# #TryThisTuesday: Cup Drop

For the week’s science demonstration, you will need a metal mug or screw, a pencil and string.

1. Tie one end of your string onto the handle of the mug and the other to your bolt.
2. Hold onto the screw and pick up your pencil with your other hand.
3. Lift up the string with the pencil and hold it about half way along the string, on the same level as the screw, allowing the cup hang down.

What do you think will happen from this position if you let go off the screw?

You may think that the cup will simply fall to the floor due to the pull of gravity and the string will pull the screw along, leaving you holding a pencil mid-air.

In reality, nothing (hopefully) hits the floor. You are right in thinking, gravity wants to pull the cup down, but it also wants to pull the screw down too. As the cup begins to drop it pulls the string, pulling the screw in towards the pencil, as the screw is being pulled from two directions it ends up swinging towards them. As it has a bit of weight behind it, it builds up enough momentum to go around the pencil a few times, wrapping the string around it.

So now the string is wrapped around the pencil and the cup still hasn’t dropped. If you try to pull the screw now, you’ll see why. It’s difficult to move the string. This is due to the force of friction. Friction is a force that occurs between two objects, it is the resistance that occurs when they move over each other. As the string is wrapped around the pencil a few times, there is a larger area of string touching the pencil, so a greater force of friction. This keeps the string in place to stop it sliding off, allowing the cup to hit the floor.

Try this out with your family and friends, see if you they can guess it correctly!

# #TryThisTuesday: Easter Eggsperiments

As Easter is coming up we’re treating you to four experiments instead of one this week! And a little video showing Ellie and Clare demonstrating each of them (or at least attempting to!)

### 1. Hard-boiled Egg Test

Our first eggsperiment requires a hard boiled egg so we’re going to show you how you can test if an egg is hard boiled or not.

Lay a hard-boiled and a normal egg flat on their sides and spin them. Put your finger on the eggs to stop spinning them and then let go. The one that starts spinning again is the raw egg.

This is all due to momentum. When you spin the eggs you spin their insides too. In the hard boiled egg, the insides are fixed to the shell so it behaves as you would expect. In the raw egg the insides continue to spin after you’ve stopped the shell. When you let go, the momentum of the spinning yolk carries the shell and the whole egg starts spinning again.

### 2. Egg in a Bottle

Now we know which is our hardboiled egg, we need to peel it for next experiment. This one requires a glass bottle, a match and of course, the egg.

If we place the egg on top of the bottle it doesn’t look like it’s going to fit in. But if we light the match and drop it into the bottle then after a second place the egg on top, the egg will squeeze into the bottle.

The match heats up the air in the bottle, causing it to expand slightly. The egg creates a seal so more air cannot enter. As the air cools inside the bottle it decreases the pressure and forces the egg into the bottle.

### 3. Naked Bouncy Egg

To make a naked bouncy egg you will need an egg, white vinegar and a beaker. Place your egg in the beaker and pour in enough vinegar to cover the egg. Leave you egg here overnight.

The egg shell is made mostly of calcium carbonate, this reacts with the acid in the vinegar and dissolves to leave a naked egg. It also produces carbon dioxide gas, so as your egg is soaking you may see little bubbles of CO2 forming around it.

After a day, carefully remove you egg from the vinegar and wipe away any remaining shell. You should see that it’s now quite rubbery and bouncy as well.

### 4. Bouncy Elastic Egg Drop

For this final eggsperiement you can use your bouncy naked eggs but we’re cheating a little bit and using rubber eggs. For this you will need to take two rubber eggs and join them together with a piece of elastic or a string of elastic bands.

When you hold your eggs next to one another and let go they both hit the floor at the same time as you might expect. But what do you think will happen if we just hold the top egg and let the other hang below it, which will reach the floor first when we let go?

Gravitational acceleration is the same no matter the weight or mass of an object, but when we add elastic between the eggs, this adds an extra force that speeds up the drop of the higher up egg as the elastic pulls them together.

# #TryThisTuesday: Skipping Stones

During our time as STEM Ambassadors, we’ve visited several beaches together. From Newcastle in Northern Ireland to Clear Water Bay in Hong Kong and even beaches closer to home in Whitley Bay and Tynemouth, we always ended up skipping rocks somewhere!

But how do we do it!? Why don’t the rocks just fall into the water?

The key is to get a nice flat rock and throw it quickly at the right angle. The large surface area allows the stone to bounce off the water’s surface.

You need to throw it fairly hard to give it enough speed to gain momentum before it hits the water. When the rock hits the surface of the water it pushes the water down whilst the water pushes the rock up. If the force pushing the stone up from the water is greater than or balances the weight of the stone then it will bounce on for another skip rather than sinking. This is why it helps to have a nice small stone.

It is also important to get the right velocity. Velocity is the speed of something in a give direction. So we have the speed covered, now for the direction. Scientists have discovered that the optimal angle at which the stone should hit the water should be around 20 degrees. As you probably won’t be able to measure this on a causal day trip to the beach, just aim to throw the stone sideways rather than up or down.

Hopefully you’ll manage more than my measly two skips. Try beating the world record of 88 skips in a row!

# World Egg Day: Eggsellent Experiments

Happy world egg day! Here are some cracking eggsperiment that you can at home on this very important day:

### Egg in a Bottle

For this experiment you will need a hard boiled egg, an empty plastic bottle, a scrap of paper and a lighter.

Light the paper and drop it into the bottle. After a second place the egg on top of the bottle and observe the results.

The lit paper heats up the air in the bottle, causing it to expand slightly and for some air to escape. The egg creates a seal so more air cannot enter. As the air cools inside the bottle it decreases the pressure and forces the egg into the bottle.

### Floating Egg

All you need to try this one is an egg, a glass, water and salt.

Fill you glass half full with tap water and carefully place the egg inside. It should sink. Add some salt until the egg floats. The salt increases the density of the water, when you add enough the egg becomes less dense than the water so floats to the top.

Next dribble spoonfuls of tap water down the side of the glass until it is full. The egg should appear to float in the middle of the glass, it is actually floating on top of the salt water with a layer of fresh water above it.

### Hard boiled Spin

Lay a hard boiled egg flat on its side and spin it. Put your finger on it to stop and then let go, nothing remarkably happens there. Try the same with a raw egg and when you let go it will start spinning again on its own accord.

This is all due to momentum. When you spin the eggs you spin their insides too. In the hard boiled egg, the insides are fixed to the shell so it behaves as you would expect. In the raw egg the insides continue to spin after you’ve stopped the shell. When you let go, the momentum of the spinning yolk carries the shell and the whole egg starts spinning again.