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Halloween Science Experiments

Barfing Pumpkin
Stir in 1/2 Tb yeast into 1/4 cup of warm water in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes for the yeast
to become active. Mix 4oz of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 2oz dish soap. Add a few drops of
food coloring. Place the small bowl of water and yeast inside of a small jack-o-lantern and set it
in a 9x13 baking dish. Pour hydrogen peroxide/soap mixture into the bowl that is inside the
pumpkin and put the lid on the pumpkin. Observe the oxygen gas trapped in the dish soap puke
forth from the jack-o-lantern.
How's it work? Hydrogen Peroxide breaks down to water and oxygen gas (2H 2O2--
2H2O + O2) and produces an exothermic (energy/heat producing) reaction. When you put
hydrogen peroxide on a cut, the enzyme (catalase) in your blood encourages this reaction to
occur. It catalyzes this reaction to occur 200,000 times per second, producing the oxygen
bubbles that you see. (from http://smmartideas.blogspot.com/2010/10/smmart-spooky-
science-decomposition.html)

Bubbling cauldron
Dry ice does not melt, it sublimates (causes a solid or gas to change state without becoming a
liquid). Put dry ice in cup in cauldron and pour hot water over it. Note the eerie fog.
How's it work? When you drop a piece of dry ice in a bucket of water, the gas that you
see is a combination of carbon dioxide and water vapor. So, the gas that you see is actually a cloud
of tiny water droplets.

Screaming Cup
Poke a hole in the bottom of the cup just large enough to thread the piece of string. Thread the
string through the hole and tie a knot or two at the end of the string to hold the string in place.
Holding the cup in one hand, pinch the string between your thumb and forefinger with wet sponge.
Squeeze tightly on the string as you slide your thumb and forefinger down the string. With practice
and a little patience, the string will "stick and slide" between the sponge causing a "screaming"
sound.
How's it work? Sound is transmitted through the air by vibrations. As your fingers slide
across the string, vibrations occur in the string. The sponge makes the string stickier and increases
the "stick and slide" effect. The vibrations cause the cup to vibrate, which results in the amplification
of sound. (from http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/00000081 )

Ooze
Mix water into cornstarch until it's the consistency of honey and add food coloring. Put a plastic
animal on top and show that it will not quickly sink. Pour it onto a jelly roll pan and observe that it
pours like a liquid. Slap it and it doesn't disperse in droplets like water does.
How's it work? All fluids have a property known as viscosity - the measurable thickness
or resistance to flow in a fluid. Honey and ketchup are liquids that have a high resistance to flow.
Water has a low viscosity. Sir Isaac Newton said that viscosity is a function of temperature. So, if
you heat honey, the viscosity is less than that of cold honey. The cornstarch and water mixture and
quicksand are both examples of non-Newtonian fluids because their viscosity changes when stress
or a force is applied, not when heat is applied. The cornstarch and water mixture acts like a solid
sometimes and a liquid at other times. This concoction is an example of a suspension - a mixture of
two substances, one of which is finely divided and dispersed in the other. In this case, it's a solid
dispersed in a liquid. When you punch the cornstarch quicksand, you force the long starch
molecules closer together. The impact of this force traps the water between the starch chains to
form a semi-rigid structure. When the pressure is released, the cornstarch flows again.
(from http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/00000088 )

Dancing Ghost
Cut out a ghost shape in the tissue as shown about 1.5 inches long and add some eyes with a marker.
Blow up the balloon and tie it, then rub it really fast through your hair for about 10 seconds.
Slowly bring the balloon near the ghost, and the ghost will begin to rise toward the balloon. (Our
ghost “arms” actually reached toward the balloon as we got it near.)

How’s it work? When you rub the balloon through your hair, invisible electrons with a negative
charge build up on the surface of the balloon. The electrons have the power to pull very light
objects with a positive charge toward them – in this case, the tissue ghost!
(from http://www.sciencebob.com/blog/?p=523)

Living Hand
Pour 3 tablespoons of vinegar into canning jar. Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to the inside of a
rubber glove and then carefully shake it, so the powder goes into the fingertip sections.Slide
glove over the lip of jar, holding it sideways so the powder doesn't fall into the jar. Pull it tight
around the lip to make sure it's a snug fit. It's showtime! When everyone has a good view, grab
each glove by its fingertips and pull it upright, so the baking powder falls into the jar. You might
have to shake the gloves gently to help. Now watch as the gloves grow from limp to live!
Hows it work? When you mix Acetic acid (vinegar) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda),
a chemical reaction takes place producing carbon dioxide fas (CO2) and water.
(from http://www.education.com/activity/article/halloween_ghouly_hands/ )