These pages are full of Snacks...but they're not the kind you eat. They're the kind you can learn from and have fun with. Exploratorium Science Snacks are miniature versions of some of the most popular exhibits at the Exploratorium.
Try activities from our latest Snackbook!   Questions about Snacks? Click here!
Snack name


A flash of light prints a lingering image in your eye.
It's all done with mirrors!
Suspend a ball in a stream of air.
Does it matter which end is up?
A rotating black-and-white disk produces the illusion of color.
Suspend an object in air by blowing down on it.
A bicycle wheel acts like a giant gyroscope.
Stare at a color and see it change.
To see or not to see.
Now you can explain why the sky is blue and the sunset is red.
Polarized light reveals stress patterns in clear plastic
A thin layer of air trapped between two pieces of Plexiglas™ produces rainbow-colored interference patterns.
Some lightbulbs appear to wiggle and flash when you give them the raspberry, but the only thing wiggling is you.
Soap bubbles float on a cushion of carbon dioxide gas.
Create giant bubbles.
Your brain combines information from your eyes in surprising ways.
How to balance a checkbook using the physics method.
Store up an electric charge, then make sparks.
Make a friend disappear, leaving only a smile behind.
You can make a magnetic field that's stronger than the earth's!
Two parallel, current-carrying wires exert forces on each other.
"Cold" metal and "warm" wood may be the same temperature.
Shadows are not all black and white.
The world's simplest Cartesian diver.
Make your own heat waves in an aquarium.
Objects change size when heated or cooled
See yourself as others see you.
These pendulums trade swings back and forth.
Take advantage of resonance.
Why your phone calls don't leak out of optical fibers.
When a piece of iron gets too hot, it is no longer attracted to a magnet.
This cylindrical mirror lets you see yourself as others see you.
What happens when you get off the merry-go-round?
To paraphrase the French philosopher René Descartes: "I sink, therefore I am."
Push me a grape.
Light can bend around edges.
The dipping bird seems to go forever but it's not perpetual motion!
If you want to stay hidden, you'd better stay still.
You can make glass objects disappear.
Two cylinders that look the same may roll down a hill at different rates.
A pendulum moving in two directions creates beautiful designs.
Make multiple images of yourself.
A magnet falls more slowly through a metallic tube than it does through a nonmetallic tube.
Start your own electric flea circus!
What's your (electrical) sign?
See yourself become someone else.
Now you see it; now you don't. An object without a sharp edge can fade from your view.
Prove to yourself that Galileo was right!
Your experience of the world influences what you see.
Make a portable cloud in a bottle. Now you see it, now you don't!
Caged molecules do their thing.
Cyclic hot water fountain. 
A lens creates an image that hangs in midair.
Create a series of boundaries that keep some things out while letting other things through.
Dark-colored materials both absorb and emit energy more readily than light-colored materials.
Why is the sky blue? That's a sticky question.
Without a boundary, it's hard to distinguish different shades of gray.
Pencil, pin, paper = phonograph.
Your skin and two different metals create a battery.
You can make the liquid in this toy rise and fall in a cycle.
Snack name


Make it stick.
You can focus the invisible light from an electric heater.
Why the world gets dark so fast outside the circle of the campfire.
There's more to seeing than meets the eye.
Use gelatin as a smoked lens, to view total internal reflection, and as a color filter.
Images of images of images can repeat forever.
See pictures in thin air.
Iron filings will trace out the lines of a magnetic field in three dimensions.
Magnetic lines stop here.
Copper coils become electromagnetic swings.
This experiment shows how your doorbell works.
If you blow harder, will it go farther?
Exploration of the basis of lactose intolerance.
What you see is often affected by what you expect to see.
When you overlap materials with repetitive lines, you create moire patterns.
How ice skaters, divers, and gymnasts get themselves spinning and twisting faster.
A magnet exerts a force on a current-carrying wire.
It's all done with mirrors.
We are not usually aware of our eyes' limitations.
Your eye and brain hold on to a series of images to form a single complete picture.
By heating a solution of soap, water and food coloring, fluid motion can be visualized.
Who needs expensive optical equipment?
With polarized light, you can make a stained glass window without glass.
If you rotate a pair of polarizing sunglasses, you will find that they cut road glare much better in some positions than in others.
Wiggle where you're at.
Your pupil changes size to control how much light enters your eye.
Substitute coins for radiation.
A snack version of Mirror Mirage.
Big swings from little pulls grow.
One reason not all buildings are equal in an earthquake.
If you vibrate something at just the right frequency, you can get a big reaction.
See your blind spot.
Catch a retinal net.
What happens when you blow a fuse?
A clueless way to determine the size of an object.
Making waves.
Create geometric art with soap films.
A soap film becomes an ever-changing work of art.
By finding a position at which the sun is as bright as the lamp the power output of the sun can be estimated.
Fingerprints for light sources.
Discover art and science in a myriad of spherical reflections.
Create graceful loops and spirals by drawing on a spinning dish.
Like a wheel within a wheel.
This visual illusion makes the palm of your hand appear to squirm and twist.
The attraction and repulsion of magnets produces entrancing, unpredictable motion.
Two lips make sound
As motors go, this is about as simple as it gets.
How does this stack up?
Using two eyes gives you depth perception.
Investigate how light and color interact by aligning three colored and one black overhead transparencies.
Calculate the weight of a car by using air pressure.
You can see the spring, but you can't touch it.
A face seen upside down may hold some surprises.
This toy uses components of force to walk and to stop at just the right time!
Whirling water creates a tornado in a bottle.
Make a lens and a magnifying glass by filling a bowl with water.
Rotating water has a curved surface.
Go ahead - hit it hard!
When you view short bursts of moving images, you see some interesting effects.
Relationship between taste and smell.


Developed with funds by the California Department of Education
NEC Foundation of America