Sunday, 29 January 2012

Magic & the Scientific Procedure!

Magic tricks always intrigue people and so do good science experiment. I recently performed a magic trick in front of my students as a way of  introducing the scientific procedure. It was so easy and extremely effective. I highly recommend it.


  1. I first began by asking students what scientist do and we created a list of all their ideas. Then I explained that all scientist use observation as a way to create and answer questions about the world around them. 
  2. Following this, I placed three plastic cups on the table and began to pour water into one of the cups. What the students didn't know was that I had previously put 1 tsp of Slush Powder* in the bottom of the cup. (For those of you that are not familiar with this wonderful powder, it absorbs water almost instantly and turns it into a spongy solid. It's the powder found in baby diapers.)
  3. Next, I asked the students to observe as I rearranged the cups on the table. Their job was to try to remember which cup had the water in it. By this time the Slush Powder had absorbed the water. When I asked students to identify the cup they were shocked to see that it had no water came out when I held it upside down. Of course this created a flurry of questions, "How did you do that? Where did the water go? Can we see that again?" I explained to them that they are responding just like scientist. Scientists see something that interest them and ask questions about it. They then try to figure out what happened and create a hypothesis.
  4. Then, I had students get into groups and write down a testable question as well as come up with a hypothesis.
  5. Following this, students shared their hypothesis.  I then performed the demonstration one more time so that students could carefully observe and then verify if their hypothesis was right or wrong. 
  6. Eventually after a long discuss we came up with what made sense based on our observation and wrote a conclusion.
It was a great way to introduce so of these scientific terms. My students already love science, so this just fueled their excitement for the subject

*I bought the Slush Powder from a local magic store in Calgary called. Vanishing Rabbit.

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