CHaOS

We are Cambridge Hands-On Science (CHaOS) – a group of friendly student volunteers from the University of Cambridge, who are keen to share with you our passion for science! We usually travel around the country with loads of fun experiments from across STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), and we try to visit as many venues as we can, hoping to reach out to as many people as possible.

Our primary aim is to get children, whatever their age, to engage with the science we’re showing them however they want to, and to learn something cool in the process! CHaOS has no age limits though! We try to tailor our demonstrations to our visitors. We want younger children to see our experiments and think they’re amazing, to get involved and play with the effects we’re demonstrating. For older children, we’re also there to teach the science underlying the fun, and even to talk about university or studying science in school.

Let’s experiment!

We have a very wide range of over one hundred experiments – you might build and walk across your own arch bridge, watch us extract DNA from a kiwi or even test out our spinny chair! And, of course, we can’t forget Boris, our friendly plastic skeleton, who travels round with us as our mascot and helps us teach visitors about what’s inside the human body.

Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, this is not currently possible – however, this will not stop us from delivering our excitement for STEM to you virtually! Below you can find various declassified ‘Experiment files’, so that you don’t miss out on trying out our fun science experiments. All you need is a couple of simple items from your local supermarket, and you’re ready to be a scientist too, from the comfort of your own home!

We’d love for you to have a go at this and share your creations with us by tweeting us at @chaosscience or finding us on Facebook!

If you want more, take a look at our super-exciting talks given by some of our lovely demonstrators.

Experiment files

Oil and Pyrex

Want to perform a cool science trick? Why not make a pyrex bowl disappear before your very eyes...

Sweet Chromatography

Break out your creative skills and make colourful patterns by separating out household dyes.

Cornflour

Make a mess with a slimy cornflour/water mix and explore its unusual properties.

Mini Explosions

Make an impressive explosion with kitchen ingredients & find out more about what makes things go bang!

Red Cabbage

Break out your detective skills and investigate whether common household items are acids or alkalis using a natural indicator.

Make Your Own Sunset

The sky is blue in the day, but the sunset can often appear pink or orange - why is this? Have a go at making your own sunset to find out!

Hearing High Sounds

See who is better at hearing high pitched sounds: kids or adults!

Celery Food Colouring

Watch water move up through a celery stalk by dyeing it different colours!

Cleaning Coppers

Those grubby coppers in your pocket or purse can be shined up in minutes. Give it a try and find out how it works!

Science talks

Try out this perplexing present puzzle: watch the video, then find some objects around your house to be your ‘present’ and ‘doors’ and play for yourself. Try sticking with the same door sometimes and switching other times. Do you win more often if you stick or if you switch? Find out more about the problem and why you should switch here.

Testing acids and bases using a cabbage! Check out the ‘Red Cabbage’ experiment file above for more instructions on how to do this experiment for yourself!