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!
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!
Wizardly STEM: Experiment | Watch Videos | Ask Questions | Dig Deeper | Choice Board | Explore Careers | Read Books
EXPERIMENT: STEM Experiments for Wizardly Fun!
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.
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.
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).
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.)
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?
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.
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:
- 11 Lessons to Teach About the Chemistry of Mixtures and Solutions
- Teach Chemical Reactions - 20+ Chemistry Lessons and Activities
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.
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EXPLORE: STEM Careers
After trying Wizard Science experiments, students may be inspired to learn more about these science and engineering careers:
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.
Pair books like these with Wizard Science explorations.
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