Physics and Astronomy

One Minute Moment
Objective To demonstrate six experiments in six minutes.
Purpose To develop insight into the science behind simple demonstrations and to present them well.
Participants Teams of six.
Materials Provided by the Team.

Each member of the team will present one demonstration and give a few sentences describing the physics behind it, all within the time limit of 60 seconds each.


Judges will use the following criteria for each team member.

Originality of the experiment
Skill in presentation
Judge's overall impression



Imagine that you are going to do a demonstration for a grade six class, and explain to them in very simple language the science behind it. There are a number of book for younger students that have loads of ideas. A web search will also provide suggestions.

Science Wizardry for Kids Margaret Kendal & Phyllis Williams Barrons 1992.
Science Is... Susan V. Bosak Scholastic Canada Ltd.

1. Find the Invisible Spaces between molecules. 1 Cup of Water + 1 cup of rubbing alcohol does not equal 2 cups.
2. Prove that the invisible molecules are moving. Leave a glass several hours. Put in a drop of food colouring. After several hours the water is all 1 colour.
3. Prove that molecules move faster when hot. Repeat the above with hot and cold water.
4. Make a model of the water molecule.
5. Make models of other molecules or crystal structures.
6. Make a volcano out of baking soda, vinegar and food colouring
7. Make an acid-base indicator from red cabbage.
8. Use it to test for acids and bases.
9. Does (your favourite pop) really dissolve teeth?
10. Burn a candle inside a glass inverted and sitting in water.
11. Put some steel wool inside an inverted glass sitting in water. Leave it a week.
12. Put vinegar, salt, copper pennies and a nail into a glass and let it sit for a while.
13. Make a pinhole camera.
14. Show that water expands when it freezes.
15. Find the freezing point of salt water.
16. Hang a piece of wire over an ice-cube and show the wire goes through the cube.
17. Grow a crystal.
18. Make a kaleidoscope.
19. Explain how a mirror works.
20. Why does a mirror reflect left to right, but not upside down?
21. Demonstrate how light bends when it enters water.
22. Put out a candle with a sound wave
23. Make music with bottles filled to different depths with water
24. Make waves on a string or on water or in air.
25. Make a musical instrument
26. Make a battery from a paper clip, copper wire and a lemon.
27. Make static electricity.
28. Use a prism to make a rainbow.
29. Use a fine net curtain to make a rainbow.
30. Look at different street lights with your prism or your fine net curtain.
31. Split up the colours in a felt marker. Use paper towel with one end in water. Drape the towel over the edge of the glass, and colour it just above the water level. (This is chromatography)
32. Float a needle on water.
33. Explain why battleships float, but pennies sink.
34. Make a cardboard boat to hold lots of pennies.
35. Blow a big bubble.
36. Blow a little bubble.
37. Use a piece of paper to demonstrate lift.
38. Make a paper airplane. Explain how you improved its design.
39. Make a kite and fly it class.
40. Make a parachute.
41. Make a windmill
42. Do an experiment on centre of mass.
43. Do an experiment on levers.
44. Do an experiment on tension in strings.
45. Make a sundial.
46. Make a pendulum. Use different masses and lengths.
47. Make a coupled oscillator.
48. Compare how quickly a glass of water (the Oceans) and an identical glass of sand (the continents) heat up.
49. Compare how quickly a black covered glass of water heats up compared to a white covered glass.
50. Build a wind vane.

Source London District Science Olympics. This event was designed by Patrick Whippey.

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