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Sparky is Spark!Lab's mascot, and now you can invent a diving Sparky of your own!

Create it!

Here’s What You Need:

  • 1 flexible drinking straw
  • 1 rubber band A couple of paper clips
  • 1 plastic soda or water bottle with cap
  • A drinking glass
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • One or more adults to assist you (inventing can be a fun group activity!)

Get Started:
These are basic guidelines only. Be creative!

  • Stretch out the bendy part of your straw and then bend both ends towards each other. Make sure you don’t pinch the straw too hard as it might break or crack. Your straw should have a rounded bend, but not a crease.
  • With an adult’s assistance and permission, cut off the longer end of the straw. You should end up with a straw that has two legs of equal lengths.
  • Wrap the rubber band around the end of the straw where the holes are. Make sure that you don’t wrap it too tight and pinch the holes closed. The rubber band serves two purposes: to keep the straw bent and as an anchor for the paper clips that you will add in the next step.
  • Insert paper clips in between the straw and the rubber band. You’ll need to experiment on the right number or paper clips that will allow your straw to barely float above the surface of the water, as shown in the picture.
  • Fill the drinking glass with water and drop your Sparky (your straw) into it to test it. Fill the soda or water bottle with water and then drop Sparky inside. Make sure that the bottle is filled to the top before you put the cap on.

Try it!

Squeeze the bottle and watch Sparky dive down to the bottom! Release your hold on the bottle to make Sparky float up to the surface again!

Sell it!

Take a picture of your Diving Sparky and e-mail it to Sparky at sparklab@si.edu.

Download the experiment »

 

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