Spooky Science!

It’s Halloween this week and we’ll be busy delivering spooky dry ice and slime workshops in Cottingham and Brough and a library in Doncaster. There are still a few places left, so book now, using the link below.


If you fancy having a go at some spooky science experiments yourself at home, here’s a few simple ones to start you off!

Dancing Ghosts

For the experiment you’ll need:

  • A piece of tissue paper
  • A balloon
  • Scissors
  • A head of hair 

Cut out some ghost shapes around 1.5 inches long then lay them flat on the table. Blow up a balloon and rub it on your hair vigorously. Then hold the balloon over the ghosts and watch them dance.

How does it work?

When you rub the balloon through your hair you create a build up of invisible electrons. The electrons have the power to pull very light objects toward them, which in this case is the tissue ghost! 

Fizzy Pumpkin Patch

This experiment is brilliant for toddlers!


Baking Soda
Dish Soap
Food Coloring {Green}

Shallow Container
Squeeze Bottles
Small Pumpkins

Set Up:

In the shallow dish, place small drops of dish soap a few inches apart. Then place tiny drops of food coloring in each drop. Cover the tray with the baking soda until you can’t see the drops any more.

Fill the squeeze bottles halfway with vinegar and you are ready to go. With each squirt your toddler will be amazed at the fizz.

Add the pumpkins and you’ve made your own fizzy pumpkin patch!

And now for the science!

This is a simple but effective experiment demonstrating the reaction between a base and an acid. In this case the base is the baking soda and the acid is the vinegar.

Hydrogen ions in the vinegar react with the sodium and bicarbonate ions in the baking soda. The result of this initial reaction is two new chemicals: carbonic acid and sodium acetate.

The second reaction is a decomposition reaction. The carbonic acid formed as a result of the first reaction immediately begins to decompose into water and carbon dioxide gas, which creates those fizzy bubbles!

Bubbling Pumpkin Bombs

What you need:

Baking powder

  • Cornflour
  • Vinegar
  • Zip-lock bags
  • Food colouring
  • Black marker pen
  • Toilet paper
  • Start by drawing jack-o-lantern and ghost faces onto zip-seal bags.  
  • We used a permanent marker and sandwich-size bags.  Larger bags will also work; you will just need more of the active ingredients.

Once the marker on the bags is dry you can either fill them all in advance with the vinegar or fill them outside as you go.  

  • You want to fill each bag roughly 1/3 of the way with vinegar.  
  • Add 2-3 teaspoons of cornflour to each bag.
  • You will also want to add orange food coloring to the pumpkin bags.
  • Then, tightly seal the bags and mix the ingredients until combined.
  • For each bag you will need to make a baking soda bomb.  To do this place baking soda in the middle of a square of toilet paper, and then fold the paper into a ball.
  • You will want to let off one “Boo” or pumpkin at a time.  
  • Seal the bag almost all the way, leaving just enough room to place a baking soda bomb in.
  • Do not let the bomb go until you have sealed the bag all the way.
  • Double check to make sure the zipper is fully sealed.
  • Then, drop the baking soda bomb, give the bag a quick shake, and set it down.  
  • The bag will fill with pressure until it POPS & explodes, sending colorful bubbles flying!
Taken from growingajewelledrose.com

Blobby Lava Lamp

What you need:

  • A 1 litre empty plastic drinks bottle
  • 3/4 cups of water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Alka Seltzer
  • Green or red food colouring

Pour the water into the bottle.

Pour the vegetable oil slowly into the bottle until it’s almost full. You may have to wait a few minutes for the oil and water to separate.

Add 10 drops of food colouring to the bottle. The drops will pass through the oil and then mix with the water below.

Break an Alka Seltzer tablet in half and drop the half tablet into the bottle. It will sink to the bottom and you can watch the blobs start to form!

Add another half tablet once the effect dies down

Taken from Sciencebob.com

Have a great Halloween and enjoy experimenting!

Katie, Carol, Sarah and Anita

The Lab Rascals Team xx

The Science of Bath Bombs!

Everyone loves a good bath bomb!  They’re fizzy, colourful and make your bath feel extra special! But did you know there’s some cool science going on as you drop that ball of fizz into your bath? This week we’ve been delivering our bath bomb workshop in Hull, Beverley and Scunthorpe.

Making bath bombs is all about acids and alkalines. Our workshops are aimed at ages 5+ so this is quite a complex topic for the young children but we demonstrate how we can identify acids and alkalis, using substances they recognise and they’re always fascinated.

The acid and alkali combination is what makes that fantastic fizz as you drop the bath bomb into the water. The acid we use is citric acid and our alkaline is sodium bicarbonate. The combination of these 2 ingredients added to water causes a chemical reaction, and gives us that fizz!

But what is citric acid? It’s a relatively weak acid that comes from citrus fruits; lemons, limes and oranges. It’s also added to the outside of fizzy sweets to give them that slightly sour, taste!

Sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking powder is a weak alkaline. If these ingredients are mixed together and then added to water a chemical reaction occurs. The acid and alkaline neutralize the effects of each other. A process called neutralization! Carbon dioxide is formed and this creates rapidly forming bubbles, which is where that fizz comes from! Before the children make the bath bombs we demonstrate this by adding the ingredients to a balloon and watching the carbon dioxide inflate the balloon.

During our workshop the children make 2 bath bombs with a choice of colours and fragrances! The most popular fragrance this week has to be bubblegum! They actually look forward to going home and having a bath!

Thanks to everyone who attended our workshops this week! Next week we have a mixture of volcanoes and slime workshops! See you there!


Have a great weekend!

Katie, Carol, James, Lauren and Anita

The Lab Rascals Team xxx

Holiday time!!

Our summer holiday workshops are now in full swing! This week we’ve been delivering workshops on volcanoes in Hull and Dry Ice in Beverley. We aim to make our science workshops fun and fully hands-on as we believe children learn better through  play and interactivity. 

The volcanoes workshop is great fun and involves a bit of creativity. We start by finding out what children know about volcanoes and then we discuss the different types of volcanoes on Earth and on other planets and moons. Children are always amazed at the idea of cryovolanoes! They then get to build and design their own volcano! We love the fact that parents always get involved! It sometimes gets very competitive! 

Then it’s time to erupt the volcanoes! We use dry ice and hot water to erupt ours. It looks great and has the added bonus of creating a rumble effect, like an earthquake! We then add in a bit of washing up liquid to create bubble lava, which always gets a big “WOAH”!!

This workshop is also popular in schools when children are studying volcanoes as a topic. More details on our website www.labrascals.co.uk

Today we’ve been at the Parks Children’s centre in Hull providing science fun at a family fun day! We made UV bracelets, slime and provided dry ice experiments. We were incredibly busy with slime being extremely popular as usual.

On Friday we’ll be in Flemingate, Beverley with our dry ice workshop. This is really a lesson on the states of matter, but the children have so much fun with the hands-on experiments they don’t realise they’re learning a fairly complex topic. We have a number of experiments that the children complete themselves after a health and safety briefing. There are always lots of “WOW”moments. 

We’ve got lots more holiday workshops to come over the next couple of weeks in Hull, Beverley and Scunthorpe, including bath bombs, slime, volcanoes and planetarium! Book now to avoid disappointment!


All of our workshops are available to book for schools. Have a look at our website for more details! www.labrascals.co.uk

Have a great weekend!

Katie, Carol, Lauren, James and Anita

The Lab Rascals Team xx

Half Term Science Fun

It’s been half term for most schools in East Yorkshire and North East Lincolnshire this week! But there’s no rest for us! We’ve been out and about delivering science workshops!

On Wednesday we were based at Burnby Halls and Gardens for their Community Day. After the terrible weather at the beginning of the week we were happy to see the sun shining!

Burnby Hall belonged to Percy and Katherine Stewart. Between 1906 and 1926, Percy and Katharine completed eight world tours, covering North America and Canada, Africa, India and the Far East, Europe, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands with Percy using his trips to hunt, shoot and fish. He and Katharine brought back souvenirs and trophies which now form the Stewart Museum collection. These are an eclectic mix of statuary, hunting trophies and curiosities.

Katharine died in April 1939 and Percy remained at Burnby Hall for the remainder of his life. He lived until the grand old age of 90, assisted in later life by his faithful housekeeper Miss Tibbott.

Both he and Katharine had no children and decided to leave the estate in trust to the people of Pocklington when they died.

On his death in 1962, these wishes were complied with and the Stewart Trust, established in 1964 was set up to run Burnby Hall Gardens and to administer the Stewart Museum collection.

The gardens feature 2 lakes which hold a national collection of Waterlilies

So it was a stunning location for delivering our slime workshops! We delivered 2 workshops throughout the day, both being fully booked really early in the day! The children made 2 different kinds of slime and learnt the science behind the slime. Everyone had a great time and we had some lovely feedback from the parents.

On Thursday we travelled to Scunthorpe to the Engineering University Technical College, where they hosted a Primary Lego STEM event, for Year 5 pupils. We delivered our LEGO wind energy workshop to a really enthusiastic group of children! They had excellent LEGO building skills and worked really well together in teams.

This was a really successful workshop. All the children really enjoyed it! And so did we!

We’ve spent the rest of the week working on a new Astronomy course we’re putting together, to be delivered in our planetarium. Watch this space!! (see what I did there?)

Have a great weekend!

Katie, Carol, Anita and Lauren

The Lab Rascals Team xx

Greenpower Hull Street Race

Last Sunday we had the pleasure of attending the Greenpower Hull Street Race, providing science outreach on behalf of Siemens Gamesa.

We have been working with Siemens Gamesa in schools delivering workshops on wind energy, which have been very successful. You can read more about that here https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/labrascals.home.blog/42

So we were delighted to be asked to work with them at the Greenpower street race in Hull, providing outreach relating to green energy. But first of all, what exactly is the Greenpower street race? It’s run by a charity, Greenpower Education Trust,
which gets young people enthusiastic about STEM subjects by challenging them to design, build, and race an electric car. They provide a basic, age appropriate kit car, which the young people then build onto. This is an international initiative, which culminates in a final in the UK. Last year we helped Healing Primary School in Grimsby build their car.

Healing Primary building their Greenpower car in 2018, sponsored by e.on

Students aged 9 – 25 can take part in the initiative, with older students building their own cars to exact specifications. More than 10,000 students take part each year, from primary school age through to university. According to their website, Greenpower is helping to address the engineering skills gap. The Royal Academy of Engineering estimates that the UK needs 104,000 STEM graduates per year and 56,000 technicians, between now and 2020.

So we were tasked with providing outreach for Siemens Gamesa related to green energy. In schools we would use LEGO to build a wind turbine to demonstrate wind energy but that wasn’t really possible at a public event. So we used dry ice to demonstrate how carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels is damaging our oceans through ocean acidification. This is a huge problem. The combustion of fossil fuels and other human activities have led to a flux of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Hannes Grobe 21:52, 12 August 2006 (UTC), Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany

According to NOAA, about 30% of this is absorbed by the oceans. The carbon dioxide mixes with the water creating carbonic acid, leading to a decrease in the pH of our oceans, meaning they are becoming more acidic. This is having a devastating effect on marine life. Calcium carbonate minerals are building blocks for skeletons and shells of marine organisms. Ocean acidification is causing areas of the oceans to become undersaturated with these minerals. The lack of these minerals is reducing the ability of some organisms to produce and maintain their shells. This affects sea life such as lobsters, crabs, mussels and also coral reefs. Fish are also unable to communicate effectively through water where pH is decreasing and water is becoming more acidic.

The children and adults who visited our stall on Sunday really enjoyed taking part in the experiment and we could directly link this to the work that Siemens Gamesa do in Hull, constructing wind turbine blades.

We even had a visit from ex-Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott who was very impressed with our experiment and our engagement with children on the subject of green energy. We even persuaded him to do the experiment himself.

For a bit of fun, and a lesson on sublimation we also did some self inflating balloons and UV bracelets, as part of the green energy topic.

We had an excellent day and even got chance to watch some of the racing!

Have a good weekend!

Katie, Carol, Lauren, Anita, Amanda

The Lab Rascals Team xxx