Science might not be everyone’s favorite subject, but when you’re younger, science is borderline magical. You start learning about how invisible waves make radios work, that light turns into a rainbow when it passes through the right stuff, and that certain mixtures of stuff go boom.
Not every science experiment was complicated or grandiose, but some captured our imaginations nonetheless. Certain days at school would change our entire outlook on life. Some science experiments were a little lame, and some were more of an arts and crafts project than science. Either way, these are the 5 most memorable science experiments everyone did as a kid.
CREATED A BAKING SODA + VINEGAR VOLCANO
Taking a trip through the geology chapter of our science textbooks almost always concluded with everyone in the class building a volcano. We would learn about how volcanoes come to be, what their explosions look like, and definitely how destructive they are. We would learn about famous eruptions like Mount St. Helens, and then we would create little magma blasts of our own. We’d combine baking soda, vinegar, and red food coloring and bam! Real life mini-volcano.
SHOT OFF A MODEL ROCKET
This experiment would rear its head many times throughout our school career, becoming more complicated every time. At first, it was definitely the coolest experiment ever. Groups got together, built a super rad model rocket, and shot it off in a big field. It would usually fall apart while airborne, and you rarely got the rocket back. For those few seconds though, this experiment in rocket science was the coolest.
In the 90s, Nickelodeon made a bunch of self-branded toys that appealed to kids. One of those contraptions was called Gak, which was basically just slime that came in an assortment of different colors. In science class, we got to make Gak for ourselves, and it was awesome. The teacher told us that it was a good illustration of the murky differences between solids and liquids. Honestly, we just thought it was cool to play with slime.
GREW ROCK CANDY
What a tasty experiment! This science-based culinary treat taught us about crystals and tooth decay. We would make sugar water, tint it with our favorite food coloring, dunk a string or stick in it, and watch the magic happen. Over the next few days, the delicious candy treats would grow. After we learned about why and how those crystals formed, we got to eat it. Yum!
EGG DROP COMPETITION
I’m pretty sure that this science experiment is the closest thing that American kids have to a true rite-of-passage. Around middle school, everyone is given a simple project: make a box that can keep an egg safe when you drop it from varying heights. What seemed simple enough, often turned deadly – for the egg at least. It was easy to tell which kids had a penchant for engineering, and which were more artistically inclined. It always seemed like the winning design was the ugliest, but it somehow protected the egg from unforeseen heights.
So that’s our list of science experiments that we’re pretty sure everyone did as a kid.