The thrill of discovering scientific phenomenon is better felt when you have a group of friends who are as enthusiastic as you are. This summer, engage yourself to explore concepts of gravity, air pressure, and force using simple everyday objects.
- PAPER CUP RACE
APPARATUS: a large cardboard box, scissors, sketch pens, paper cups, table, tape, and string.
1) Poke a hole in the bottom of two paper cups. Make colourful designs on them, using sketch pens.
2) Place a cardboard box (without the lid) on the side of a table. Make sure the open end is several centimeters away from the edge of the table.
3) Tape a length of string to the top left side of the box. The string should be long enough so that it reaches the edge of the table.
4) Thread a paper cup onto the string, with the open part facing you. Tape the other end of the string to the table edge.
5) Similarly, place another string and cup on the right side. Now the race can start!
6)The cups should be resting on the table edge with the openings facing you.
7) At the count of 3, blow into the cups and see who can make their cup reach the top of the box first.
- DIGITAL DEXTERITY
APPARATUS: Five matchsticks
1) Place five matches on the table. Pick up the first match between your thumbs as shown.
2) Pick up the second match between your first fingers taking care not to drop the first match as you do so.
3) The third match is picked up between the second fingers, the fourth match between the third fingers, and the fifth between the little fingers.
4) When you have managed to do this successfully replace the matches, one at a time, on the table.
5) Get a bunch of friends and see who can complete the whole sequence in the shortest possible time.
Take two strips of palm leaf each about 20 cm long and 2 cm wide. Fold it into half. Follow the steps to complete the windmill.
- MATCHLESS MATCHSTICK
APPARATUS: Box of matchsticks
1) Place a wooden match across the back of your middle finger and under the first and third fingers at the joints nearest the fingertips.
2) Try to break the match by pressing up with the middle finger and down with the other two. Don’t let the thumb and little finger help out. That’s considered cheating.
3) This is an impossible situation because you are not using your fingers to gain a mechanical advantage.
4) Your fingers can be used as levers, which are devices that can increase the force when used properly. The key to a lever is the location of the fulcrum, and the force being delivered to it. In this trick, the fulcrum is the set of knuckles where your fingers attach to your hand.
5) When you try to deliver a force far from this point of attachment, your muscles are too weak to do the job. If, however, you move the match to the other side of the middle joints close to the knuckles you will be able to break it easily.
6) Now your lever fingers can supply enough power
- PICK UP THE HANDKERCHIEF
APPARATUS: A stick of Bamboo and a handkerchief
1) Try to sit on your heels.
2) Place a bamboo stick under your bent knees and crook your elbows around it.
3) Now put a handkerchief on the ground in front of you. 4) Lean forward, using your hands for balance, and try to pick the handkerchief with your teeth.
5) As you rotate forward towards the handkerchief, the centre of gravity is shifted away from the stable position directly above your feet. Once it goes too far, you become unstable and fall on your nose.