Lesson Videos List

(Check this page frequently for new videos, or follow us on FaceBook to get announcements as soon as new lessons are uploaded.)

Before presenting any of these lessons to students, be sure to read:
"How to Present a Rock-it Science Lesson."

Most of these lessons are for students age 5 - 12. Some are for age 11-16 and are designated "Teen Class." We also have Teacher Workshops for some lessons.

Difficulty Level: This indicates how difficult it is for the teacher to present the lesson, not how hard it is for the student to do the experiment. Difficulty levels vary according to type of equipment needed, preparation time, and scarcity or expense of certain materials.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT VIDEO QUALITY: Most of the videos on this web site were shot in our laboratory classroom during actual classes, and they were originally meant for training our own staff. They’re not polished or professional-looking; there’s lots of shaky camera work, uneven audio, extraneous noises, and unexpected behavior from the students. They’re like “behind the scenes” videos, meant for teacher reference only, not for students or the general public.

There are over 75 lessons, organized in these categories:

Quickstart Lessons

Bouncy & Stretchy Glue -- Students discover a weird goop that acts as a solid and a liquid made from cornstarch. They compare it to rubber made from white glue and Boraxo (GAK). This relates to mixtures, solutions, chemical reactions, non-Newtonian fluids, viscosity, and elasticity. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Box Towers -- Discover how to stack cardboard 12 feet tall without climbing on anything. This relates to structures, center of gravity, and teamwork. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Candle in a Jar -- Students use a jar to snuff out candles in a pan of water and see how high the water rises in the jar when the candles go out. This relates to liquids, gases, atmospheric pressure, temperature, and combustion. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Color Changers -- Students discover that ordinary yellow paper can do extraordinary things. They draw on it with household ammonia, baking soda mix, and vinegar to develop a way to send secret messages. This relates to chemical changes, acids and bases, pH indicators, and evaporation. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Dry Ice -- Students discover how to make a hollow ice egg, how soap bubbles can float in mid air, how to make fog, and how to make eerie noises. This relates to solids, liquids, gases, sublimation, condensation, dew point, freezing point, vibrations, clouds, greenhouse effect, and respiration. This is the most popular lesson in our curriculum! Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Earthquakes -- Students build Lego structures, then test them on a shaking table to see which designs would be best for withstanding an earthquake. This relates to geology, earth science, plate tectonics, vibration, and structural integrity. Difficulty: Hard. (This lesson is rated "Hard" because it uses a motorized shaking table. But you can make it an "Easy" lesson by letting the students shake the platform themselves instead of building the motorized version.)
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Gigantic Bubbles -- Students try making bubbles in their hands, on the tabletop, and outdoors. This is related to buoyancy, air convection, reflection of light, evaporation, and light interference. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Glow Sticks -- Students discover how chemicals combine to create flourescence, and how temperature affects the brightness of the chemical. This relates to mixtures, solutions, chemical reactions, light frequency, wavelength, and fluorescence. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Hot, Cold & Fizzy -- Students discover that common chemicals can create a wide variety of results when they are mixed in a certain way. This relates to dissolving, chemical reactions, mixtures, exothermic reactions, endothermic reactions, acids, bases, and acid/base indicators. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Magnetic Creatures -- Students discover all the weird things that magnets can do. Students make their own weird creature that moves magnetically through the habitat they create. This relates to magnetic fields, electrons, magnetic materials, attraction and repulsion, and north versus south poles. Difficulty: Hard (This lesson is rated "Hard" because the opening demo requires materials that might be hard to find. But you can skip that demo to make this an "Easy" lesson.)
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Osmosis -- Students combine soap and glue to make slime, then add table salt to see how water is absorbed and released by it. This relates to solids, liquids, states of matter, solutions, differing concentrations, and water transport in cells. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Roller Coasters -- Students work in groups to make a roller coaster with split foam tubes, marbles and tape. They discover amazing ways to get as many energy conversions as possible. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Samson's Columns -- See how much weight you can support with a single sheet of paper. This relates to column strength, balance, compression test, teamwork, sharing, utilizing shared knowledge (they see what others did and try to improve on that). Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Sound Effects with Cup -- Students discover the different ways that sound travels through a piece of string, a rubber band, and a plastic cup. This relates to vibration, frequency, and sound amplification. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Static Electricity -- Students learn about thunder, lightning, and electrons. They discover how to separate a mixture of salt and pepper, lightning safety, and with one hair-raising experience, they discover the nature of static electricity. This relates to weather, lightning safety, electrons, positive and negative charges, voltage, lightning bolts, and cloud formation. Difficulty: Hard. (This is rated "Hard" because the demo in this lesson requires a Van de Graaf generator. But you can skip that demo to make this an "Easy" lesson.)
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Straw Rockets -- Students experiment with two different ways of making a straw shoot through the air. This relates to air pressure, elastic energy, center of gravity, air friction, and Newton's three laws of motion. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Tablecloth Pull -- Students use inertia to make some things move while others stand still. This includes yanking a tablecloth out from under a set of dishes without breaking them. This relates to friction and inertia. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Wind Chill Factor -- Students discover how evaporation of water and rubbing alcohol can feel in the wind. They also make their own device to measure wind speed (a pinwheel). This relates to humidity, wet and dry bulb temperature, evaporation, evaporative cooling, and simple machines. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Woodwinds -- Discover how to make heavenly and then totally loud and disgusting sounds with tubes, reeds, balloons, and other weird materials. This relates to sound waves, vibration, pitch, and sound amplification. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video
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Chemistry

Blue Bottle (Teen class) -- Students experiment with the properties of lye, a strong base -- how to handle it safely, how to measure it, and what happens when it's mixed with other chemicals. They also try to solve the puzzle of why a solution inside a sealed bottle changes color when they shake it and then changes back again. This relates to bases, mixtures, solutions, chemical reactions, oxidation, heat and cold, using a digital scale, and safe handling of caustic chemicals. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Bouncy & Stretchy Glue -- Students discover a weird goop that acts as a solid and a liquid made from cornstarch. They compare it to rubber made from white glue and Boraxo (GAK). This relates to mixtures, solutions, chemical reactions, non-Newtonian fluids, viscosity, and elasticity. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Calcium Carbide -- Students experiment with smelly rocks that become fizzy when you add water, and then explode when you put a flame near it! This relates to chemical changes, solids, liquids, and gases, heat, light, and combustion. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Charcoal Heat Bags -- Students mix together iron powder, activated charcoal, and salt water and notice how the temperature changes, with and without oxygen. This relates to air/fuel ratio, chemical changes, catalysts, solids, liquids, gases, heat, and combustion. Difficulty: Hard
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Color Changers -- Students discover that ordinary yellow paper can do extraordinary things. They draw on it with household ammonia, baking soda mix, and vinegar to develop a way to send secret messages. This relates to chemical changes, acids and bases, pH indicators, and evaporation. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Corn Starch Monsters -- Students mix corn starch and water and come up with a material that behaves like a solid and a liquid at the same time. Then they watch it vibrate and turn into a monster! This relates to mixtures, solids and liquids, non-Newtonian fluids, and vibrations. Difficulty: Hard
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Dry Ice -- Students discover how to make a hollow ice egg, how soap bubbles can float in mid air, how to make fog, and how to make eerie noises. This relates to solids, liquids, gases, sublimation, condensation, dew point, freezing point, vibrations, clouds, greenhouse effect, and respiration. This is the most popular lesson in our curriculum! Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video
(Also see Fog & Static Electricity, which combines elements of the Dry Ice lesson and the Static Electricity lesson.) Difficulty: Easy

Exploding Bubbles -- Students hold bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen in the palm of their hand and watch them explode when touched by a flame. This relates to liquids and gases, the chemical composition of water, and combustion. (This is a short lesson -- about 30 minutes.) Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Exploding Film Cans -- Students experiment with fuel-to-air ratios to find out which mixture will send a film can flying through the air. This relates to liquids and gases, air pressure, fuel-to-air ratio, Newton's three laws of motion, and combustion. Difficulty: Hard
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Glow Sticks -- Students discover how chemicals combine to create flourescence, and how temperature affects the brightness of the chemical. This relates to mixtures, solutions, chemical reactions, light frequency, wavelength, and fluorescence. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Grow Snow -- Students add small amounts of water to two different kinds of crystals to see what happens. This relates to dissolving, mixtures, and states of matter. Note: This is a short lesson, only a half hour. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Hot, Cold & Fizzy -- Students discover that common chemicals can create a wide variety of results when they are mixed in a certain way. This relates to dissolving, chemical reactions, mixtures, exothermic reactions, endothermic reactions, acids, bases, and acid/base indicators. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Ice Cream -- Students discover how to lower the freezing point of water enough so that their sample of ice cream becomes a solid. This relates to freezing point depression, solutions, melting point, freezing point, and temperature scales. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Jelly Jam Jar Jets -- Students create a jet engine in a glass jar and experiment with different kinds of fuel to see which ones work best. This relates to flash point, resonance, liquids and gases, air pressure, fuel-to-air ratio, and combustion. Difficulty: Hard
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Launching Film Cans -- Mix chemicals together to see if they fizz enough to blow the lid off a film can and then compare that to dry ice and hot water. This relates to chemical reactions, carbon dioxide, pressure, and sublimation. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Liquid Density -- Students discover how liquids of different densities interact, like lava lamps, and how objects of different densities float in a multi-layered liquid. This relates to properties of matter, liquids, and density. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Mentos and Soda -- Students experiment with different kinds of nozzles to see which one will produce the highest "fountain" from their soda bottle. This relates to liquids, gases, states of matter, compression of air, and carbon dioxide. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Osmosis -- Students combine soap and glue to make slime, then add table salt to see how water is absorbed and released by it. This relates to solids, liquids, states of matter, solutions, differing concentrations, and water transport in cells. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Secret Sand -- Students explore the fun properties of oil and water together and experience getting their hands wet and dry at the same time. This relates to solids, liquids, solutions, molecules, and hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video
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Earth Science

Earthquakes -- Students build Lego structures, then test them on a shaking table to see which designs would be best for withstanding an earthquake. This relates to geology, earth science, plate tectonics, vibration, and structural integrity. Difficulty: Hard. (This lesson is rated "Hard" because it uses a motorized shaking table. But you can make it an "Easy" lesson by letting the students shake the platform themselves instead of building the motorized version.)
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Hot Air Balloons -- Students discover how hot air rises and why the air at the top of mountains isn't hot. This relates to weather, gases, air pressure, convection, and properties of matter. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Smoke Rings -- Students discover a way to make a puff of air travel across the classroom with amazing efficiency. We then use stage fog to create smoke rings of many sizes. This relates to weather, convection, and properties of matter. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Tornadoes -- Students make tornadoes in a bottle and try different configurations to see which ones make the best tornadoes. This relates to magnetic fields, charged particles, wind, air pressure, and tornadoes. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Wind Chill Factor -- Students discover how evaporation of water and rubbing alcohol can feel in the wind. They also make their own device to measure wind speed (a pinwheel). This relates to humidity, wet and dry bulb temperature, evaporation, evaporative cooling, and simple machines. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video
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Electricity

Burning Things with Electricity and Oil Lamps -- Students discover how certain materials glow when electricity flows through them. They then try burning different kinds of oils to see which one makes the best oil lamp. This relates to electricity, voltage, amperage, resistance, heat, light, combustion, and materials. Difficulty: Hard.
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Capacitors (Teen class) -- Students experiment with several different sizes of capacitors to discover how electrical charge can be stored and released, and what happens if you short out a capacitor. This relates to electricity, voltage, amperage, resistance, heat, capacitors, leyden jars, static electricity, and storing charge. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Foam Cutters -- Students build a simple device that uses electricity to cut patterns in foam. This relates to electricity, voltage, amperage, resistance, heat, and materials. Difficulty: Hard.
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Fog & Static Electricity -- This lesson is a variation of our "Dry Ice" lesson that also includes part of our "Static Electricity" lesson. Students explore the properties of dry ice, including making fog. They also get to "magically" disperse the fog with static electricity by simply pointing their finger at it. This relates to solids, liquids, gases, sublimation, condensation, dew point, freezing point, vibrations, clouds, greenhouse effect, respiration, and static electricity. Difficulty: Hard.
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Hand Crank Electricity -- Students make electricity with their own muscle power and use it to run motors, fans, and doorbells. This relates to electricity, magnetism, energy, electromagnets, torque, vibrations, and sound. Difficulty: Hard.
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Static Electricity -- Students learn about thunder, lightning, and electrons. They discover how to separate a mixture of salt and pepper, lightning safety, and with one hair-raising experience, they discover the nature of static electricity. This relates to weather, lightning safety, electrons, positive and negative charges, voltage, lightning bolts, and cloud formation. Difficulty: Hard. (This is rated "Hard" because the demo in this lesson requires a Van de Graaf generator. But you can skip that demo to make this an "Easy" lesson.)
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video
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Life Science

Disease Spreading -- Students discover how quickly a “disease” can spread through their pets and then they try to determine which pet had the disease first. This relates to pollution, bacterial infection prevention, acid/base indicators, epidemiology, and logic. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

DNA -- Students squish various kinds of fruit, then combine the pulp with chemicals and filter it to extract the DNA. This relates to DNA, cell structure, osmotic pressure, chemistry, and filtration. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Heart Pumps -- Experiment with pumps and one-way valves to simulate a beating heart. This relates to structure and function of the heart and lungs, circulatory system, oxygen exchange, and one-way valves. Difficulty: Easy.
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Osmosis -- Students combine soap and glue to make slime, then add table salt to see how water is absorbed and released by it. This relates to solids, liquids, states of matter, solutions, differing concentrations, and water transport in cells. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video
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Light & Heat

Bending Light (Teen Class) -- Discover how to use a laser pen to magnify a butterfly's wing, insect legs, and a bug's abdomen one thousand times. This relates to light, coherence, diffraction, magnification, fiber optics, and microscopy. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Blowing Glass (Teen class) -- Students experiment with the properties of glass -- what it's made of, how it behaves when subjected to heat and cold, and how to manipulate it into different shapes. This relates to chemical compounds, heat, surface tension, states of matter, elasticity, and brittleness. Difficulty: Hard.
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Boil Water in a Cup (Teen class) -- Students experiment with how water behaves when it gets hot. First they boil water in a metal cup, then in a paper cup, a plastic cup, a styrofoam cup, and even a leaf! This relates to static charge, evaporation, and cloud formation; the difference between how water turns into a vapor as clouds form, compared with how it behaves when you boil it; and the process of heat transfer in various materials. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Burning Money (Teen class) -- Discover a way to light paper on fire with lots of flames, but come out completely unburned. This relates to combustion, temperature, chemistry, solutions, saturation, and evaporation. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Burning Things with Electricity and Oil Lamps -- Students discover how certain materials glow when electricity flows through them. They then try burning different kinds of oils to see which one makes the best oil lamp. This relates to electricity, voltage, amperage, resistance, heat, light, combustion, and materials. Difficulty: Hard.
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Candle in a Jar -- Students use a jar to snuff out candles in a pan of water and see how high the water rises in the jar when the candles go out. This relates to liquids, gases, atmospheric pressure, temperature, and combustion. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Colored Lights & Paints -- Students discover the nature of additive and subtractive color through the use of filters and pigments. This only works in a darkened room. This relates to light frequency and wavelength. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Flash Paper & Powders -- Students experiment with chemicals that can change the way paper burns. Then they find out which powders to NOT use to put out a kitchen fire! This relates to chemistry, solutions, saturation, evaporation, heat, light, combustion, and fire safety. Difficulty: Medium
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Foosh and Boom! -- Students make all kinds of explosions using caps, party poppers, and other chemicals. This relates to chemistry, heat, light, and combustion. Difficulty: Easy
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Glow Sticks -- Students discover how chemicals combine to create flourescence, and how temperature affects the brightness of the chemical. This relates to mixtures, solutions, chemical reactions, light frequency, wavelength, and fluorescence. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Heat Conduction Liquid Crystals -- Students experiment with a material that changes colors when the temperature changes, trying different kinds of insulation to see which ones will block the heat source. This relates to heat conduction, specific heat, colors, interference of light waves, electricity, the chemistry of liquid crystals, and properties of insulators. Difficulty: Hard. (The liquid crystal film is hard to find.)
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Lasers & Mirrors -- Students use their reflections in plastic mirrors to discover how to make a million eyes, a "tunnel" through the desk, periscopes, kaleidoscopes, and how "fun house" mirrors work. A laser is used to show the light path. This lesson only works in rooms that can be darkened. This relates to reflection, refraction, interference, rainbows, lasers, light waves, and color. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Laser Sound Waves -- Students use a laser beam to transform the sound of their own voice into crazy patterns. This relates to light waves, lasers, reflection, sound, vibration, and wavelengths. This lesson only works in rooms that can be darkened. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Liquid Nitrogen -- Students use liquid nitrogen to freeze things to 300 degrees below zero, and weird things happen! This relates to liquid nitrogen, liquids and gases, freezing, evaporation, cryogenic, absolute zero, fog, boiling, Leidenfrost effect, and lab safety. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Melting Plastics -- Cook all kinds of plastics with a hot air gun to see which ones melt, which ones bubble, which ones shrink, and which ones do nothing. This relates to melting point, temperature, freezing point, and convection. Difficulty: Hard.
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Mirror Mylar Masks -- Students experiment with the reflective properties of flexible mirrors and make a one-way mask that they can see through. This relates to light, reflection and transmission. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Pinhole Masks -- Students create masks that have no eye holes, only tiny pinholes to see through. Then they see how the number and position of pinholes changes their view. This relates to transmission of light, particles versus waves, and interference patterns. Difficulty: Easy
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Polarized Light -- Students experiment with polarizing filters, making images disappear and reappear again as if by magic. This relates to transmission of light, light waves, filters, polarization, and electromagnetic radiation. Difficulty: Hard.
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Shrinking Plastic -- Students discover how heat makes plastics return to their original shape. This relates to structure of molecules, heat, and states of matter. Difficulty: Easy
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Solar Furnaces -- Students discover how light travels through lenses and how lenses can be used to burn things with sunlight. This relates to heat, light, lenses, focal point, solar energy, and combustion. Difficulty: Hard.
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Thermal Conductivity -- Students test various materials by placing them on dry ice to see which is the best insulator. This relates to temperature, heat, cold, radiation, convection, conduction, insulators, and properties of matter. Difficulty: Hard.
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Wire with a Memory -- Students experiment with weird wire that remembers its original shape. Even when you heat it, stretch it, cool it, and twist it, it goes right back to its original shape. This relates to atoms, crystals, density, alloys, heat, cold, expansion, contraction, and properties of metals. Difficulty: Hard.
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video
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Magnetism

Magnetic Creatures -- Students discover all the weird things that magnets can do. Students make their own weird creature that moves magnetically through the habitat they create. This relates to magnetic fields, electrons, magnetic materials, attraction and repulsion, and north versus south poles. Difficulty: Hard (This lesson is rated "Hard" because the opening demo requires materials that might be hard to find. But you can skip that demo to make this an "Easy" lesson.)
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Oscillating Pendulums -- Students build a pendulum that does anything but swing back and forth! This relates to magnetic repulsion, magnetic attraction, inertia, potential energy, kinetic energy. Difficulty: Easy when using low temperature glue guns.
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Super Strong Magnets -- Students manipulate magnets in surprising ways to make them more powerful than they actually are. This relates to magnetic fields, electrons, magnetic materials, attraction and repulsion, and north versus south poles. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video
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Motion

Balloon Rockets -- Students experiment with different ways of shooting a balloon like a missile and try to hit a target. This relates to potential and kinetic energy, and Newton's three laws of motion. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Bolos & Trebuchets -- Students try to predict the path of a projectile by swinging it at the end of a rope and choosing how fast to swing it and when to release it, in order to make it fly highest and farthest. They also get to see how the weight of an object affects its flight. This relates to centrifugal force, weight, velocity, momentum, and Newton's three laws of motion. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Cartesian Divers -- Students create a chamber with a small "creature" inside that will dive to the bottom or rise to the top seemingly by magic. This relates to properties of matter, liquids, gases, air pressure, and compressibility of air versus water. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Gigantic Bubbles -- Students try making bubbles in their hands, on the tabletop, and outdoors. This is related to buoyancy, air convection, reflection of light, evaporation, and light interference. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Helium Balloons -- Students discover how to make neutrally buoyant helium balloons maneuver through suspended hula-hoops and they will see what keeps airplanes up in the air. This relates to density, mass, volume, adhesion, and lift. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Hovercraft -- Students use balloons and CDs to create a hovercraft that will slide effortlessly across the table. This relates to air pressure, surface area, friction, balance, and air bearings. Difficulty: Medium
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Loop-de-Loop Flyers -- Students experiment with different shapes to see which ones are the best for flying in loops rather than in a straight line. This relates to air pressure, surface area, friction, lift, and drag. Difficulty: Easy
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Popguns -- Students experiment with the power of compressed air and build a launcher that will send a cork flying across the room. This relates to air pressure, friction, sound, and Newton's Three Laws of Motion. Difficulty: Medium
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Puddle Jumpers -- Students experiment with different types of helicopter blade designs to see which ones provide the greatest lift and speed. This relates to air pressure, surface area, friction, lift, and drag. Difficulty: Medium
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Straw Rockets -- Students experiment with two different ways of making a straw shoot through the air. This relates to air pressure, elastic energy, center of gravity, air friction, and Newton's three laws of motion. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Tablecloth Pull -- Students use inertia to make some things move while others stand still. This includes yanking a tablecloth out from under a set of dishes without breaking them. This relates to friction and inertia. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Tops -- Students experiment with the properties of gyroscopic tops, first feeling a big one push and pull against them, then making a small one of their own. This relates to balance, center of mass, precession, and conservation of momentum. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Water Bottle Rockets -- Students launch water bottles with bicycle pumps and discover how to make them go higher and farther by adding weight! This is an outdoor activity. This experiment demonstrates Newton’s laws of motion in a way that they will not forget. This relates to pressure, friction, air drag, momentum, compression of air, energy storage, Newton’s three laws of motion, and teamwork. Difficulty: Hard
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Water Powered Rocket Cars -- This is literally a drag-racer. Use water and air pressure to make your car go as far as possible. This is an outdoor activity. This relates to pressure, friction, air drag, momentum, compression of air, energy storage, Newton’s three laws of motion, and teamwork. Difficulty: Hard
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video
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Simple Machines

Catapults -- Students discover the best way to launch plastic grapes with a catapult that converts mechanical energy into kinetic energy. This relates to kinetic and potential energy, simple machines, levers, drag, and Newton’s laws of motion. Difficulty: Hard
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Gyro on a String -- Students discover how the gyroscopic effect can help them steer a bicycle, then they make their own gyroscopic top and try to make it spin as long as possible. This relates to momentum, balance, center of mass, and guidance of missiles and aircraft. Difficulty: Easy
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Hero's Fountain -- Students make water flow uphill with no power added, and they make water stay in a jar that is upside down. This relates to liquids, gases, siphons, suction, and air pressure. Difficulty: Hard
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Roller Coasters -- Students work in groups to make a roller coaster with split foam tubes, marbles and tape. They discover amazing ways to get as many energy conversions as possible. This relates to potential and kinetic energy, friction, and inertia. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Ropes and Pulleys -- Use mountain climbing equipment to lift each other off the ground. This relates to simple machines, pulleys, ramps, levers, friction, balance, and mechanical advantage. Difficulty: Hard
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Squirt Guns -- Students construct a gun that can squirt water as high as a building, then compare the effects of different nozzles. Difficulty: Hard
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video
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Sound

Glove-o-Phones -- Students discover how a vibrating balloon is like their vocal cords. They build a musical instrument that makes weird sounds when they blow into it. This relates to vibration, vocal cords, air pressure, and sound amplification. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Laser Sound Waves -- Students use a laser beam to transform the sound of their own voice into crazy patterns. This relates to light waves, lasers, reflection, sound, vibration, and wavelengths. This lesson only works in rooms that can be darkened. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Sound Effects with Cup -- Students discover the different ways that sound travels through a piece of string, a rubber band, and a plastic cup. This relates to vibration, frequency, and sound amplification. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Stethoscopes -- Students discover how sounds can travel through solids, liquids, and air using a simple stethoscope that they make and can keep. This relates to the anatomy of the ear, vibrations, sound amplification, and anatomy of the heart. Difficulty: Medium
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Woodwinds -- Discover how to make heavenly and then totally loud and disgusting sounds with tubes, reeds, balloons, and other weird materials. This relates to sound waves, vibration, pitch, and sound amplification. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Zoob Tubes -- Students experiment with echoes by constructing an echo chamber inside a cardboard tube containing a noisy spring. Then they try to make more noise than a rock concert with just their voices. This relates to sound waves, vibrations, echoes, and sound amplification. Difficulty: Hard
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video
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Structures

Box Towers -- Discover how to stack cardboard 12 feet tall without climbing on anything. This relates to structures, center of gravity, and teamwork. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Destructive Testing -- Students tear, twist, cut, smash, and bend stuff until it breaks. This relates to properties of matter and material strength. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Samson's Columns -- See how much weight you can support with a single sheet of paper. This relates to column strength, balance, compression test, teamwork, sharing, utilizing shared knowledge (they see what others did and try to improve on that). Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Straw Towers -- Students receive a supply of straws, tape, paper, rubber bands, and a three-pound weight. Then they try to construct a tower to hold the weight at least three feet high. This relates to structures, elasticity, center of mass, friction, and teamwork. Difficulty: Easy
Trailer - Teacher Guide - Full Video

Sunken Rafts -- Make all shapes of boats out of aluminum foil and see how much weight it takes to sink them. This relates to weight, density, displacement of water, and buoyancy. Difficulty: Easy
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