DIY Phone Microscope

DIY Phone Microscope

Here at AstroCamp we use microscopes to look at micrometeorites, tiny pieces of iron and rock that fall through Earth’s atmosphere and hit the ground from space. But that is not all they are good for. Microscopes allow you to see the world up close, way beyond what your eyes can.  They can give you

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Fireproof Balloons

Fireproof Balloons

If you’ve ever brought a match to a balloon (or been in our Atmosphere and Gases class), you know that fire and balloons don’t mix, but what if you could prevent a balloon from popping when it comes in contact with fire? The answer to this dilemma can be found in the simplest place: water.

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Build Your Own Vacuum in Four Steps

Build Your Own Vacuum in Four Steps

All you need for this at-home science is a glass, a plate, a candle, water, a match, and a bit of caution, because we are dealing with fire. Step 1: Pour the water on the plate Step 2: Place the candle on the center of the plate Step 3: Light the candle (or have a

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DIY: Rain in a Bottle

DIY: Rain in a Bottle

Have you ever been sitting inside on a rainy day and wondered how exactly rain is made? With a simple experiment, you can make it rain anywhere (anywhere that’s some kind of closed container, anyway). Materials: To perform this experiment, you will need hot (not boiling) water, plastic wrap, ice, and a container like a

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Wrap Your Head & Hands Around Density

Wrap Your Head & Hands Around Density

Heat rises, boats float, clouds hang listlessly in the sky, and icebergs aimlessly bob around the ocean. All of these things happen because of the same scientific property: density! Density is a rather simple property. It depends on two things, mass and volume. Mass is basically how much something weighs, but something still has the

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DIY: Fascinating Properties of Dihydrogen Monoxide

DIY: Fascinating Properties of Dihydrogen Monoxide

Humans are approximately 60% dihydrogen monoxide. If this is alarming, it might be helpful to know that this is just water. While water is certainly something quite familiar, it has a lot of properties that are very important and they all come from its famous chemical formula, H2O. Let’s take a look and try to understand

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The Easiest UV Detector Ever

The Easiest UV Detector Ever

Science is full of words to describe the glowing process. We use bioluminescence for the glimmer of plankton, phosphorescence for the slow, ghostly shine of glow-in-the-dark toys, and fluorescence for pigments that emit light while exposed to just the right energy source. L to R: Fluorite sphere with phosphorescent coating, Don Mengason, Gemological Institute of

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DIY Soap-Powered Boat

DIY Soap-Powered Boat

Ever filled a container with water, and then filled it some more? With a careful touch, you might have created a hill of liquid taller than the container itself. This works because of the surface tension, or cohesion, between water molecules. Place a small paper, plastic or cardboard “boat” on the water’s surface, and molecules

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How To Trap a Laser

How To Trap a Laser

Ever notice how, when you look into rippling water, you see slices of what’s below the surface mixed with broken reflections of the world above? When light hits a boundary between two different media, it can either travel ahead into the second medium (refraction), bounce back into the first (reflection), or do a little of

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Levitate a Soda Can

Levitate a Soda Can

Did you know that Bernoulli’s principle is a statement of conservation of energy? The sum of kinetic and potential energy is constant in every closed system. In fluid dynamics, potential energy is an expression of the pressure within a volume of liquid or gas. When a fluid moves faster (its kinetic energy increases), pressure (potential

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DIY Fireproof Cash

DIY Fireproof Cash

We soaked this $5 bill in flammable rubbing alcohol and then lit it on fire. So how did it survive? Does it have something to do with the bill itself? This demonstration is impressive with money, but we haven’t been able to find an example of it using other materials. Many people have asked us

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Geometric Bubbles

Geometric Bubbles

Bubble formation is governed by one simple rule: minimize surface area. Free-floating bubbles are spherical because that’s the most efficient way to enclose a given volume of air. Give a soap film edges to stretch between, and its behavior gets interesting! Try building geometric bubble frames out of drinking straws and pipe cleaners. Create corner

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