Quassy Amusement & Waterpark

Wacky Science

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Ron Gustafson, director of marketing & public relations at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark, has shared a few at-home projects from their ‘Wacky Science’ stage presentation at the park.

It's lots of fun and educational for the youngsters, with some assistance from adult family members!

Mini Volcano

  1. Mix a couple of heaping tablespoons of baking soda with about 1 ½ cups of water.
  2. Pour mixture into small soda bottle once much of the baking soda is dissolved.
  3. Pour in some white vinegar and watch the volcano.

Science Behind It

Baking soda is a neutralizer. That’s why you might see it in the refrigerator at home to get rid of nasty smells. I use it in my tennis shoes come July at the park for the same reason!  Vinegar – want to taste it?  The kids always say “No” because it’s sour. It’s also acidic and that makes it taste sour. So when the acidic vinegar is poured into the bottle with the baking soda solution (neutralizer), you create a reaction resulting in the fizzing volcano.

Balloon in a Bottle

  1. Drill a ¼-inch hole (adults should do this!) in the bottom of a 2 liter soda bottle – about an inch from the outside edge of the bottle (label should be taken off the bottle).
  2. Stretch a birthday party balloon over the mouth of the bottle and push the body of the balloon into the bottle.
  3. Now blow up the balloon inside the bottle (takes some practice) and let the air out. Repeat a couple of times so the kids see the air come out.
  4. Now, blow up your balloon again and once inflated, put your finger over the hole in the bottom of the bottle (the kids will likely not catch on).
  5. Hold your finger tightly over the hole and the air will stay in the balloon. Ron generally turns the bottle upside down on the stage and shake it a few times and the audience is astonished as the air won’t come out. Have the audience count to three and then release your finger and the air leaves the balloon!

Science Behind It

By holding your finger over the hole on the bottom of your bottle the third time you blow up the balloon, you create a vacuum within the bottle which actually holds air in the balloon, even though the mouth of the bottle has nothing on it! Pretty neat, huh?

Floating Golf Ball

  1. Place a CLEAN golf ball into the bottom of a 1-quart jar and fill the jar about 2/3 with uncooked rice. Now the ball is completely covered with rice at the bottom of the jar.
  2. Put the lid on the jar.  At this point, Ron generally has the student step aside on the stage and they go through a humorous routine about learning The Twist from Chubby Checker (‘60s rock star) ... and you better get this done before the bus leaves … Anyway, the student is instructed to shake the jar side-to-side (NOT up and down) to make the experiment work.
  3. When done properly – and yjru make certain it always is – the golf ball with “float” to the top of the rice.

Science Behind It

Throw the ball into a swimming pool and it sinks. How did it rise to the top of the rice?  In physics no two things can occupy the same space at once. By vigorously shaking the jar side-to-side it compacted – or eliminated – some of the airspace between the grains of rice, thus forcing the golf ball to the top! The same principle applies when we make water go ‘UP” when two soda bottles are connected mouth-to-mouth in another project.

Quassy Amusement Park & Waterpark is in its 111th year and features more than two dozen rides and attractions. Rides include the award-winning Wooden Warrior roller coaster, Reverse Time, Frantic, MusicFest, Yo-Yo super swings, Free Fall ‘N’ Drop Tower and Grand Carousel.

Splash Away Bay waterpark has dozens of ways to get drenched on warm summer days, including 15 slides, Saturation Station modular play area and a splash pad for toddlers. Quassy also features a laser maze attraction in its huge arcade building.