When you hear “science project,” you might think of your 5th grade baking-soda-and-vinegar volcano. However, science isn’t just fun for kids! Science projects are fun at any age. Doing these types of projects can also be an effective treatment for depression, loneliness, and even dementia. Science projects are great for activities in senior living communities or for caretakers of seniors. Check out these fun science projects for seniors!
Cloud in a Bottle
Supplies: plastic bottle with a screw on lid (like a 2-liter soda bottle), bike pump, wine cork, skewer, drill bit, big needle, or something else you can use to make a path for the pump needle to go through the cork, and rubbing alcohol
- Make sure your cork fits your bottle to form a tight seal (shave it down or find a bigger one if necessary). Trim the cork so it’s about the same length as the bike pump needle or smaller. Make a path through the cork for the bike pump needle using your skewer, drill bit, or big needle.
- Pour 1 tsp rubbing alcohol into the bottle and screw the lid back on. Shake and roll it around so that the alcohol coats the inside of the bottle.
- Insert the cork.
- Put the bike pump needle through the cork, and pump the bike pump 5 times. If the cork blows out of the bottle, a cloud will form behind it. If it doesn’t blow out, pump a few more times, and then take out the needle. You should see your cloud form behind it!
For more information and troubleshooting, check out this experiment on National Geographic.
Bottle rockets are a super fun elementary school project, but they are just as fun for seniors who want to tap into their inner child. You could create a competition with your senior living community residents and see whose bottle rocket flies the highest! You will use essentially the same supplies as your cloud-in-a-bottle project.
Tornado in a Bottle
Continue your weather-in-a-container themed experiments and make a tornado in a bottle. You’ll just need a couple of empty bottles, some water, and food coloring. Check out detailed instructions for your tornado in a bottle here.
Stellar Living hopes your residents or loved ones will enjoy these fun science projects for seniors! Many of our communities offer these kinds of activities for our residents every week. Find one of our communities near you here.