Amaze Your Brain at Home: Physics and Chemistry

Strengthen your mind with science when you dive into physics and chemistry activities!

Check out our videos and at-home activities for all ages below and learn how to engineer an electrical circuit, sing-a-long with your toddler about gravity, or design a hovercraft using common household items. Viewers will also be able to find out where their center of mass is, discover how air molecules travel to our ears, or go on a physics scavenger hunt around the house.

Scroll down to discover videos and at-home activities categorized by age and grade.

All Ages

Fire & Ice: Chemical Changes, Part 1

Prepare for an explosive surprise! Join Museum educators Elisa and Sami as they demonstrate what happens to chemicals as they react with one another.

Fire & Ice: Physical Changes, Part 2

Go from one state of matter to the next with educators Elisa and Sami by flash-freezing balloon animals filled with different gases to physically constrict and expand the air inside.   Watch on Youtube

Fire & Ice: Crystal Making, Part 3

Museum educators Elisa and Sami teach you how to grow crystals at home with items from your very own pantry!  WATCH ON YOUTUBE 

Traveling Tablecloth

Is it magic… or physics? Test Newton’s first law as you use mass and force to pull a tablecloth out from underneath a place setting.

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Physics Trivia

Test your physics knowledge against the five general physics questions, which cover a range of topics from light speed to gravity to simple machines.

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Defying Gravity

 In this experiment, mimic how a tree uses capillary action to move nourishing water from its roots up to its canopy and create some gravity-defying results of your own.

The Power of One

Do you know where your center of mass is? All you need is a chair, a partner, and a little bit of force to find out!

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Chair Lift: It's Not About Strength

Bend in half to see how gravity interacts with your body when lifting a chair! Try it with friends or family members to see how this is different for everyone.

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Can you balance a can?

Can you make an empty can balance on its rim? If not, we’ll teach you how. This experiment looks like magic, but it’s actually physics!

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Early Childhood (Ages 18 months - 4 yrs)

Physics with Gerald the Gnome

Join Gerald the Gnome in song and sing-a-long about gravity!  Download the lyrics to the gravity song so you can sing-a-long with Gerald the Gnome and Katie the Educator.

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Sink or Float Experiment

Explore the topic of density with your toddler. Find items that are safe to drop into water and make predictions together. Warning: this activity is sure to have laughs and splashes!

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Physics is Fun Book List

It's never too early to learn—especially physics! Here’s our recommended reading list to reinforce physics concepts with your child that explain things in a way that is easy for young children to understand.

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Sound Experiment - Music with Glasses

Sound is produced when an object vibrates. Those vibrations travel through air and water before they reach your ears. Experiment with different glasses and water to learn how they affect the sound and pitch that you hear.  Follow along with the activity sheet!

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Seeing Sound Experiment (Dancing Rice)

Feel the vibrations! This activity is designed to reinforce the concept that sound (even though you can’t see it) is energy that travels in the form of sound waves as a result of vibrations. 

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Grades K-3rd

Physics Scavenger Hunt

Physics is the study of how the universe behaves and is in action around us all the time. Learn about concepts like force and energy and examples of how they relate to everyday objects. After watching the video, look around your home for different examples than the one’s mentioned of concepts such as force and energy. 

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Build-a-Catapult!

For centuries, catapults were handy, simple machines used to take down castle walls. In this activity, learn all about levers, force, and work as you try your hand at making your own. To make this even more challenging try different shapes, sizes and weights to test how far each object will go! Follow along with the activity sheet.   DOWNLOAD PDF

Build-a-Hovercraft!

Have you ever ridden on a hovercraft? It is like gliding on a cushion of air! In this exercise, you will make your own hovercraft using a CD and a balloon. See how the amount of air in the balloon affects how long the hovercraft hovers.  DOWNLOAD PDF

Grades 4th-8th

It's Electric!

Curious about electricity? Explore this video to find out what atoms are, discover the conductors and insulators in your home, and create your very own electrical circuit!


Now that you know more about electricity, recharge your brain with a word search. How quickly can you find all of the words?   Download PDF

Grab your pencil, eraser, and thinking cap – this puzzle will quiz you on all the new electricity facts you learned!   Download PDF

 
Sound: Are You Hearing Things?

Why do we hear sounds? Explore sound energy including how sound travels and why vibrations produce the sounds we hear. We’ll also show you how to make your own sound instrument in the form of a clucking chicken!

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Sound: Highs and Lows

Why do some musical instruments make very high sounds while others make very low sounds? Explore how sound waves relate to the pitches we hear. We’ll experiment with Boomwhackers to learn why changing the length of a tube changes the pitch.

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Candy Chromatography

Separate pigments using Skittles to perform paper chromatography, a technique used by chemists to separate the components of pigmented mixtures with this fun and colorful project.

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Grades 6th-12th

 

 

We're Under So Much Pressure!

Do you know how forceful air is? Do you think it’s strong enough to crush an aluminum can? Make a prediction, perform this experiment, and prepare to be amazed by air pressure!