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super-hero-gray-mdEveryone loves superheros and their powers, so I can think of no better way to share this love than to throw a party. It’s a fun and entertaining theme as kids get to dress up as their favourite superhero.

As this blog is about throwing a great science party, I wanted to focus more on the entertaining demos and science the kids can get up to, rather than the decorations. Also, as this is such a popular theme you can find loads of decoration ideas online and at party stores. Here are a few ideas from Pinterest.

There are different ways to tailor this kind of party and I’m sure I’ll end up posting them in the future. However, in today’s party we’ll keep it quite broad as the kids get to recreate some of their favourite superpowers!

Sonic Scream: Banshee, Black Canary

Power: The ability to create a vocal sound of high amplitude than a normal human

Science Demo: This is a great video on how to generate a “Moaning Myrtle” sound vibration. She also explains how the sound is generated and why you get the different pitches.

Elasticity: Plastic Man, Mister Fantastic, Elastigirl

Elastigirl

Elastigirl

Power: The ability to stretch, deform, expand or contract one’s body into any form imaginable

Science Demo: Slime. You can find this in the Funny Fluids post

Liquification: Hydro-Man, T-1000 (Terminator 2)

Power: The ability to turn partially of completely into a liquid from a solid

Science Demo: Oobleck. You can find this in the Funny Fluids post

Air and Wind Manipulation: Wind Dancer, Red Tornado, Storm, Weather Wizard

Power: The ability to control, generate, or absorb air or wind

Science Demo: The kids can make their own tornado in a bottle. Below is a Steve Spangler demo and an explanation of what is happening.

Sublimation: Amelia Voght

Power: The ability to transform into a gaseous, mist, or fog-like form

Science Demo: Dry ice is so much fun and a great way to show sublimation. You can pick up dry ice at specialist stores and also some grocery stores carry it. Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide and when holding it you need gloves because it can give you frostbite  (you may prefer to show the kids this demo rather than get them to do it by themselves).

Sublimation at work (public domain image)

Sublimation at work (public domain image)

Sublimation is when a solid turns into gas without passing the liquid phase. This demo wows kids all the time because it looks just like normal ice but behaves differently. As soon as the dry ice is exposed to air you will see it sublimes as gas is released from it. To make the demo even more awe-inspiring add water to the dry ice. You’ll get lots of gas which looks like fog.

Invisibility: Invisible Woman, Cipher, The Predator, T-1000

Power: The ability to render oneself completely invisible

Science Demo: Let the kids make their own invisible ink and then decipher each others notes. You can find ways to do it and the science that allows this phenomenon here

Jet Propulsion: Iron Man, Cannonball

Power: The ability to move through energy explosion

Cannonball

Cannonball

Science Demo: This chemical reaction leads to a rather large explosion so make sure the kids stand far back once they set their rockets on the ground

What you need:

– Alka seltzer

– Film canister (you can order them from online as they are tricky to find)

– Water

*Safety goggles could be could idea if the kids are doing it themselves

Directions:

Put a little bit of water (1tsp) into the film canister. Add half an alka seltzer tablet. Quickly close the canister. Turn it upside down and rest it on a flat surface. Step far back (2 meters) and wait for the jet propulsion of the canister!

What is happening?

The alka seltzer reacts with the water in the canister, creating carbon dioxide gas. As the gas builds up it creates more and more pressure until the canister can’t hold anymore. The cap is then blasted down while the canister is blasted up – Newton’s third law of motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It behaves just like a rocket!  N.B you may want to do this outside.

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