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Wizard Experiments for Science Class

Making learning fun is sometimes half the battle! With the right activities, educators can ensure learning about science and engineering involves hands-on fun for students of all ages. Build in some "spellbinding" science fun with STEM experiments on a wizards theme!

Wizard Science - Educator's Corner Science Activities with Science Buddies

Wizardly STEM!

Connect science with popular stories of magic and wizards, from Merlin to Harry Potter, for hands-on science exploration that will have students eager to mix up concoctions, explore "magical" science phenomena, activate chemical reactions, and more "spellbinding" fun. The STEM activities highlighted in this Wizardly STEM collection use physics and chemistry to create mysterious and seemingly "magical" results. Poof!

Our Educator's Corner series features high-interest STEM activities that work well with students in both formal and informal settings—in the classroom or at home. These activities are grouped in fun themes that make it easy for educators to pick and choose just-right activities for special days or special units. Each collection is hand-curated for fun, ease-of-use, simple materials, accessibility, and interest factor. To help educators bundle activities with additional classroom or out-of-class activities and reflection, we've included discussion questions, career connections. We've also included book suggestions to help educators tie science and engineering to English Language Arts.
Wizardly STEM: Experiment | Watch Videos | Ask Questions | Dig Deeper | Choice Board | Explore Careers | Read Books

EXPERIMENT: STEM Experiments for Wizardly Fun!

Foaming Lemon Volcano

What happens when students combine baking soda and lemon juice (citric acid)? Put it to the test with lemons or other citrus fruits! This chemical reaction experiment creates a small bubbling volcano. (Tip! Add a bit of food coloring for extra awesome eruptions.)
The science: When baking soda (a base) comes in contact with citric acid, a chemical reaction starts that neutralizes the acid and releases carbon dioxide (CO2) gas. The carbon dioxide gas bubbles as it escapes.

Secret Messages with Invisible Ink

The ability to write and reveal secret messages can be a valuable wizarding skill. Wizards often keep important formulas, spells, and recipes in scrolls or notebooks! With baking soda, water, rubbing alcohol, and a bit of spice, students can make and reveal disappearing ink. (Tip! Variables to explore include using different acids or different types of paper. For additional suggestions for doing this with different grade levels, see the tips in our 9 Icebreaker Activities for Science Class! post.)
The science: Various ingredients and methods can be used to create and reveal invisible ink. In the turmeric method, a message written with a mixture of baking soda and water will change color when turmeric is applied because turmeric changes color in response to an acidic or alkaline environment.

Bubbling Lava Lamp

These Alka-Seltzer-powered lava lamps don't create real light, but the floating blobs of color can be mesmerizing, just the right touch for a wizard's nook. Can students find the secret to speeding up or slowing down the chemical reaction? (Tip! Try setting your lamp on a flashlight for a more magical glow!)
The science: Ingredients in the Alka-Seltzer combine with water to form carbon dioxide gas. The same reaction doesn't occur between the Alka-Seltzer and oil. The colored blobs appear as gas bubbles (with colored water attached) float upward through the oil. After the gas escapes at the top, the colored blobs sink back to the bottom (because of their density).

Stupendous Elephant Toothpaste!

When wizards mix potions and cast spells, things don't always go as planned! There is no real toothpaste in this foaming activity. A chemical reaction does all the work! (Tip! Experimenting with colors is part of the fun!)
The science: When the hydrogen peroxide comes into contact with the yeast, it starts breaking down into water and oxygen. The dish soap traps the oxygen gas bubbles, which results in a foam. (Try the experiment without dish soap to see what happens.)

Magical Math Puzzle

The math puzzle in the Puzzle Fun with a Perimeter Magic Triangle activity is an enchanting way for students to practice their math skills. They will need to make all sides add up properly to balance the magic triangle!
The science: Manipulating stacks of counters, students will seek a way to position the counters so that the number of counters on each side adds up to the same number. Can they find patterns to help them determine solutions for other numbers? Can they also prove why some numbers are impossible?

Jumping Flames

It doesn't take much to imagine a series of candles lighting, as if by magic, when one walks down a dark hallway or into a wizard's room. Students can explore the jumping flame phenomenon and watch the flame from one candle jump to light another candle, as if by magic! (Do more! For another mesmerizing science activity with candles, see A Candle Seesaw Balancing Act.)
The science: As a candle burns, the combustion reaction results in wax vapor. The flame from a lit candle can ignite lingering wax vapor from a candle that has been extinguished.

WATCH: Videos

Make a Lemon Volcano - Fun Science Experiment
Write Secret Messages With Invisible Ink!
How to Make Elephant Toothpaste
Make Your Own Lava Lamp
Magic Triangles - Fun Math Puzzles with Increasing Difficulty
Jumping Candle Flame Experiments – STEM activity

ASK: Questions

Use these questions to prompt conversation and reflection about the science behind these Wizard Science activities:

  • In what ways do some science experiments seem like "magic"?
  • What is the difference between science and something described as "magic"?
  • What is a chemical reaction?
  • Several of these activities result in bubbling. What causes this?
  • What happens in a reaction involving acids and bases?
  • Why do chemical reactions end?

DIG DEEPER: More Lessons and Activities

For additional lessons and activities related to the activities above, see these curated Teaching Science Units collections:

CHOICE BOARD: Differentiated Learning

Choice boards offer a flexible learning tool educators can use to supplement classroom instruction. You might try a choice board as part of weekly homework, for extra credit, or for asynchronous and remote learning.

Wizard Science Choice Board

Our Wizard Science Choice Board is a fun way to encourage students to dig a little deeper. With an assortment of tasks that encourage creative responses, synthesis of important concepts, hands-on experimentation, and more, these tasks are designed to spark interest and engagement! (Tip: When presenting this choice board to students, you may want to provide links to referenced videos and activities they may need to watch or read through to fulfill the tasks.)

Note: You will need to be logged in to download this free PDF.

EXPLORE: STEM Careers

After trying Wizard Science experiments, students may be inspired to learn more about these science and engineering careers:

KITS

Bath bombs made from chemistry kit Hand holding syringe making juice filled balls made from spherification kit molecular gastronomy activity

The following Science Buddies Kits fit in with the Wizard Science theme. These science and engineering kits provide the specialty materials students need for independent science experiments:

  • Bath Bomb Science Kit: Turn the bathtub into a fizzing cauldron of fun by creating homemade bath bombs! Students can experiment to perfect their custom recipe for making the fizziest bath bombs.
  • Spherification Kit: Use spherification to transform juice into jiggly boba-like balls that are still liquid on the inside. These juice balls can be eaten alone or added to beverages, but students will need to experiment to perfect the recipe and technique to make balls with the right texture and uniformly round shape.

READ: Books

Pair books like these with Wizard Science explorations.

Magic Hat Shop cover Super Happy Magical Forest cover 30-Minute Chemistry cover Magical Yet cover Wizard in the Wood cover
Dragon Defenders cover Wizards of Once cover Wizard's Hall cover Wandmaker's Apprentice cover


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