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This project is not going to win any fair, but if you are in a jam and just need SOMETHING and a decent grade, then this project might help:
Science Fair Project in One Hour
WHAT YOU NEED: maple syrup (cheap fake stuff is best), tall thin glass container like a flower vase (taller is better), at least 30 pennies, pot with 3 inches of water on stove, stopwatch, thermometer (but can do the project without one – see below).
QUESTION: How does temperature affect viscosity?
RESEARCH: look up “viscosity” and learn what viscosity is. NOTE if you actually have more than one hour, then also learn about how viscosity affects very small organisms like phytoplankton and fish larvae and think about how global climate changes could impact the viscosity of the oceans and what that might mean for marine ecosystems.
HYPOTHESIS (pick one, but only one):
—-If temperature increases, then viscosity will increase
—-If temperature increases, then viscosity will decrease
—-If temperature increases, then viscosity will stay the same
CHANGE THIS, MEASURE THAT
Independent variable (the one you will change) = temperature; measured with a thermometer or as a function of time with heat applied (called Heat Time; see below)
Dependent variable (the one you will measure) = viscosity; measured as the time it takes for an object to fall through a fluid (called Fall Time below). Low viscosity = Short fall time
Controlled variables (the ones you don’t care about but must stay the same between trials) = size/shape of container, maple syrup, pennies
1. Fill the glass container with maple syrup, put container in pot with about 3 inches of water; do not turn on heat yet.
2. Drop in one penny and time (use stop watch) how long it takes to hit the bottom of the container, listen for the sound of the penny hitting the glass. Repeat 2 more times making sure you drop the penny from the same height each time; record data in a table.
3. Turn heat on to medium; start another timer or look at clock to mark Heat Time = 0
4. Every 2 minutes drop in another 3 pennies (one at a time, timing each one). If you have a thermometer, you should also record the actual temperature. NOTE: as time goes on, more heat is applied and temperature increases. In this case, time is easier to measure than temperature because where the thermometer sits in the maple syrup will affect your temperature reading.
CONTROL: the viscosity at room temperature, before any temperature increase is applied; so the Fall Times for the first three pennies dropped in.
Make a table showing Heat Time (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, etc. in minutes); Temperature in degrees if you took it; and the three fall times, one for each penny. Then make a column for the average fall time.
Make a LINE GRAPH with Heat Time (a measure of Temperature) on the x-axis and FALL TIME (a measure of Viscosity) on the y-axis. Graph the average fall times for each heat time data point.
If you took real temperatures, make a second line graph with Temperature on the x-axis.
What does the line look like? Is it straight or curved? If you did both are the two lines the same or different?
Now you must accept or reject your hypothesis. So determine if the data match your hypothesis. If yes, then accept. If no, then reject.
Does the line go up? Then the data show that as Heat Time (= temperature) increased, the Fall Time (= viscosity) increased. Is that the hypothesis you chose? Then accept your hypothesis, otherwise reject it.
Does the line go down? Then the data show that as Heat Time (= temperature) increased, the Fall Time (=viscosity) decreased. Is that the hypothesis you chose? Then accept your hypothesis, otherwise reject it.
Is the line straight across (not going upward or downward)? Then the data show as Heat Time (=temperature increased, the Fall Time (=viscosity) did not change. Is that the hypothesis you chose? Then accept your hypothesis, otherwise reject it.
IF you have more time, you can also do the experiment by putting container in refrigerator to change the temperature in the opposite direction.
MAKE IT YOUR OWN: Repeat with different types of syrup (rank by cost) or with other fluids like corn syrup or molasses.