Welcome to Sunday Science! Every Sunday during the summer, we're going to guide you through some cool experiments that you can do at home. It's a good idea for you to keep a record of what you do in a Science Journal. That way you can record what you learn, compare results and maybe use them to design new experiments! Have a look at the Science Journal box for some ideas to get you started. Remember to always ask a grown-up's permission before trying out an experiment.
PHOTO: CATHERINE THOMAS, TAIPEI TIMES
This week you get to amaze your friends and family with a magic balloon!
Make sure you put down some newspaper as the oil will be a bit messy!
What you will need:
Some good quality balloons
A bamboo or a metal skewer
Some cooking oil (baby oil will work too)
A saucer or a small dish
Some cotton buds (Q-tips)
Wet wipes (optional - but very handy for removing oil from your hands!)
* Lay out some newspaper in a sensible area.
* Inflate some balloons and tie up the ends. Don't blow them up too big. Put the balloons aside for now.
* Pour some oil into the saucer or dish.
* If you are using bamboo skewers, rub them together to make sure there aren't any splinters.
* Put the end of a skewer in the oil, and use the cotton bud to spread the oil up and down the skewer. ? Pick up the balloon and find the nipple (the opposite end to the neck).
* Using a twisting motion, carefully push the skewer through the nipple.
* Keep twisting the skewer and aim it a little to the side of the tied end.
* Keep twisting until the skewer has come out of the other side of the balloon.
Don't forget to record what happens in your Science Journal.
What's the science? 科學原理
Balloons are made of rubber. Rubber is made up of polymer chains. "Poly" means lots of something. A polymer chain is many large molecules linked together to form a chain. A balloon has lots of polymer chains. As you inflate the balloon you stretch the polymer chains apart. At the nipple and neck of the balloon the polymer chains aren't as stretched, so the skewer can go through there. The oil lubricates the skewer and helps it enter the balloon without causing too much friction, which would stretch the polymer chains.
Try putting some tape on the side of the balloon and twisting the skewer through. How many skewers can you get through a taped- up balloon?
Science Journal 科學日誌
What do you know about balloons? What are they made of? What happens if you try to put a sharp object against the surface of a balloon? Are inflated balloons fragile? Are balloons fragile or sturdy before they are inflated? What is oil used for on a bicycle chain? Is the skewer rough or smooth? Will oil make the skewer more rough or more smooth?
Further ideas 進階點子
Try twisting a skewer through the sides of a balloon instead of the ends. What happens? Now try putting the oil on the balloon, instead of on the skewer. Does the trick still work? Why do you think this is? Don't forget to record your observations in your Science Journal.
Next week 下週預告
For next Sunday's experiment you will need the following special items: vinegar, detergent, salt, some cola, four glasses and barbecue tongs.
1. skewer n.
長籤 (chang2 qian1)
2. inflate v.t
充氣 (chong1 qi4)
3. splinter n.
碎屑 (sui4 xie4)
4. nipple n.
頂端 (ding3 duan1)
5. fragile adj.
脆弱的 (cui4 ruo4 de5)
6. rubber n.
橡膠 (xiang4 jiao1)
7. polymer chain n. phr.
聚合物鏈 (ju4 he2 wu4 lian4)
8. molecule n.
分子 (fen1 zi3)
9. lubricate v.t
潤滑 (run4 hua2)
10. friction n.
磨擦 (mo2 ca1)
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