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Experiments used in the Junior Scientist Course

Simulate a vaccine response

Description Person “A” gets the vaccine (water and bicarb solution), then both person “A” and “B” receive small pox (vinegar). Use the indicator strips to see who survived, “red means dead.”
Equipment Vinegar, water and bicarb solution (with a drop of food colouring), pH indicator strips, 2x 15 mL tubes labelled A and B, plastic syringe, pipette.

Create a lava lamp

Description Pipette coloured vinegar into a tube containing oil and baking soda. Watch vinegar sink down to the baking soda and bubble back up to the surface!
Equipment 1 50mL plastic tube containing baking soda and oil, vinegar, food colouring, pipettes, chuck bucket.

DNA extraction

Description Smash a strawberry in a tube and mix it with the soap solution, after heat the strawberry soap solution, squirt ethanol into the tube and watch the DNA float to the top.
Equipment 95% ethanol on ice, thawed strawberries (if frozen), 1x 50 ml tubes, hot water bath, soap solution (dish wash liquid, salt, and water), ice block stick, tweezers.

Testing your anatomical knowledge

Description Place paper organ cut-outs on the outline of a person.
Equipment Outline of a person, paper organ cut outs, plastic bag, blue tac.

Design an alien based on its 'DNA'

Description Pull DNA sequences from an envelope instructing what alien characteristics to draw.
Equipment Paper, coloured pens, “DNA” paper strips, DNA code guide, envelopes.

Making poo

Description Simulate how the body makes poo with the help of gut bacteria. Try to make a healthy poo!
Equipment Poo worksheets of different types of poo, flour “gut bacteria”, Weetabix, poster paint (R, Y, B), small plastic bags “the gut”, small plastic cup “the toilet”, plastic syringes, water.

Grow bacteria

Description Each student swabs an agar plate with something from the classroom to see what bacteria grows. The class can create an agar plate with a fingerprint from each student. Students can also look at the effect of anti-bacterial. Look at the bacteria grown on agar plates the following week.
Equipment Agar plates, swabs, sterile water, filter paper cut outs, penicillin. Grow bacteria, wrap agar plates in plastic and contain in plastic bag, gloves.

How well do you wash your hands??

Description Look at glitter bug lotion on hands under UV light, wash hands, and place back under UV light to see how effective students can wash their hands.
Equipment UV box, Glitterbug lotion, running water.

Osmosis potato

Description Observe the water released from potato cells.
Equipment Sugar, potato, tray,

Simulate blood transfusion

Description See which blood types can receive blood from the other using coloured water. Type O (clear water), Type A (blue water), Type B (red water), and Type AB (purple water).
Equipment Food colouring (red, blue), water, plastic syringes, plastic cups, 4x 50 mL tubes, chuck bucket for coloured water, blood typing worksheet.

Looking at cells down microscopes

Description Students preparing and stain slides with cheek cells (from cheek swab) and plant cells (from an onion). Teaching staff create slides with blood cells for students to view. Students can also look at bugs.
Equipment Cotton buds, onions, slides, coverslips, methylene blue, tweezers, and microscopes. Lancet, swabs, slides, cover slip, alcohol wipe, saline, plaster. Prepared bug slides.

Making cells out of playdoh

Description Students create the cells they see down microscopes out of playdoh.
Equipment Playdoh, cell printouts.


Description Students colour the bottom of a napkin and watch the colour “climb” up the napkin once dipped in alcohol.
Equipment Coloured felt pens, alcohol, napkins, and beaker.

Recreate how rainclouds work

Description Drop coloured water into a shaving foam “cloud” that sits at the top of a beaker over clear water. Once the cloud fills with water, it begins to make coloured “rain” into the clear water.
Equipment Food colouring, shaving cream, beakers, pipettes, water.

Temperature insulation and cooking science

Description Determine which material insulates temperature best. Raw eggs can be added to the different water temperatures to explore the science of cooking.
Equipment Pots and lids, insulators (e.g. paper, foil, foam, cotton), boiled water, chilled water, beakers, raw eggs.

Enzymes and pH

Description When hydrogen peroxide is combined with a yeast solution (room temp and yeast solution), it creates a bubbly reaction due to the catalase in the yeast. Students perform the reaction using varying amount of each product to observe changes in the reaction. Students also add bicarb and/or lemon juice to adjust pH of the yeast solution and alter how well it reacts with the hydrogen peroxide to explore how pH affects catalase.
Equipment H202, yeast, bicarb, lemon juice, water.

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