Key words: Feedback, answers to reader's questions, information, assistance, Ron Kurtus, School for Champions. Copyright © Restrictions
by Ron Kurtus
Each day readers send in questions and feedback concerning the various lessons in the School for Champions website. A total of 161 letters have been answered.
|Suggested experiment||Static Electricity||USA|
|Amount of liquid in a certain vessel||Measure Volume of Irregularly Shaped Object||India|
|Pulling glass sheets and water apart||Forces||South Korea|
|Volume of a cone||Measure Volume of Irregularly Shaped Object||Zimbabwe|
|Project resource from student||General||USA|
|Experiment needs a control group||Reasons for Poor Grades||USA|
|Calculate friction of an orange||Measure Friction with a Scale||Nigeria|
|Is this useful for watering plants?||Relationship Between Water Pressure and Depths||India|
|Project on vacuum insulation||Thermos||USA|
|Electromagnetic infusion project||Electromagnetism||USA|
|Static electricity from a comb||Electrical Attraction of a Comb||USA|
|How to measure pressure drop||Fluids||India|
|First year chemistry lessons||General||Namibia|
February 18, 2017
In answer to the Cambodia teacher. I taught math/science camp. Retired math teacher. Shred tissue paper up into tiny pieces, use a plastic notebook binder sheet to pick up shreds with static electricity, kids k-12 love the experiment, plus it's cheap. MK BS M Ed. I even had Pre-K students try it.
Martha - USA (27887)
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll pass it on.
Amount of liquid in a certain vessel
February 1, 2017
Hello sir my question is that there is a non uniform vessel which volume is known and there are two valves on it: inlet and outlet. We fill some it with some liquid. Then how do we know how much liquid we filled in with?
praveen - India (27850)
The inlet and outlet positions will determine how much liquid can be put in the vessel, according to the height of the lowest valve.
You could fill the vessel until the liquid starts coming out of the output valve. Then pour the liquid into a regular shaped container to measure the volume of the liquid.
It seems like extra work, but that is the best way to do it.
Pulling glass sheets and water apart
December 30, 2016
Hello. I am currently a high school student in South Korea. I was assigned to conduct a physics research project in school, but I really cannot even get started on solving it. I read some lessons on your website, and I was wondering if you could help me.
The question is: Investigate the various forces involved when you try to separate two sheets of glass separated by a thin layer of water.
So far, I've found that two main forces will work to make separating the glass harder. First is the fact that you have to break the bonds within the film of water to separate the two sheets, and the second is that sandwiching water between the two sheets creates a pseudo- vacuum which means that air pressure will be pressing down in all directions, and that is what makes separating them harder.
Any and all help will be appreciated. You could basically send me a few key terms to help me get my research started, or send me the name of a research paper, or suggest ways for me to get an experiment designed, and have my gratitude forever.
Thank you in advance!
Hojin - South Korea (27725)
If you try to pull the glass sheets apart, keeping the surfaces parallel, vacuum areas will be created within the water. Atmospheric pressure will push the glass sheets together. That pressure is much greater than the adhesive bond of the water on the glass.
However, if you pull the glass sheets apart at an angle--almost like peeling them apart--the only forces will be from the water adhering to the glass.
I am sorry, but I don't know of any research papers that you can refer to.
Best wishes for success in your research project. I am sure you will do a great job at it.
Volume of a cone
July 20, 2016
How can l calculate the volume of cone
Flourish - Zimbabwe (27158)
The equation for the volume of a cone is: V = ?(r^2)h/3 where:
-- ? is pi = 3.14
-- r^2 is the radius of the base squared
-- h is the height of the cone
Thus, if the radius of the base was 2 and the height was 6, the volume would be: 3.14 * 2 * 2 * 6/3 = 25.12
Project resource from student
July 20, 2016
My name is Jackie, and I'm a summer camp director in Scranton PA. This summer, for the first time, we decided to have a "mad scientist" themed week at camp. Last year we had one fun science day where we made bottle rockets, and it was such a huge hit we decided to kick it up a notch and dedicate an entire week to science this year!
We stumbled upon your page http://www.school-for-champions.com/experiments/resources.htm (thank you google) and it was so helpful to us, I wanted to reach out on behalf of the entire camp and say THANK YOU!:) The same kids that were complaining "I thought this was supposed to be SUMMER why are we doing SCHOOL WORK" were the ones that by Friday were begging me to have another week of science experiments!
One of our campers, Max, let the camp know about another science experiment page he found (he's quite the researcher) called "Science Experiments for All Around Your Home," at http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.show.Science-Experiments-for-All-Around-Your-Home.17372.html . When I told the campers I was going to email you to thank you for your page, Max suggested(insisted) I pass it along to you as a suggestion to add to your resources. Who knew 9 year olds could be so resourceful - and persistent;). Anyway, it is a great resource - my counselors and campers took some awesome ideas from there, so I hope you find use for it too.
Thanks again and have a great summer!
Jackie - USA (27159)
Thanks for the comments and the suggested resource. I included the link in Science Project Resources and included a credit to Max.
Best wishes for success in your summer camp.
Experiment needs a control group
July 9, 2016
I find it very concerning (especially in an area as subjective as human behavior) that you did not address appropriate experimental controls. For instance without a control group of students that achieve good grades and also have tattoos (or an infinite cohort of students w/ good grades none of whom have tattoos), one cannot determine the relevance of the condition.
I think it would be much more effective if performed blinded (ie. all the data was collected for all students and then striated based on GPA and analyzed for correlations of various relevant factors). This would also prevent inadvertent bias in data collection or assumptions upon analysis.
Valerie - USA (27138)
Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I simplified the project to make it a survey of opinions. This would be good as a beginner project.
Certainly, including a control group, making sure there is no bias, and doing a thorough analysis would be appropriate for more advanced students. Perhaps is it a project I can suggest down the road.
Calculate friction of an orange
June 30, 2016
How to calculate friction of orange in a plan surface using alternative formula that is not involved high sensitive instrument.
Chibuko - Nigeria (27111)
If you are sliding the orange along the surface, a simple small spring scale should be sensitive enough to measure the friction resistance. You could also measure the coefficient of friction by using an incline. See Sliding Friction on an Inclined Surface.
However, if the orange is rolling either method is difficult.
Is this useful for watering plants?
April 17, 2016
What is the useful of these methode,can i watering plants
muhammed - India (26942)
The experiment shows how water pressure is greater the deeper the water is. However, it really is not useful for watering plants. You want to use a watering can or a water hose with pressure to stream the water.
Project on vacuum insulation
December 28, 2015
Hi, I am a student starting a science fair project on vacuum insulation--my question is what materials make for the best v.i. thermoses? I want to try to make my containers if possible, and I have access to a vacuum pump via an engineering professor at my mom's college. What I need to figure out is what materials I should use to make the outer container so that it can contain a variety of inside containers (plastic, metal, glass). I'm not sure I can do this and would love some tips. I'm writing from my mom's email address. Thanks for any information you might be able to provide; I read your lesson on thermal insulation and it was really useful. Jordan Schwartz.
Gwen - USA (26653)
The first goal of your project is to make a thermos and demonstrate that it works. Then you can do a series of experiments to determine the best inside container. Your hypothesis can be a guess which one you think will be best.
Although you could use a glass jar for your outer container, I'm not sure if it might break if evacuated. Thermos bottles have special glass that is strong enough not to break if most of the air is taken out. Perhaps a metal outside container would be better.
Likewise, you'd have to think about the strength of the inside container that is surrounded by a partial vacuum.
Note that you could make a good thermos using other insulating material, such as Styrofoam, paper, or even popcorn.
I hope these ideas help. Best wishes for success in your project. Let me know how things turn out.
Electromagnetic infusion project
December 7, 2015
I am trying to get the understanding of how to even start a project. I would like to make a electromagnetic wand with an infusion to cause heat as well. But to even understand how to start this project is confusing.
I would like to make this using a battery source verses having to use 110.
If I could just get the basic understanding of what is needed to control the amount of magnetism and infusion I could work with making it stronger as I go.
I hope this makes sense.
Charles - USA (26598)
You can make a battery powered electromagnet by simply wrapping insulated wire around an iron rod and then providing DC current to the wire.
Infusion usually concerns the process of extracting chemical compounds or flavors from plant material in a solvent. The only time I've seen electromagnetic infusion in on the Superpower Wiki.
I hope that helps with your project.
Static electricity from a comb
November 25, 2015
will ametal comb after I comb my hair lift paper why
- USA (26563)
A plastic comb will work much better than a metal comb in building up a static electric charge to lift the paper. However, a metal comb may be able to hold charges to lift the paper. See Causes of Static Electricity and other lessons.
A good experiment is to compare the two types of combs to see which works the best.
November 8, 2015
what is the hypothesis for this particular experiment.
Jeevikash - UK (26505)
An hypothesis is tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation or experimentation.
With measuring the coefficient of friction by some means, you are really not making a guess explanation. Instead, it is a demonstration of the experimental method.
How to measure pressure drop
October 31, 2015
how to measure pressure drop through depth I meter or feet
Yogesh - India (26495)
Although you can show how water pressure increases with depth, you would really need a pressure gauge to measure the different pressures.
June 20, 2015
Find Q if R = 1m
Joshua - Nigeria (26098)
You need to state what type of experiment you are talking about, as well as to define what items such as "Q" and "R" mean.
Science is about being exact and making sure there are no misunderstandings.
First year chemistry lessons
February 19, 2015
how to carry out accurate and quality first year chemistry 1A ,Introduction to biology and physics practicals in the LABORATORY.
Robson - Namibia (25773)
See the lessons in Chemistry for the basics. We'll be having Chemistry experiments soon.
Likewise, lessons and experiments in Biology will be coming son.
Best wishes for success in your studies.
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