Science-up your Halloween By Saba Shafi, Work Experience Student Halloween is fast approaching. Make this year’s unforgettable by incorporating these 10 amazing science activities into your Halloween party! Add some ghostly colour, ghoulish lights and devilish fun… Glow in the dark pumpkins Create a spooky atmosphere by using glow in the dark paints to decorate your pumpkin. Have you ever wondered how they glow? Special substances called phosphors (such as zinc sulphide and strontium aluminate) store energy when exposed to light. When in the dark, phosphors release the stored energy over time in the form of light, causing objects to glow. This type of glowing is known as phosphorescence. Buy your glow in the dark paint and begin creating! Make Nebula jars Nebulas are clouds of hydrogen, helium gas, plasma and dust found in outer space, which you can see in the night sky as a hazy, beautiful bright patch. Named after the Latin word for “cloud”, nebulas are formed during the birth and death of a star. Create one of your very own nebula jars here. Magic colour changing potion Amaze the kids with this simple magical potion that changes colour. These potions use indicators, which are a type of solution that change colour due to the loss or gain of H+ ions. Add vinegar or soda to the potion and watch as it fizzes and changes colour. You can make your own universal indicator at home with simple kitchen ingredients here. TOP TIP: add some glow in the dark powder to make the indicator glow! Ghost rockets Add some spooky action with these ghost rockets. They are easy to make and are super fun too. Made from simple ingredients which can be found in your kitchen, this experiment works by the reaction of the substances causing a build-up of pressure within the containers. This causes the rockets to launch from the ground. Learn how to make the rockets here. Luminous drinks and desserts Did you know tonic water glows an icy blue under UV light? No? Well, many drinks and food emit colours when exposed to UV. Drinks containing vitamin B2 glow bright yellow, whilst vanilla ice cream glows a warm yellow. This is because they contain riboflavin or quinine, which emit light when exposed to UV radiation. This will really make Halloween unforgettable, and they’re edible too! Find amazing dessert and drink ideas here. Make magnetic slime This magnetic slime looks amazing and is great fun to play with. Made from iron powder, the attraction between positive and negative ions causes this slime to act gruesomely. Find instructions here on how to make magnetic slime. Glow in the dark Play-Doh Make glow in the dark Play-Doh and Halloween-themed objects with the little ones. It acts as regular Play-Doh, but with phosphorescent powder enabling it to store light during the day and emit it when the lights go out. Plus, its reusable too. Find the instructions here. TOP TIP: you can make salt dough this way too! Eyeballs in brine Make this Halloween centrepiece using eggs and vinegar to add a creepy touch. Egg shells dissolve in vinegar, leaving behind a thin membrane layer from the inside of the egg shell, making them look like realistic eyeballs. Instructions on how to create this gruesome effect can be found here. Halloween sludge Make Halloween sludge, using borax and glue. PVA glue is a polymer, yet the polymer chains are easily able to slide past each other, allowing the PVA glue to have a liquid consistency. When Borax is added to it, they form bonds with the polymers in glue preventing them from moving. Learn how to make it here TOP TIP: Add sparkle and Halloween confetti to make them really stand out! Halloween Lava lamps Make these easy Halloween lava lamps in any container. Lava lamps work on the basis that oil and water do not mix. The salts added to the solution produces carbon dioxide which floats to the top, as it is much lighter than air. Oil is less dense than water and thus forms a layer on top of the water creating an almost magical effect. Learn how to make your very own lava lamps here. We hope you enjoy these creative crafts, and unleash your inner scientist at the same time. Happy Halloween! Please ensure that care is taken when working with any of the materials or substances mentioned. We recommend that an adult supervise children at all times when experiments are performed. Experiments are not recommended for children 3 years and under due to potential choking hazard. Please follow instructions carefully, taking special consideration of any safety advice. Always wash hands thoroughly after trying any experiment. Keep hands away from eyes when performing any experiments and wear safety goggles when appropriate. Wash all surfaces and disinfect work areas when the science experiment is finished. The British Science Association shall not be held responsible for any damages that result from any activities discussed on this site. And as all children and situations are different, the British Science Association shall not be held responsible in the event of accident or injury that occurs while conducting experiments listed on this blog.