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: I recently had to cover teaching children (Age 10 – 14) physics for an hour and I was wondering if you could think of any physics experiments that require few or cheap materials with interesting results that we could use to springboard onto other topics?Dry ice is pretty cheap and there are all kinds of uses for it: -In a pitcher it creates enough cold air and mist that you can literally pour the air onto a table top, and demonstrate how temperature differences give rise to wind. -Fill a fish tank or other large glass container with about half an inch of water and put a fist of dry ice in it.

Of course, everyone standing on the sides sees that they’ve just managed to time the throw so that it gets to the far side of the merry-go-round at the same time the person does. If you can get your hands on a Van der Graaf generator, whoever you borrow it from will have some suggestions.

My favorite is throwing packing foam (“ghost poo”) at the generator, or just putting a bowl full of packing foam on top of the generator.

In practice the image you see is a lot clearer than that picture implies (Cell phone cameras were not made for this sort of thing).

Also, since they’re essentially just a series of extremely small slits, they work on the same principle as the “double slit experiment”, just with more slits.

Have the kids gather around the table, on the merry-go-round (while spinning), and try to roll the marble back and forth.

The kids on the merry-go-round will see the marble suddenly swerve to the side as it crosses the table, while all the kids standing around (waiting their turn) will see the marble travel in a (roughly) straight line.

I’ve seen people accidentally lean forward and get slammed.

You have to lean back a little to hold the pendulum, so usually it’s best to have someone else hold the pendulum, while the “victim” stands perfectly still.

You can also comb your (clean) hair with a (clean) comb to build up a charge on the comb.

Get a stream of water as thin as you can before it breaks up into individual drops, and bring the comb next to it.

These rain down evenly over the entire planet, and are common enough that in any pinch of dust you can usually find one or two.

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