Science Projects Photo Gallery

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Find Fun Science Projects

There are many science projects you can do using common household materials.
There are many science projects you can do using common household materials. Sigrid Gombert / Getty Images

The best part about science projects is actually doing them, but seeing them is pretty cool too. This is a photo gallery of science projects so you can see what to expect from projects. I've included links to instructions for doing these projects yourself or buying kits online.

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Slime Science Project

Slime is easy and fun to make.
Slime is easy and fun to make. Pamela Moore / Getty Images

Science kits you can buy produce slime ranging in color from greenish slime to glow-in-the-dark. When you make your own slime, you usually combine borax and glue. If you use translucent blue or clear glue, you can get translucent slime. If you use white glue, you will get opaque slime. Vary the proportions of glue and borax to get different levels of sliminess.

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Alum Crystals Science Project

You usually can get a nice alum crystal overnight (shown here). If you let the crystal grow for a day or more, you can get larger crystals.
You usually can get a nice alum crystal overnight (shown here). If you let the crystal grow for a day or more, you can get larger crystals. Christian Ude, Creative Commons License

Alum is an ingredient you can find on the spice aisle of any grocery story. If you mix alum with water, you can grow impressive crystals. Because it is so safe, alum is the chemical found in many commercial crystal growing kits. The 'white diamonds' in the Smithsonian Crystal Growing Kits are made from alum. This is good to know because it means you can get a refill for those kits at any store or if you have the chemical but have lost the instructions, you can use the do-it-yourself instructions.

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Firebreathing Science Project

Corn starch is the fuel being used for this firebreathing.
Firebreathing can be accomplished using a non-toxic, less-flammable fuel than the ones used by traditional firebreathers. Corn starch is the fuel being used for this firebreathing. Anne Helmenstine

You can learn how to breathe fire using a common kitchen ingredient. This is a fire chemistry project, so adult supervision is required.

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Polymer Balls Science Project

Combine household chemicals for a fun science project that makes polymer balls.
Combine household chemicals for a fun science project that makes polymer balls. Willyan Wagner / EyeEm / Getty Images

Making polymer bouncy balls is a great project for anyone with an interest in chemistry, though kids probably get more out of the finished product than adults. Or maybe not... they are pretty fun. You can make polymer balls yourself using common household ingredients. You can also purchase kits that allow you to make balls in neon and glowing colors. The molds that come with the kits can be re-used to shape balls you make using your own ingredients.

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Volcanic Eruption Science Project

Adding baking soda causes the volcano to erupt.
The volcano has been filled with water, vinegar, and a little detergent. Adding baking soda causes it to erupt. Anne Helmenstine

A chemical volcano is another great classic chemistry project. The two main differences between making a baking soda and vinegar volcano yourself and using a kit are cost (practically free for the kitchen volcano; kits are inexpensive but still cost a bit more) and color (get richly-colored lava in a kit, which is harder to duplicate with a homemade volcano). No matter how you make it, a volcano is a fun project, great for kids of all ages.

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Rock Candy Science Project

If you look closely, you can see the monoclinic shape of the sugar crystals that comprise this rock candy.
If you look closely, you can see the monoclinic shape of the sugar crystals that comprise this rock candy. Anne Helmenstine

Rock candy is made from crystallized sugar. You can make it yourself or use a kit. Making it yourself is a more economical method, since all you need is sugar and water. However, if you don't have a stick to grow the rock candy, you might want the kit. Remember that rock candy is food, so make certain your glassware is clean and don't use potentially toxic materials (rocks, fishing weights) in your container.

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Magic Rocks Science Project

Sodium silicate is the 'secret' ingredient in Magic Rocks that allows you to grow an underwater crystal garden while you watch.
Sodium silicate is the 'secret' ingredient in Magic Rocks that allows you to grow an underwater crystal garden while you watch. Anne and Todd Helmenstine

You can make your own Magic Rocks or you can purchase them. Making your own is a relatively advanced project, plus Magic Rocks are inexpensive, so although I'm usually a do-it-yourself type, this is one case where I'd recommend buying the project rather than gathering all the materials yourself.

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Crystal Geode Science Project

You can make your own geode using plaster of paris, alum, and food coloring.
You can make your own geode using plaster of paris, alum, and food coloring. Anne Helmenstine

You can make your own geode using alum from your kitchen and either an eggshell or else plaster of paris to make the 'rock' for the geode or you can use a crystal geode kit. There isn't a significant difference between a totally homemade geode and one from a kit, so deciding between the two is mainly about price and convenience.

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Insta-Snow Science Project

Fake snow or insta-snow is made from sodium polyacrylate, a water-absorbing polymer.
Fake snow or insta-snow is made from sodium polyacrylate, a water-absorbing polymer. Anne Helmenstine

It's pretty easy to locate insta-snow online or in stores, but you can also make your own.

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Bend Water with Static Science Project

Charge a plastic comb with static electricity from your hair and use it to bend a stream of water.
Charge a plastic comb with static electricity from your hair and use it to bend a stream of water. Anne Helmenstine

All you need is a comb and some water to try this fun science project.

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Epsom Salt Crystals Science Project

Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. It's easy to grow Epsom salt crystals.
Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. It's easy to grow Epsom salt crystals. The crystals typically resemble shards or spikes. Initially the crystals are clear, though they whiten over time. Anne Helmenstine

Growing Epsom salt crystals is an easy crystal growing project that you can do at home.

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Chalk Chromatography Science Project

These chalk chromatogaphy examples were made using chalk with ink and food coloring.
These chalk chromatogaphy examples were made using chalk with ink and food coloring. Anne Helmenstine

Use chalk and rubbing alcohol to separate the colors in ink or food coloring. It's a quick and easy project that demonstrates the principles of chromatography.

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Bubble Print Science Project

Bubble Print
Bubble Print. Anne Helmenstine

You can make bubble prints to learn about how bubbles are shaped and how pigments combine to make different colors. Plus, they just make interesting artwork!

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Borax Crystal Snowflake Science Project

Borax crystal snowflakes are fun and easy to make.
Borax crystal snowflakes are fun and easy to make. Anne Helmenstine

Borax crystal snowflakes are among the easiest and quickest crystals to grow. If you set up your crystals before you go to bed, you'll have sparkling snowflakes in the morning! You can hang the crystals in a sunny window or use them to decorate for the winter holidays.

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Lava Lamp Science Project

You can make your own lava lamp using safe household ingredients.
You can make your own lava lamp using safe household ingredients. Anne Helmenstine

This lava lamp uses safe ingredients. A chemical reaction is used to make the bubbles, not heat, so while this lava lamp doesn't bubble indefinitely, you can recharge the bottle again and again.

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Marbled Paper Science Project

If you use scented shaving cream, you can make holiday-scented gifts.
If you use scented shaving cream, you can make holiday-scented gifts. It's easy to find peppermint-scented shaving cream for the winter holidays. Try a floral scent for Valentine's Day. Anne Helmenstine

Making marbled paper is a fun way to study the actions of surfactants. In addition to making pretty-colored wrapping paper, you have the option of making your paper scented.

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Rubber Egg Science Project

If you soak a raw egg in vinegar, its shell will dissolve and the egg will gel.
If you soak a raw egg in vinegar, its shell will dissolve and the egg will gel. Sami Sarkis / Getty Images

You can bounce a 'rubber' egg like a ball. You can rubberize chicken bones by soaking them in vinegar, too.

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Rainbow in a Glass Science Project

Make the rainbow by pouring the most dense liquid on the bottom and the least dense liquid on top.
Make the rainbow by pouring the most dense liquid on the bottom and the least dense liquid on top. In this case, the solution with the most sugar goes on the bottom. Anne Helmenstine

You probably know you can make a density column using liquids of different densities that won't mix. Did you know you can layer different densities of sugar water to make a rainbow-colored column? It's an easy way to make layers, plus it's non-toxic.

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Mentos & Diet Cola Science Project

The mentos & diet cola fountain is easy and fun.
This is an easy project. You'll get all wet, but as long as you use diet cola you won't get sticky. Just drop a roll of mentos all at once into a 2-liter bottle of diet cola. Anne Helmenstine

The Mentos and diet soda fountain is a well-known fun project, but you can get a similar effect using other rolled candies (such as Lifesavers) and any soda.

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Glowing Jell-O

It's easy to make glowing gelatin.
It's easy to make glowing gelatin. Just substitute tonic water for water in the recipe. You can cut it into shapes if you like. Ultraviolet light makes it glow, like from a black light. Anne Helmenstine

The glowing gelatin recipe is very easy. Of course, you don't have to cut your food into shapes to play with it, but it somehow seemed more fun.

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Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

Photo of people making liquid nitrogen ice cream.
I highly recommend the person stirring the ice cream wear insulated gloves, rather than risk a burn from an accidental nitrogen splash. Nicolas George

When you make liquid nitrogen ice cream the nitrogen boils off harmlessly into the air rather than becoming an ingredient in the recipe. Nitrogen is used to cool your ice cream so that you don't have to wait around for a freezer or ice cream maker.

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Glowing Hand Punch

This festive punch has a glowing hand and gives off lots of fog.
This festive punch has a glowing hand and gives off lots of fog. It tastes great, too!. Anne Helmenstine

This punch recipe is great for several reasons. It produces fog, it's bubbly, it glows, and it tastes yummy.

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Green Fire Jack-o-Lantern

This Halloween jack-o-lantern is filled with green fire.
You could put a simple candle inside your Halloween jack-o-lantern, but filling it with green fire is much more fun!. Anne Helmenstine

With a little understanding of chemistry, you could fill your pumpkin with fire of any color, but the green fire just seems extra-spooky.

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Lichtenberg Figures

Lichtenberg Figure
This Lichtenberg figure was made by shooting a beam of electrons (~2.2 million volts) through an insulator. The pattern is illuminated by blue LEDs. Bert Hickman, Wikipedia Commons

What you need in order to make your own Lichtenberg figure is a source of static electricity, a material that is an electrical insulator, and a means of revealing the pattern the electricity makes as it makes it way through the insulator. Light can display a pattern made in a clear substance. Photocopier toner can be used to reveal the pattern on an opaque surface.

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Purple Fire

It's easy to make violet fire. Just ignite a mixture of salt substitute and methanol.
It's easy to make violet fire. Just ignite a mixture of salt substitute and methanol. Anne Helmenstine

Potassium salts can be burned to make purple fire. Probably the easiest potassium salt to obtain is potassium chloride, which is used as a salt substitute.

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Microwave Ivory Soap

This soap sculpture actually resulted from a small piece of Ivory soap.
This soap sculpture actually resulted from a small piece of Ivory soap. My microwave literally filled when I nuked an entire bar. Anne Helmenstine

Aside from being an incredible simple yet entertaining project, microwaving Ivory soap will make your kitchen smell soapy clean.

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Copper Sulfate Crystals

Copper Sulfate Crystals
Copper Sulfate Crystals. Stephanb, wikipedia.org

You can order copper sulfate to grow copper sulfate crystals from a chemical supplier or you can find it in products used to control algae in pools and aquaria.

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Green Eggs

One way to make green eggs is using food coloring, but you can also turn an egg white green using cabbage juice.
One way to make green eggs is using food coloring, but you can also turn an egg white green using cabbage juice. Steve Cicero, Getty Images

While it may not look particularly appetizing, green eggs are edible. The natural color that you add to the egg starts out red or purple, so you get to see a pH indicator in action as the slightly alkaline egg white reacts with the coloring to turn it green.

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Colored Flowers

Blue Daisy
Blue Daisy. Frances Twitty, Getty Images

You can use the same trick used by florists to color flowers. Learn about transpiration and capillary action while making something pretty!

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Glowing Mentos Fountain

Glow-in-the-dark fountain!
What do you get when you drop Mentos candies into tonic water that is lit with a black light? Glow-in-the-dark fountain!. Anne Helmenstine

The glowing Mentos fountain is just as easy to achieve as the regular mentos and soda fountain. The 'secret' is using tonic water instead of any other soda. A black light causes the quinine in the tonic water to fluoresce bright blue.

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Citrus Fire

Squeeze citrus oil onto a flame for a bright flash of fire.
Squeeze citrus oil onto a flame for a bright flash of fire. Anne Helmenstine

Making your own citrus mini-flamethrower is very easy, plus it's one of the safer projects you can do that involves fire.

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Dry Ice Bubbles

This is what you get when you drop a piece of dry ice into bubble solution.
This is what you get when you drop a piece of dry ice into bubble solution. Anne Helmenstine

Nothing could be easier than making dry ice bubbles. The bubbles are cloudy and cold and last a long time.

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Dry Ice Crystal Ball

This is a dry ice bubble.
If you coat a container of water and dry ice with bubble solution you will get a bubble that sort of resembles a crystal ball. Anne Helmenstine

The bubble produced by dry ice resembles a swirling cloudy crystal ball.

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Colored Chalk

You can make colored chalk yourself.
You can make colored chalk yourself. Jeffrey Hamilton, Getty Images

Making colored chalk is an easy project that is suitable for kids as well as adults.

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Salt and Vinegar Crystals

Salt and vinegar crystals are non-toxic and easy to grow.
Salt and vinegar crystals are non-toxic and easy to grow. You can color the crystals with food coloring if you wish. Anne Helmenstine

Salt and vinegar crystals are among the easiest crystals to grow yourself.

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Chrome Alum Crystal

This is a crystal of chrome alum, also known as chromium alum.
This is a crystal of chrome alum, also known as chromium alum. The crystal displays the characteristic purple color and octohedral shape. Ra'ike, Wikipedia Commons

Isn't this crystal stunning? It is also one of the easiest crystals that you can grow yourself.

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Epsom Salt Crystal Needles

Epsom salt crystals needles grow in a matter of hours. You can grow clear or colored crystals.
Epsom salt crystals needles grow in a matter of hours. You can grow clear or colored crystals. Anne Helmenstine

Epsom salt or magnesium sulfate is a common household chemical used for laundry, baths, and medicinal purposes. Growing epsom salt crystal needles is one of the quickest crystal projects.

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Colored Easter Eggs

It's safe and easy to make your own natural Easter egg dyes from common foods and flowers.
It's safe and easy to make your own natural Easter egg dyes from common foods and flowers. Steve Cole, Getty Images

Learn how to make natural non-toxic Easter egg dyes.

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Pepper Science Magic Trick

All you need is water, pepper, and a drop of detergent to perform the pepper trick.
All you need is water, pepper, and a drop of detergent to perform the pepper trick. Anne Helmenstine

The pepper and water science magic trick is especially popular with kids.

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Match Science Trick

Pour water into a shallow dish, light a match in the center of the dish and cover it with a glass.
Pour water into a shallow dish, light a match in the center of the dish and cover it with a glass. The water will be drawn into the glass. Anne Helmenstine

The match and water science magic trick is easy to perform and only requires everyday household ingredients.

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Homemade Smoke Bomb

This homemade smoke bomb is easy to make and only requires two ingredients.
This homemade smoke bomb is easy to make and only requires two ingredients. Anne Helmenstine

You can make a smoke bomb yourself quickly, easily, and safely.

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Density Column

You can make a colorful many-layered density column using common household liquids.
You can make a colorful many-layered density column using common household liquids. Anne Helmenstine

This density column is easy to make using common household materials.

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Red Cabbage pH Indicator

Red cabbage juice can be used to test the pH of common household chemicals.
Red cabbage juice can be used to test the pH of common household chemicals. From left to right, the colors result from lemon juice, natural red cabbage juice, ammonia, and laundry detergent. Anne Helmenstine

It's very easy to make your own red cabbage pH indicator, which you can use to test the pH of common household products or other chemicals.

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pH Paper Test Strips

These pH paper test strips were made using coffee filters dipped in red cabbage juice.
These pH paper test strips were made using paper coffee filters that had been cut up into strips and dipped in red cabbage juice. The strips can be used to test the pH of common household chemicals. Anne Helmenstine

pH paper test strips are surprisingingly easy and inexpensive to make. Using cabbage juice and coffee filters, you can detect pH changes over a very wide pH range (2 to 11).

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Ketchup Packet Diver

Squeezing and releasing the bottle changes the size of the air bubble inside the ketchup packet.
Squeezing and releasing the bottle changes the size of the air bubble inside the ketchup packet. This alters the density of the packet, causing it to sink or float. Anne Helmenstine

The ketchup packet diver is a fun trick that can be used to illustrate density, buoyancy, and some of the principles of liquids and gases.

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Recycle Paper

These are shapes made from handmade paper which was crafted by recycling old paper.
These are shapes made from handmade paper which was crafted by recycling old paper. Anne Helmenstine

Making recycled paper is a great project for kids or anyone with a creative streak. You can decorate the paper or even embed seeds in it to make gifts you can plant.

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Flubber

Flubber is a non-sticky and non-toxic type of slime.
Flubber is a non-sticky and non-toxic type of slime. Anne Helmenstine

Flubber is an interesting type of slime you can make. It can be made in any color (or flavor) and is safe to eat.

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Salt Crystal Geode

This salt crystal geode was made using salt, water, food coloring and an egg shell.
This salt crystal geode was made using salt, water, food coloring and an egg shell. Anne Helmenstine

A salt crystal geode is extremely simple to make and uses common household ingredients.

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Homemade Firecrackers

Homemade firecrackers are easy and inexpensive to make.
Homemade firecrackers are easy and inexpensive to make. Anne Helmenstine

It's easy, inexpensive, and fun to make your own firecrackers. This is a good introductory fireworks project.

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Glowing Alum Crystals

These easy-to-grow alum crystals glow in the dark.
Glowing Alum Crystals These easy-to-grow alum crystals glow, thanks to the addition of a little fluorescent dye to the crystal growing solution. Anne Helmenstine

The glowing version of alum crystals is as easy to grow as the original version of these crystals.

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Sodium Acetate or Hot Ice

You can supercool sodium acetate and cause it to crystallize on command.
You can supercool hot ice or sodium acetate so that it will remain a liquid below its melting point. You can trigger crystallization on command, forming sculptures as the liquid solidifies. The reaction is exothermic so heat is generated by the hot ice. Anne Helmenstine

You can make your own sodium acetate or hot ice and then cause it to crystallize from a liquid into ice while you watch. The solidification generates heat, so to the casual observer it's as if you're turning water into hot ice.

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Traveling Flame Trick

If you blow out a candle, you can relight it from a distance with another flame.
If you blow out a candle, you can relight it from a distance with another flame. Anne Helmenstine

This is an easy science trick you can do with any candle. Try it!

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Glow in the Dark Pumpkin

This spooky Halloween pumpkin glows in the dark.
This spooky Halloween pumpkin glows in the dark. The jack-o-lantern face is formed by the areas that aren't coated with phosphorescent paint. Anne Helmenstine

This is a jack-o-lantern that will light up your Halloween without any use of knives or fire (or you could make a carved jack-o-lantern glow, too). The glowing effect is easy to achieve.

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Ectoplasm Slime

You can make this non-sticky, edible slime from two easy-to-find ingredients.
You can make this non-sticky, edible slime from two easy-to-find ingredients. It can be used as ectoplasm for Halloween costumes, haunted houses, and Halloween parties. Anne Helmenstine

It only takes a few minutes to make your own ectoplasm.

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Fake Neon Sign

You can make a glowing fake neon sign using plastic tubing and a black light.
You can make a glowing fake neon sign using plastic tubing and a black light. Anne Helmenstine

This is an easy glow in the dark project that uses the fluorescence of common materials to produce a brightly glowing sign.

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Colored Fire Pinecones

It's easy to make colored fire pinecones.
All you need to do to make a colored fire pinecone is sprinkle the pinecone with a non-toxic colorant. Anne Helmenstine

It only takes a few seconds to turn a regular pinecone into a pinecone that will burn with a multi-colored flame. Learn how to do it.

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Handheld Fireball

You can produce a flame cool enough to hold in your hand.
You can produce a flame cool enough to hold in your hand. Anne Helmenstine

You can make your own handheld fireball using common household materials.

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Potassium Alum Crystal

This is a crystal of potassium alum or potash alum.
This is a crystal of potassium alum or potash alum. Food coloring was added to these crystals, which are clear when the alum is pure. Anne Helmenstine

This crystal easily grows to a nice size overnight. You can tint the solution to make a simulated ruby.

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Emerald Crystal Geode

This is a plaster geode of emerald ammonium phosphate crystals.
This crystal geode was made by growing green-tinted ammonium phosphate crystals overnight in a plaster geode. Anne Helmenstine

Grow this easy simulated emerald crystal geode overnight.

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Simulated Emerald Crystal

This single crystal of ammonium phosphate grew overnight.
This single crystal of ammonium phosphate grew overnight. The green-tinted crystal resembles an emerald. Ammonium phosphate is the chemical most commonly found in crystal growing kits. Anne Helmenstine

This simulated emerald crystal is nontoxic and will grow overnight.

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Table Salt Crystals

These are cubic crystals of table salt or sodium chloride.
These are cubic crystals of table salt or sodium chloride. The salt crystals were produced by evaporating a salt solution on a black plate. The crystals are 3-mm across. Björn Appel

Table salt crystals are extremely simple to grow. One way you can grow them is to simply allow a saturated salt solution to evaporate on a plate. Here's how to make the salt solution.

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Borax Crystal Hearts

Grow borax crystals over a pipecleaner shaped like a heart to create sparkling borax crystal hearts.
Grow borax crystals over a pipecleaner shaped like a heart to create sparkling borax crystal hearts. Anne Helmenstine

Borax crystal hearts only take a few hours to grow. All you need is borax, a pipecleaner and hot water. Here's what to do.

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Charcoal Crystal Garden

Make a chemical crystal garden using salt, ammonia and laundry bluing.
Make a chemical crystal garden using salt, ammonia and laundry bluing on pieces of sponge, brick or charcoal. Anne Helmenstine

This chemical crystal garden is easy to grow. You can grow crystals without the bluing, but the delicate coral shapes really need this ingredient, which you can find online if it isn't sold at a store near you.

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Salt Crystal Garden Science Project

Grow magical-looking salt crystals from household chemicals.
Grow magical-looking salt crystals from household chemicals. This salt crystal garden is a classic crystal growing project. Anne Helmenstine

The salt crystal garden is easy to grow. All you need is a cardboard tube and some common household chemicals.

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Glow in the Dark Flower Science Project

Tonic water, which contains quinine, was used to impart a blue glow to this carnation.
Tonic water, which contains quinine, was used to impart a blue glow to this carnation. Anne and Todd Helmenstine

Make a real flower glow in the dark. There are several ways you can achieve the glowing effect. Make a flower glow!

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Melting Ice Science Experiment

The melting ice science experiment looks like an ice suncatcher!
The melting ice science experiment looks like an ice suncatcher!. Anne Helmenstine

Learn about freezing point depression, melting, erosion and more with this safe, non-toxic science project. It's perfect for kids, even young ones... try it