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1

Short engaging practical demonstrations


This collection of ideas has been gathered together by a group of Gloucestershire
science teachers who were looking for attention grabbing ideas to use as starter
activities or to re-engage pupils during a lesson.
Each example is linked to a science curriculum area with details of equipment
requirements and some suggestions for questions to ask pupils to think about.
We hope that you will find this to be a useful resource and that it inspires you to share
more of your own. If you have any comments, suggestions or ideas for activities please
contact the science team through sylvia.odell@gloucestershire.gov.uk

June 2006

Geoff Carr
Ann Corbin
Andrea Fisk
Alex Fleming
David Harrison
Sue Hilton
Janet McKechnie
Ashley Mortimer
Sylvia Odell
Sharron Pearson
Lucy Pilkington
Mike Staley
Rachel Thomas
Karen Warden-Lovell
Katy Weir
Chantel Yeates

AST, Chipping Campden School


Cheltenham Bournside School
Cheltenham Bournside School
Gloucestershire Secondary Science consultant
Gloucestershire Secondary Science consultant
AST, Cleeve School
AST, Cheltenham Bournside School
AST, Newent Community School
Gloucestershire Science Adviser
Maidenhill School
Barnwood Park School
Chosen Hill School
Lakers School
Chosen Hill School
Sir William Romneys School
Winchcombe School

Contents by title
Page

Title

Topic

Year groups

Amorous meter

Electricity

7/9

Balloon in a bottle

Air pressure

Any

Balls in rice

Forces

Benhams disc

Light and sight

Biscuit paper / Tea bag

Heating and cooling

Brain teaser

Investigating

Any

10

Bunsen flame

Y7 introduction

11

Burning tenner

Combustion

12

Cabbage paper

Acids and alkalis

13

Can you take the pressure

Pressure and moments

14

Cell membranes

Cells

15

Cornflour

Particle model

16

Egg and conical flask

Gas pressure in S,L G

17

Exploding canister

Rates of reaction

Solids and liquids

GCSE

7
Any

Energy transfer

Energy

GCSE

GCSE

Forces

7
7

Pressure
rd

Newtons 3 law

GCSE

GCSE
GCSE

18

Exploding crisp tube

Gas explosion

19

Fire ball

Combustion

20

Floating egg

Forces

21

Floating and sinking egg

Chemical reactions

Rocks and weathering

7/8

22

Floating and sinking cans

Floating and sinking

Drawing conclusions

7/8

23

King Kongs hand

Chemical reactions

24

Magnetic pen

Forces

25

Marshmallows and laces

Forces

26

Model of blood

Respiration

27

Model digestive system

28

GCSE

8
Magnetism

7/8
7

Fit and Healthy

7/8

GCSE

Digestion

GCSE

Musical box

Sound

GCSE

29

Raisins

Forces

Speed

7/9

30

Rates of reaction

Rates of reaction

Metal reactions

GCSE

31

Screaming jelly babies

Chemical reactions

Oxidation

8/9

GCSE

32

Semolina saucer

Static electricity

33

Silver trees

Displacement reactions

34

Swinging buzzer

Big bang theory

35

Thermite

Displacement reactions

38

Tonic water

Electromagnetic spectrum

39

Woodpecker

Forces

40

Useful resources of more short engaging practical demonstrations

GCSE
9
Doppler effect

GCSE
9

GCSE
GCSE

7/9

Contents by topic
Page

Title

Topic

Year groups

40

Useful resources of more short engaging practical demonstrations

12

Cabbage paper

Acids and alkalis

Balloon in a bottle

Air pressure

Any

34

Swinging buzzer

Big bang theory

14

Cell membranes

Cells

21

Floating and sinking egg

Chemical reactions

23

King Kongs hand

Chemical reactions

31

Screaming jelly babies

Chemical reactions

Oxidation

11

Burning tenner

Combustion

Energy

19

Fire ball

Combustion

GCSE

27

Model digestive system

Digestion

GCSE

33

Silver trees

Displacement reactions

35

Thermite

Displacement reactions

GCSE

Amorous meter

Electricity

7/9

GCSE

38

Tonic water

Electromagnetic spectrum

22

Floating and sinking cans

Floating and sinking

Drawing conclusions

7/8

Balls in rice

Forces

Solids and liquids

20

Floating egg

Forces

24

Magnetic pen

Forces

25

Marshmallows and laces

Forces

29

Raisins

Forces

39

Woodpecker

Forces

Doppler effect

GCSE
7

Rocks and weathering

7/8
8
8/9

GCSE
GCSE

GCSE
GCSE

7
Magnetism

7/8
7

Speed

7/9
7/9
rd

18

Exploding crisp tube

Gas explosion

Newtons 3 law

GCSE

16

Egg and conical flask

Gas pressure in S,L G

Biscuit paper / Tea bag

Heating and cooling

Brain teaser

Investigating

Any

Benhams disc

Light and sight

Any

15

Cornflour

Particle model

13

Can you take the pressure

Pressure and moments

17

Exploding canister

Rates of reaction

Pressure

GCSE

30

Rates of reaction

Rates of reaction

Metal reactions

GCSE

26

Model of blood

Respiration

Fit and Healthy

7/8

GCSE

28

Musical box

Sound

GCSE

32

Semolina saucer

Static electricity

10

Bunsen flame

Y7 introduction

7
Energy transfer

Forces

GCSE

7
9

GCSE
7

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