You can use a laser to demonstrate the Tyndall effect. A simple cat toy (laser pointer) will do but for this demonstration I’ll be using the laser from my DIY Laser Interferometer. “The Tyndall effect, also known as Tyndall scattering,” according to Wikipedia, “is light scattering by particles in a colloid or particles in a fine suspension.” You can use the laser to test three different mixtures: solutions, colloids, and suspensions.

Parts needed:

250 ml beaker



Table salt (NaCl)


Dirt from your garden

Tap water


You often see demonstrations of titration using an expensive glass burette, but you can build titration lab ware using a disposable serological pipette, a solder sucker bulb, and a ring stand or support stand. For this build I’m using my erector set support stand (I sometimes call it my Bunsen burner stand). Titration is the process of determining the unknown concentration of a solution by adding a known amount of a solution with a known concentration. For example, in an acid-base titration, you can determine the unknown concentration of an acid in a solution by adding a base solution of known concentration.

Tiny self-assembling transport networks, powered by nano-scale motors and controlled by DNA, have been developed. And the system can construct its own network of tracks spanning tens of micrometers in length, transport cargo across the network and even dismantle the tracks.

Researchers were inspired by the melanophore, used by fish cells to control their color. Tracks in the network all come from a central point, like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. Motor proteins transport pigment around the network, either concentrating it in the center or spreading it throughout the network. Concentrating pigment in the center makes the cells lighter, as the surrounding space is left empty and transparent.

Bisphenol A (BPA) in high quantity can harm people, just like almost anything. BPA has been labeled a concern by some because of its ability to be an endocrine disruptor that hijacks the normal responses of hormones. 

While toxicology studies have shown that only very high doses of this chemical affect exposed animals — doses as high as 50 mg/kg/day - by focusing on numerous endpoints a new review says it can find effects not detected in peer-reviewed toxicology studies. The authors of a new paper conclude that endocrine disruptors need to be studied at much lower doses.

In Part 2 of Science Play and Research Kit: Business Models, Packaging, and Marketing, we’ll discuss the Gillette Razor model. I’m sure you’ve heard of it: give the razor away and sell the blades. It would seem that this model is more myth than reality. There isn’t much in a science kit that you can actually patent and if you’ve bought in to open design from SPARK Part 1 patents would be an anathema to open design and science outreach.
Click here and sign up to be a participant on ABC’s Shark Tank. You’re probably thinking “what does appearing on a TV show have to do with The Science Play and Research Kit?” Let’s put things into perspective: you’ve designed the perfect science kit, you’ve won the $50,000 prize…then what? If you’re not thinking right now about how to build a sustainable business around your kit, then you’ve probably failed before you began. We’ll take a look at a few business models you may wish to consider. Part 1 of “Science Play and Research Kit: Business Models, Packaging, and Marketing” discusses Open Design.

Open Source Hardware

In my previous article, I posted the press release for the Science Play and Research kit. There are 76 days left in the competition. I can only produce one article per week due to my work schedule thus I’d only be able to come up with a chemistry set with 11 experiments. It wouldn't be much of a chemistry set would it? So, I’ve decided not to actually enter the competition but instead to post ideas for the set so whoever wants to use them can incorporate them into their design for SPARK. 

According to the FAQ page:

Does the entry need to be based on the science of chemistry?

Dear Science 2.0 writers:

Do any of you want to collaborate on developing a Science, Play and Research Kit (SPARK)? Here's the press release:

Polymers are found in countless commercial, medical, and industrial products and the porous kind are known as foam polymers.

Foam polymers are useful because they combine light weight with rigid mechanical properties and a group has developed a process to grow highly customizable coatings of foam-like polymers.  Foam polymers are used in a variety of ways, including the delivery of drugs in the body, as a framework for body tissues and implants, and as layers in laser targets for fusion research.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013 was awarded jointly to Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel "for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems".

While today, chemical modeling is carried out in computers, in the early 1970s that was far more difficult. Chemical reactions occur at lightning speed. In a fraction of a millisecond, electrons jump from one atomic nucleus to the other. Classical chemistry has a hard time keeping up; it is virtually impossible to experimentally map every little step in a chemical process using physical models.