Class 11 and 12 are pretty important in the grand scheme of things because they help prepare students for college academics.
While most students are interested in Science, the subject can bog them down after a while, drowning as they are under the weight of all the new and complex concepts that they are learning.
Here is what you can do to fix this. Add project activities to the mix. While Science is all about theory, it is also equally about doing and experimenting and of course, confirming the results. Give students a taste of being scientists/researchers with these 6 fun project activities.
1. What – A Project On Effect Of Music On Plant Growth
Why : To know if music affects plant growth.
Materials : 25-30 fast growing plant seeds, sound-proof insulator foam, 4 plywood boxes, CD player with earphones, and CD’s with different types of music ( spoken words, classic, heavy rock music etc.)
How : Fit sound-proof insulators in 4 plywood boxes. Plant the seeds in black planters and place these black planters in each plywood box with a CD player outside the box and its earphones inside the black planter. Check the growth for twenty days and draw a conclusion as to if music affects plant growth, based on the information gathered and growth observed.
2. What – A Project To Determine If Spinach Grows In Shade
Why : To know if the amount of light affects the germination of spinach seeds
Materials : Spinach seeds, Germination trays and shade cloths
How : Plant the spinach seeds in each cell in 4 different germination trays. Cover the first tray with a shade cloth that blocks out 50% of sunlight, the second tray with a shade cloth which blocks out 75% of sunlight, the third tray with a shade cloth that blocks out 90% of sunlight and leave the fourth tray uncovered. Observe the rate of seed germination in these four trays and draw a conclusion as to how the amount of light affects the germination of spinach seeds.
3. What – A Project On How To Make Bio-Diesel
Why : To prepare bio-diesel and to know why it is better than fossil fuel petroleum diesel
Materials : Vegetable oil, antifreeze, Sodium Hydroxide, plastic containers, scales, blender, thermometer, duct tape and funnel.
How : Add 200 ml of antifreeze to a plastic container and add Sodium Hydroxide to it so that the antifreeze is absorbed. Stir the solution, the mixture becomes foamy. Add a liter of vegetable oil to the mixture and blend it in a blender for about 20 minutes. Pour the mixture into a bottle and wait for about 6 to 8 hours till the byproduct is separated from the bio-diesel. After the byproduct settles at the bottom of the bottle, separate the bio-diesel into another glass bottle. To make the bio-diesel clear, add the bio-diesel to a wash bottle that has a small hole at the bottom which is covered by a duct tape. Add 1/2 liter of water to the wash bottle and roll it, then remove the duct tape and allow water to drain. Repeat this cleaning process till the bio-diesel is clear.
4. What – A Project On The Effect Of Color On The Amount Of Heat Radiated
Why : To find out which colors have the highest emissivity and which colors radiate heat faster.
Materials : 10 jars of different colors of which one is colorless, two 500 watts bulbs, glass thermometers.
How : Divide the colored jars into 3 groups. Group 1: red, blue, yellow; Group 2 : gold, silver, black; Group 3 : white, green,purple. Fill each jar with 80 ml of 24 degree C water and test four jars at a time ( one group + control jar). Fit two 500 watts bulbs at the workplace. Make the arrangement such that there are 2 jars per light, both 20 cm away from the light and 3 cm away from each other. Place a foil between the two lights to prevent any affect on other jars. Check the temperature every 10 minutes and record the change in temperature in each colored jar and conclude which colored jar radiates more heat.
5. What – A Project To Determine The Effectiveness Of Vegetable Dyes
Why : To know how effectively vegetable dyes work
Materials : Vegetables (beetroots, carrots, sweet potatoes etc.), strips of pure cotton fibers, a laundry soap and a container with lid.
How : Extract pigment dyes from the vegetables and dye three sets of cotton strips with theses dyes. Examine the strips and place the set of darker colored strips in an enclosed box. Wash the second set of strips in water and apply laundry soap. Keep the third set at an open window and watch it fading out in sunlight. The experiment helps you understand that the darkness and strength of a dye does not depend on the dark color of a vegetable.
6. What – To understand the Doppler effect and how it is used to measure rotation in a fiber gyroscope
Materials : An easy turn-table, HeNe laser and a beam splitter
How : Use HeNe laser to assemble a interferometer. Upon assembling, two beams will appear in opposite directions on a rotating platform. To enhance the Doppler Effect, the interferometer should have a long fiber as a beam carrier for the two counter propagating beams. Split the beam into two using a beam splitter so that these can be injected into the fiber and observe the return beams creating a fringe pattern on the screen.Observe the change in fringe patterns at different speeds when the spool of fiber rotates on the turn-table.
If you try out any of these projects in the classroom, do let us know how they went! You can also share your suggestions for fun science exeperiments/projects, with us in the comments section below!