One, two, three, go. These soap powered boats are great fun to race, and a brilliant way of getting your kids to think scientifically whilst playing. Okay Alby we’re going to do a little test, and it’s a test of how much superhero power you have inside yourself. Pick a finger, a pointing finger. Alright. Now, you’ve got to summon up all your superhero powers into that finger. Okay, and place it right in the middle
that water. Get ready, get ready. Summon it up, summon it up. All the superhero power right in the middle of the water. Nothing’s really happened has it? Right, shall I have a go? I’ll summon up, summon up, summon up all my superhero power. Keep looking at the oregano, keep looking at the oregano. What? The oregano was so scared of my superhero powers, that it ran to the edges of the plate. Why is there green? What’s that green? That is the washing up liquid that I secretly had on my finger. Now why is that happening? Imagine, if you would, a balloon. You’ve got that very thin skin of rubber all round the outside of the balloon. You’ve got air all squeezed together on the inside of the balloon. It’s basically pushing the skin of the balloon tight. Well if you take a pin, then what you’ve done is you’ve weakened the skin of the balloon. Essentially, all of those rubbery molecules that make up the balloon are holding on to each other really tight. And then you give it one little tear and the whole thing rips apart. The surface of our water has this thing: surface tension. When we have that surface tension, all those water molecules are holding onto each other really tightly; but what washing up liquid does is it
breaks that surface tension. So if you break the surface tension in
the middle of that water the other molecules all pull away from
where the surface tension is broken, and when they pull away they drag the oregano with it. Can we use that important scientific discovery to have fun? Yes we can! Alby. Yes? I thought we could try it with a few different things, and see which one is the best. Okay! So we’ve got ten things here in a little ice cube tray. What one would you like to try first? Hand sanitizer. What do you think might happen? I think they’ll just go to the side again maybe. The molecules will pull the oregano out to the side. You’re right! It’s not the best because last time it was like really squished. Okay, so why don’t we write this down? Now, the truth is, it doesn’t matter if you understand all the real high brow science to this. But it doesn’t really matter if you can explain it to your kids either. The important thing about this is that
what we are gonna be doing is testing. Taking an idea, trying lots of different versions of it, seeing what works best. That, my friends, is the scientific method. It’s the underpinning of everything that’s brought us shoes, cars, penicillin. it’s about having a way of thinking
about the world that allows you not to be taken for a ride. Frankly, what better thing is there to give your kids than that? Woah! Wow! So what thing is best at breaking surface tension? Washing up liquid. Definite? Definite. Should we put that to the test? Put it to the test! So, Alby. What I’ve done, is I’ve gone to the RI website, and I’ve downloaded templates to make these little boats. Alright? Alright. So what we’re gonna do, is you’re gonna have a boat on this side and I’m gonna have a boat on that side. We’re gonna take some of this stuff we’ve already experimented with and use it as our fuel. Righty ho! Alright, ready? Yep. You’re going to use washing up liquid, I’m going to use hand soap, which, you scored nine out of ten. One, two, three, go. Yeah, yours absolutely cruised up that end! Look, I’m gonna have to help mine along. So washing up liquid was the winner? Yes. Alby was the winner? Yes! But Alby, was science the real winner? Yes. Nice! If you would like to try this experiment in your house with your own actual child. Then, why not go to the RI website? All of the bits and pieces you’ll need, some of the science explanation, that’s all there. Alternatively, Alby, people could subscribe to this channel. Mind blown, right, mind blown.