Open Daily:
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Current Time:
6:07 AM
Directions:
727 W Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 561-6100
[email protected]
Kentucky Science Center is open 7 days a week from 9:30AM – 5:00PM. Tickets can be purchased online.

Culture Pass

Culture Pass

Welcome to Kentucky Science Center’s Culture Pass activities for 2020. While we cannot wait for you to join us back inside KSC, here are several of our favorite science demonstrations that you can do at home with your family.

Mentos Geysers

What causes that whoosh of foam to rush out of a soda when Mentos candies are dropped in? The candy appears smooth but is actually covered in microscopic pits like a golf ball. These are nucleation sites that draw out the carbon dioxide gas in a soda when the fall through the liquid.
For Ages: Elementary-Adult

 

Arts and Culture Disciplines: Science

Objectives: Observe how the nucleation sites on Mentos candies draw the CO2 out of soda. Experiment with variables such as number of candies, brands and types of sodas, and temperature.

Instructions: This activity can be done at a table-top with small bottles or outside with 2-liter sodas. The classic demonstration calls for Diet Coke and Mentos, but any soda can be used. While wearing eye protection:
1. unscrew the cap
2. drop Mentos in
3. step back!

Materials Needed: Soda in bottles (any kind), Mentos Candies (plain mint Mentos have more nucleation sites than fruit flavored Mentos)

Variations: Try this with different sodas flavors and brands to find the highest geyser. How many candies can you load in at once? Try a plastic Mentos launcher tube or build your own out of paper. Temperature is another variable to test. With an adult’s help, heat a bottle of soda in a warm water bath and compare that geyser to a soda that has been cooled in the fridge.

Safety Equipment Needed: eye protection

Alka Seltzer Rockets

The sodium bicarbonate in over-the-counter antacid/pain relief tablets breaks down in water. This ingredient in turns reacts with citric acid that is also in the tablets to create carbon dioxide gas. This gas, when built up in a tightly closed film canister, can pop the canister high into the air.
For Ages: Elementary-Adult

Arts and Culture Disciplines: Science (Chemistry), Medicine

Objectives: Launch a film canister into the air with the two-part chemical reaction between alka-seltzer tablets and water.

Instructions: While wearing eye protection:
1. Break an antacid tablet into a half or a quarter and place in a film canister
2. Pour a small amount of water into the canister
3. Quickly seal the canister, give it a quick shake, and set it top-down onto a surface
4. step back!

Materials Needed: Alka-seltzer or generic brand antacid/pain reliever tablets, film canisters, a pitcher of water

Variations: Haven’t used a film canister in decades? What happens when this reaction takes place in a sealed plastic baggie?

Safety Equipment Needed: eye protection

Drawing on Water

Dry erase markers contain resins and polymers that do not quite stick to non-porous surfaces. Water molecules, when poured into a Pyrex container, can flow between the ink and the container’s surface to lift the image up.
For Ages: Pre-K (with adult assistance)-Middle

Arts and Culture Disciplines: Science, Art

Objectives: Create drawings that float on top of water!

Instructions:
1. Using bold lines and lots of ink, draw onto the inside base of the Pyrex casserole dish
2. Carefully and slowly pour water in the casserole dish and observe the dry erase ink lift up and float freely across the water

Materials Needed: A Pyrex casserole dish, dry erase markers, a pitcher of water

Milk Fireworks

Have you seen a drop of soap spread quickly across a film of grease? This happens when soap is dropped into milk as well because bonds in the fats are broken up. As milk moves about in contact with soap it can spread out droplets of food coloring create kitchen-table works of art!
For Ages: Pre-K (with adult assistance)-Elementary

Arts and Culture Disciplines: Science, Cooking

Objectives: Create ribbons and rainbows of moving color in a container of milk by breaking the bonds in the milk’s fat with dish soap.

Instructions:
1. Pour milk into your container to fill to the edges
2. Add drops of food coloring, one at a time, into the milk
3. Dip a toothpick into the dish soap and then insert this toothpick into the milk, at or near the drops of food coloring
4. Watch as the milk spreads out from the soap pulling the food coloring into swirls

Materials Needed: A deep plate or shallow bowl, food coloring, dish soap, toothpicks, and milk (whole milk is recommended due to the high fat content, but other varieties can be experimented with)

Bubble Painting

Bubbles are always round due to surface tension. Unique works of art can be created by pressing dyed bubbles onto paper.
For Ages: Pre-K (with adult assistance)-Elementary

Arts and Culture Disciplines: Science, Art

Objectives: To explore how bubbles form and to create art with colored bubbles.

Instructions:
1. Pour a small amount of bubble solution onto a tray & mix with paint
2. With a straw for each colored tray, blow to make a pile of bubbles into a “sculpture”
3. Gently press a sheet of paper onto the bubbles so they pop and transfer paint to the paper
4. Repeat for other colors

Materials Needed: Trays, watercolor paint, bubble solution (store bought or made a home w/ a tbsp dish soap to 1 cup water solution), a shallow dish, a clean straw for each tray, paper

Variations: Try this with tempura paint or food coloring as well

Safety Equipment: safety glasses