using bottle top wheels, paper bearings and a cardboard chassis. The drive springs were formed by sticking two long strips of paper together using tape and coiling the combination tightly round one of the stick axles. They worked surprisingly well.
  • Filtering dirty water:
    the water filters were made from plastic two litre water bottles, cut through, with the tops inverted and placed in the bottoms.
  • Mummifying oranges:
    the oranges were mummified using salt and sodium bicarbonate, accepting that the process takes several weeks to complete.
  • Making perfume:
    the perfumes were based on almond oil and vanilla extract, with various other natural oils to produce particular scents.
  • Examining rocks and soils relevant to Mars exploration:
    the Mars rock exercise was about comparing known rock samples from earth with 'rocks' made from sand, gravel, salt, granite chips, broken shells and other materials and then suggesting how they might have been formed, had they been found on Mars.

The experiments mostly came from the British Science Week Secondary Resource Pack, who also have other activity packs available. 

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