Posted by: whimsigal | April 19, 2008

1st Annual Road Less Traveled Science Fair

It’s finally here and we’re really excited to share our results with you! We’re also excited to give you links to the other participants in the fair! For everyone who participated, I created this little memento for you to put on your blog. Everyone’s a winner!!

Just right-click on the image and save it to put on your site if you want to.

Now, here are the links to all our science fair participants:

Gillen’s Outdoors – Why Organic Is Better

JesseGamer – Pangea
Toteleeding – Handmade Paper
Stuff About the Duff’s – Kites!
Ordinary Life Magic – Terrarium
My Total Perspective Vortex
Frog Creek – Rock Candy
Wistful Wanderlust
My So-Called Homeschool
Home Sweet Homeschoolers – Diet Coke and Mentos Explosions
I Candy – How lichen demonstrates air quality

Not everyone has posted their science fair projects yet, so if you go and can’t find it, please check back again later. The interesting thing I think you’ll find is that there are plenty of other posts from every day life that could qualify as science fair projects!! In fact, all of these blogs are so interesting that I guarantee you’ll be reading them for days to come and bookmarking them in your favorites!

Ok, on to the Science Fair Projects at Chez Curley. The first and probably most important thing we learned today was not to procrastinate on something like this, especially when you have to get up and go to your son’s baseball game that morning. The other thing we learned is that ANYTHING can happen. We decided to tackle Ryan’s project first which was making a “juice rocket”. You take an empty water bottle, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 2 Tbs baking soda, and a cork.

science fair_12.jpg Here we are getting the ingredients ready.

First your pour the lemon juice into the empty water bottle:

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Then the directions said to put the baking soda on one square of toilet paper, draw the edges of the paper together and then drop the entire packet into the bottle. Well, that didn’t really work so Sean decided to improvise. It was Improv Day at our house we later discovered.
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Sean quickly put the baking soda in the lemon juice and put the cork in the bottle and we waited for the magic to happen. Would there be enough pressure in the bottle built up by the gas created by the baking soda and lemon juice to blow the top off???
science fair_39.jpg

Well, not exactly. There was a hole in our cork so it splurted out of the top like lava from a volcano instead. Not to be deterred, Sean and the boys headed back to the drawing board and did the whole experiment again EXCEPT, they put the CAP on. Because boys like to blow crap up. Big boys and small boys. So again we waited for the magic.

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Hmmm. Nothing’s happening so Sean takes matters into his own hands and whacks the bottle with a broom.

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It went flying into the backyard but did not blow up. Sean picks it up and brings it to the boys and they each take a turn feeling how hard the bottle is. There’s so much pressure built up inside, how will it get out? Sean decides to take the cap off, thinking it will hiss like a soda pop. Ummmmm, yeah. Don’t do that again.

science fair_67.jpg

You can see from the photo that the top blew off and Sean still thought he had a hand on it. Not so much!

On to Iain’s experiment, the Human Battery!!!

Iain’s experiment called for a flashlight bulb, bulb holder, electrical wire, alligator clips, galvanized steel pipe, and copper pipe. Simple right?

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Sean and Iain work together to get the wire prepared and then they begin connecting the wire to the gator clips and then the clips to the pipes and bulb holder, respectively.

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Let there be light!!!!
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Oh, wait. Iain says the light isn’t working. He tried it with wet hands next. Still nothing! We decide to try using a potato. It was a sweet potato, I don’t know if that made any difference.

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Still, we got the big old squadoosh. No electricity!! We don’t know why we didn’t get enough of a charge to light the bulb and Ryan’s project didn’t go exactly as we planned but you know what? We got so much out of doing these projects. The mistakes and mishaps caused us all to ask questions, to try and come up with solutions and alternatives. It was a great exercise and it opened the doors to future projects, too.

I’m so thrilled that Iain wanted to do this. We had a great time as a family working together and it was fun interacting with our ever-growing internet family, too. I’ve gone and checked out three of the projects and was really blown away by them. Y’all are some interesting folks, let me tell ya!

I hope we’ll all do this again! If we do, I promise to give more notice if possible! Thanks again for your participation! If I left you off the list above, please email me at so I can get you on. I got a little confused when making my master list and may have left you off in error so please don’t take it personally if that happened to you!

Have a great weekend everybody!!



  1. Have you done mentos & Dietcoke rockets? We had a blast with those a couple years ago. There’s some fun youtube videos to see it on.

    Great fun projects!

  2. We haven’t done that but perhaps that’s next for us! Another one of the participants in the fair was going to do that. “Home Sweet Homeschoolers” is the link to follow for that project.

    I know the kids would love doing that one so maybe I’ll pick up the ingredients the next time I’m at the store.



  3. Even though it didn’t work like planned, what awesome family time to try to figure it all out. 🙂

    I just got our pictures uploaded to our blog and a post all about it. Tell Iain Thank you for coming up with this idea!

  4. What a fantastic effort! Looks like you all had heaps of fun. Will go for a tour later and check out the other participants.

    Great idea guys!


  5. I will have to write a post about doing this (with Gillen and Jesse) tomorrow. I learned a lot and it wasn’t just about their topics! I’m so glad that we did this. I love your pictures, as always.

  6. I have really enjoyed looking at all the great science projects.

  7. We’re late, but we’re up!

  8. Thanks for the good idea for the science fair, Iain!

    I really liked your pictures as always, Evie.


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