Sparkly iron powder!

I let mummy have some of my iron powder from my chemistry set for the Christingle service so that we could sprinkle it on the candles to make mini fireworks! It was cool.  I wore my goggles and gloves as I held the candle for her, just in case. Dr Bunhead did the same thing but with a blow torch, which made a much bigger sparkle!  But we didn’t have a blow torch…

What was really interesting is that we used a telescopic magnet to pick up the iron powder and keep it all together, but when we stuck that in the candle flame there wasn’t any sparkle – the magnet stopped the powder from escaping and it can’t sparkle if it can’t escape!

The magnet was really useful for collecting all the powder that got spilled. We couldn’t get the powder off it very easily, so we put the magnet in a petri dish and then put another, stronger magnet underneath the dish to get all the powder to peel off and end up just sitting in the petri dish.

Why do rugs move by themselves?

This is a science experiment that I did when I was four, but I didn’t have a blog then so it went on my mum’s blog and we only just thought of moving it here to my blog.

We have a rug in the bedroom that seems to walk across the floor while we are not looking.  We know it does this, and now we are fairly sure we know how.

So, here’s the experiment, which  I mostly thought of all by myself:

My mum has two 5kg weights and we put them at one end of the rug to weight it down, and we used stickers on the carpet to mark the rug’s starting position.  We marked the new position of the rug first thing in the morning every day, to see whether the rug still walks in a straight line, or whether the weights stop one end from moving so that it starts to move in a circle, with the weighted end staying still.

What happened was that the first day the rug moved around a bit of a circle, with the weight end staying still, and the next day it moved again, but a bit less, and then the third day, less still.  What we think is that it’s the direction of the carpet pile (the way the carpet is hairy) that makes it move, so it can’t go round in a whole circle, it really wants to go straight but it can’t because of the weights.  We think when you tread on the rug it squashes the pile of the carpet and then when the pile goes up again it has moved the rug just a tiny bit. So if you didn’t walk on the rug it wouldn’t move.

This was a very cool experiment!


On Friday I went for my birthday treat to see Dr Bunhead’s very dangerous Christmas show. It was totally awesome.

Before the show I wrote down my best guess about how many things would explode, and how many things would be wet, or set on fire, or smell odd, and how many of the things we would be able to try at home. The first number is my guess, then there’s a tally for how many there actually were, then the final number is the total that there actually were (the pencil one is the one I did on the night and the pen one is the one I wrote out later).

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Mainly there were loads more things that exploded than I thought there would be! Actually there were so many that I might have lost count, so there could even have been more than 21.

I wore my lab coat because it was a science evening. And Dr Bunhead signed his autograph on the pocket at the end of the show!

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Dr Bunhead was amazing and I was so excited all evening!  If you want to see more of Dr Bunhead’s science you can look at his website.

Thank you Dr Bunhead!