Using the ZigZag Density Tumbler In (and Out) of the Classroom


by Linda Dunnavant

The ZigZag Density Tumbler is an elegant desk “toy” and much more.  Turn the tumbler over and watch two different colors of droplets float down in a relaxing zigzag pattern.  I like to keep mine on my desk so that I can pick it up and watch it while I clear my head.  In addition to being a soothing, relaxing activity for busy adults, it provides myriad possibilities for calming, inspiring, and teaching students. Read the rest of this entry »


Slime TV


Educational Innovations Newsletter - EI TVCertain things need to be seen to be believed.  Two guys playing soccer in a pool filled with slime—without sinking!— is certainly in that category.  Enjoy our collection of educational (and entertaining) videos about non-Newtonian fluids.  We think you’ll want to share them with your students.  Who knows, maybe you’ll build your OWN pool of slime!  If you come across an interesting video on slime, oobleck, or other gooey substances, please share with us in the comments section below. Read the rest of this entry »


Demystifying the Poly Density Bottle


Dr. Kenneth Lyle, Duke University Department of Chemistryby Dr. Kenneth Lyle

The demonstration

The Poly Density Bottle is a fascinating demonstration primarily due to the phenomena being counterintuitive to what one would expect.  The bottle containing white and blue beads suspended in a clear and colorless liquid is shaken vigorously, distributing the beads randomly throughout (bottle A).  Upon standing, the beads separate from one another (bottle B) with the white rising to the surface while the blue sink to the bottom (bottle C).  Then, the two sets of beads move towards one another (bottle D) meeting near the middle (bottle E).  This demonstration can be easily repeated again and again.  And, once prepared, it can be stored for subsequent use year after year.  No additional preparation is required. Read the rest of this entry »


The “Magic” of the Soother Ooze Tube


KenByrneBy Ken Byrne

Someone once told me that all magic is science, and all science is magic.  To me, a magic show is a series of puzzles for me to solve, trying to figure out just how they pulled off an illusion.  My favorite science demonstrations are much the same.  I love those demonstrations that make me scratch my head and ask, “Why?”

Here is one of my favorites that is easy and inexpensive.  It feels like a magic trick, but it is all science.  It simply involves rolling a cylinder down an inclined plane.  Sometimes the cylinder will roll down quickly.  Other times it will crawl down slowly. Read the rest of this entry »


Density in the News


Educational Innovations Newsletter - In the News

Density has been in the news since… well, since Archimedes shouted Eureka.  We have collected a sampling of news stories about density that you may want to use in your classroom as you open a discussion about this fascinating subject.

If you find a news article about density that you’d like to share, please let us know in the comments section.  Happy reading!

Read the rest of this entry »