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Robots come in all shapes and sizes. Some move on wheels, some walk on legs, some fly with wings, some are as big as a horse, and some can fit on your fingertip! Most of them are made of hard materials. So, what if we could build soft robots that bend, squirm, expand, and contract? Some advantages could result — for example, soft robots might be able to pick up fragile...

Have you ever wondered why ice cubes in your cold drink become gradually smaller, or why their surface becomes smoother as they melt? Does ice always melt this way? To answer those questions, we will run the experiment below: Materials Water balloons Water Freezer Oven mitt Small plates Cup Table Salt Water dropper or syringe Food coloring, preferably liquid Workspace that can get wet Towel to wipe your workspace Optional: Flash...

Materials Two modeling balloons (These are the long, skinny kind used to make balloon animals, not the round kind.) Two straws Two large binder clips Paper towel tube Fishing line or string (A fishing line will generally work better because it has lower friction.) Scissors Clear or masking tape One other person to help set up the rocket Balloon pump, to make it easier to inflate the balloon (optional) Two...

  Materials Neodymium magnets, also called rare earth magnets, 12 mm x 3 mm each (6 pack). Note: You can also use a single larger neodymium magnet instead of a stack of smaller magnets. Regular "refrigerator" magnets (or "ceramic") magnets will not be strong enough for this project. Magnet wire (one spool of 30 gauge wire) Alligator clip leads (2 pack) 3.5 mm stereo cable (male plug on one end, three exposed wires on the other...

Kinetic or Magic sand is actually just regular sand, with one important ingredient added – silicone oil. Silicone is a term used to refer to a group of materials that contain the elements silicon and oxygen. Silicones are polymers, or molecules made up of long chains of repeated units. Silicones are used in everything from hand lotion to car engine oil – they’re all around us! The reason we use silicones...