I do not trade links with other web sites to up my search engine ranking. All of these sites are quality and non-commercial, or have a worthwhile non-commercial part that anybody can access. Contact me if you can recommend other web sites with great science material.
The Exploratorium science museum of San Francisco has set the standard for inspired science exploration since its inception. They surely have inspired me. Some of these "snacks" are versions of famous exhibits that you can make at home. The snacks are well thought out, refined and all around high quality. Poke around the rest of the Exploratorium site, too. There's always something interesting. Click on:
A team of inspired educators in India has put together photographic instructions and videos for hundreds of clever toys from junk. Most have a science theme. The "Do it details" link at the bottom of each project page gives detailed, print-friendly instructions. My only criticism is that sometimes they are sloppy about using other people's work and not attributing the source. But there is a lot of original work, too.
http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys.html YouTube instructional video home page http://www.youtube.com/user/arvindguptatoys
Bill Kuhl (pronounced "cool") has created a remarkable site. His articles are both far ranging--from solar and mousetrap cars to airplanes and water rockets--and yet detailed. I just watched the power point he created about mousetrap cars. It discusses all the nitty gritty little things that are so often glossed over. At last I'm becoming aware of other people who share my belief the it's the details that matter. The Science Guy video library is terrific, with over 60 categories in science, health and technology.You click on a category, then scroll down to choose the actual video.
Whan Grant Thompson told me that he was going to put out a video every 5 days, I didn't think it possible. Some of those videos are just ads and previews, but many are unique projects that you won't find anywhere else. When he builds on other people's work, he seems to really make the projects better.
David Williamson--who lives in London--is a true Renaissance man, great friend and a wonderful teacher (seen here guest teaching in my middle school during a visit).
At his YouTube channel you will find creative projects from Sterling and steam
engines to drawing bots; balloon-powered helicopters to solar-powered mobiles--made
from cheap or recycled stuff.
Most of the videos are linked to a web page with more details, or you can go directly to the index here
Sniff around the website--lots of stories, nooks and crannies.
To see some very short (1 or 2 MB) videos (I made these before there was YouTube)of some of his kinetic projects, click here.
This site is...umm... a little different. But who can resist such lofty scientific pursuits as "Unwise Microwave Oven Experiments" or "Evil genius hi-tech practical joke ideas" and "Childhood brain-modification techniques" or "The DisgustoScope?" At first blush you'll think this guy is mad as a hatter, but when you sniff around awhile you'll find loads of really high quality stuff by a brilliant and dedicated scientist who "learned to 'dance' with the subject." And you'll never think of science as dry and dull again. Click on:
Bill also has a good do-it-yourself science links page.
My introduction to
Nyle Steiner's work was this amazing hybrid of static electricity levitation and glider, yet simple to make with good instructions (note that static electicity projects work better in cool, dry weather (winter).
but there are other quirky imaginaative projects, particularly electronics, His website
Given the footprint and success of Make publications, videos and events, it hardly seems necessary to mention them. The trick is sifting through the sheer volume. Certain subjects dominate--like 3-D printers/ quadracopters/ Aruino/ Radio Shack projects--but there's an amazing diversity of other high quality projects too if you take the time to look.
My friend Erik Herman does science outreach at Cornell University and has developed some amazing projects, from dolphin ring generators to air rocket launchers.
Erik's YouTube Channel
I think I have a twin brother. Mr.Stanislav Horvath, a Slovakian teacher 1). likes science toys, 2.) creates videos about how to make them, and 3.) includes his students in the videos. And it's almost like we share the same mind. I worked on a video with students about making a small hot air balloon for months. Experimentatori uploaded his video just before I put up mine. Our methods differed slightly, but were amazingly similar. Great creativity here. Language understanding could be a problem. However, the videos are so well made that even not understanding a word of Slovak, I understand most of what's going on. This is the link to his page of YouTube videos http://www.youtube.com/user/experimentator
By now we know that many scientists are a bit eccentric, and the Brits...well, you know...double dose! So don't panic when I say this excellent British site-- associated with Cambridge University-- is created by a group calling themselves the Naked Scientists (" to strip science down to the bare essentials, and promote it to the general public.") Get it? Nothing objectionable to worry about after all.
There are over 150 excellent projects, many of them originals that I've not seen elsewhere. Here are some of my favorites to get started: bubbles that sink (antibubbles), centrifugal pump made from straws, infrared camera from a webcam . Thanks to North Carolinian Louise Omoto Kessel--story teller, homesteader, homeschool mom and camp organizer--for the heads up.
The main Kitchen Science Experiments page is here. http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/kitchenscience/
Here's another fun, scrappy labor-of-love site by Jose Pino. http://www.josepino.com/other_projects/ I especially like the Beakman motor, thermometer, barometer, toothpick designs, and who could forget the pinwheels--still have to try some of the others.
There’s not much chemistry on sciencetoymaker, but why bother when such a quality site as NurdRage has that covered? Find here all the nitty-gritty details of making glow sticks, solar cells, glow-in-the-dark powder, galvanizing metal, flash crystals, dissolving glass and, yes, lots of ways to make fire without matches. There’s some cool physics, too, about making things levitate. Best of all, he’s a master of using serendipitous moments to explain further what’s happening, and I even detect some dry humor. Who knew chemistry could be so entertaining?
The equipment and chemicals are not the sort of thing most of us have lying around, though a high school lab might. The exact identity of the alpha nerd is a mystery, but he goes by Dr. N. Butyl Lithium, and he’s a Canadian research scientist working in the field of organometallic chemistry. Whoever he is, we’re all fortunate that he takes the time and effort to turn on hundreds of thousands of people around the world to science.
I don't know this guy, but he has some of the most amazing science demonstrations described and on video. They gave me the information and confidence to finally tackle some of them. http://chemmovies.unl.edu/chemistry/beckerdemos/bd000.html
Lots of ordinary people have sent in instructions and some pictures for doing something. The subjects range from really useful to really weird. http://www.instructables.com/
http://www.abc.net.au/science/surfingscientist/teachstuff/demonstrations/ Thanks again to Erik Bell for the heads up. Judging from the e-mails I get, there is a lot of interest in sci toys down under. This link is from ABC TV in Australia. Some of the ideas are oldies but goodies.
This site has an amazing variety of science toys, from a simple laser communicator to vacuum pump, magnetic levitation to crystal radio. There is a catalog for hard-to-find things like gallium (a liquid metal--non-toxic substitute for mercury). Cool site!
This Fun Science site appears to be from Italy, well translated into English. I first became aware of the site when I stumbled across its historic glass sphere microscope. Indeed, two thirds of the items are about microscopy and optics.
There is also an interesting page featuring folk toys
This is what you get when a couple of MIT grad students meet a comic book creator. The marshmallow blowgun and the balloon hovercraft are my favorites. Instructables (see above) took them over.
Wow, I wish I got holiday cards from Mr. Eggers, the paper engineer who has created this how-to site! Maybe if enough of us ask nicely he will work on the "under construction" projects.
This site is all about making hot air balloons out of thin plastic dry cleaner's bags heated and sent aloft with birthday candles. Tom takes a serious approach to the hot air balloons and really delves into the science and the math that makes them work. Obviously people need to exercise caution with these, but why shun them altogether? I also have a plastic bag hot air balloon project that that details bag thicknes--an important but often overlooked consideration. Too thick and it's too heavy to fly.
Here are some more great projects for very young kids. One could say that Joel Henriques' blog is more art than science. But when you get to projects for very young kids the already blurred line between art and science gets even more nebulous. And whatever you call it, they are quality projects. This Oregonian has 3 year old twin daughters and he makes wonderful things with them. The link is to a fish cutout, lots more if you look around..
This site by New Zealander Tim Hunt to is not limited to science projects, but many are. There is a page of featured projects, great for young kids. Then there is the Ultimate Project List of projects from around the world. Tim has a good eye for finding the best sites for inspiration and ideas.http://www.schoolholidayprojects.com/index.html
I have a few qualms with this site, but there are a lot of ideas for good science projects—especially oldies but goodies that every kid should try. My criticisms include the tendency to have a nice picture to get people to click on a project, but only text for instructions when some illustration would be helpful. You can get around that by doing a search for better instructions once you have the idea. My second gripe is the tendency of at least one of their contributors to take their ideas from sites like the Exploratorium Snacks (top of page) and present them without attributing the source. Science project plagiarism is kind of sore point for me.