Enjoy some at-home explosions on the 4th of July

In many cities around the metro, fireworks are illegal. But that doesn't mean you have to miss out on the explosive fun of the 4th of July. Digital Dave Smythe from Mad Science showed off some family-friendly experiments parents can try at home to enjoy the excitement on July 4.

Mad Science offers camps for kids all summer long. All camps are one week long, and the cost ranges between $100-$300. For more information, head to www.kansascity.madscience.org .

Canister Cannons:
Equipment: Empty 35mm film canisters (with snug fitting lid), Alka-Seltzer tablets, tap water

Procedure: Fill the film canister 1/3 of the way with tap water. Break your Alka-Seltzer tablet in half. Drop the tablet into the canister, and then quickly put the lid on the canister. Make sure you point the lid away from your face, as it is about to pop off! Be sure to hold the canister by the bottom, so the lid can pop off easily.

Elephant Toothpaste:
Equipment: Yeast, Hydrogen Peroxide, Dish Soap, 1L Soda Bottle, Food Coloring (opt.), plastic tray (for mess containment)

Procedure: In a small bowl or dixie cup mix 1Tof yeast with 4T of warm water, and set aside. Set your 1L soda bottle on your plastic tray. In your soda bottle add one healthy squirt of dish soap, and a couple of drops of food coloring (opt.). Measure out 100ml of hydrogen peroxide, and add it to the soda bottle. Now, quickly add the yeast/water mixture to the soda bottle, and stand back.

Hints: For further experimentation you can try adding the ingredients in different orders, or varying the amounts.

Red, White, and Blue Snow:
Equipment: Instant Snow, Food Coloring, Tap Water, Dropper

Procedure: In a bowl, mix 100ml of water with 1-2 drops of blue food coloring. Repeat for red. On a plate, make 3 piles of instant snow (one scoop each).  Use your dropper to add drops of blue colored water to one of the piles. Make sure you add them one drop at a time, and watch what happens. Count how many drops you used before it stopped soaking up the water. Now do the same thing with the red colored water, to the next pile of instant snow. See if the color makes a difference in how many drops it will absorb. For the last pile of instant snow, use regular tap water. Now, you have red, white, and blue snow… in July!

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