Science Toys & Other Neat Things

Pocket Helicopter
Also known as the "Flying Dragonfly". Simple propeller on a shaft, all plastic. Rotate the shaft by placing between palms and sliding hands in opposite directions (right hand away from the body, left hand towards the body). Best done in an open area, away from others. Blade is about 20 cm across. For ages 6 and up, adult supervision recommended.
AERO.01   Single $1.50 each
   1 dozen $15.95/doz.

Classic all metal spinning top comes with winding string and pedestal stand. Balances on your fingertip or the end of a pencil or pen. Suspend it on a loop of string or a line stretched tight. As long as it is spinning fast enough, the gyroscope will seem to defy gravity and maintain its relative position in space no matter how the base is moved around. The forces demonstrated are the same as those first observed by Isaac Newton in the 18th century. More sophisticated gyroscopes are used in gyro-controlled guidance and navigation systems in ships, planes and aircraft, in accurate mapping and survey work, in oil well drilling and even motion picture making. Ages 8 and up.
MISC.50   $8.95 each

Newton’s Cradle
Also known as a "Balance Ball" apparatus. The classic executive toy. Illustrates Newton’s laws of motion. Five metal balls in a row are suspended by threads on a metal frame. Lift one or two from one end and let them fall against the remaining balls. The resulting chain reaction goes back & forth for several seconds.
MISC.42b   Curved frame, simple assembly required    $6.95 each

"Perpetual" Drinking Bird

Homer Simpson’s favorite replacement worker. A delicately balanced hollow glass bird is partially filled with a special fluid. Place a glass of water in front of the bird, dunk its head to get it started, and the changes in balance caused by evaporation make the entire bird’s body bob up & down, occasionally dipping the bird’s beak into the water to "recharge" it. Not quite perpetual, but goes on for hours or days, as long as it can dip its beak into the water in the glass.   several seconds.
MISC.33   $11.95 each

Ring & Ball Set

Brass with wood handles. A classic physics demonstration illustrating the expansion and contraction of metals with changes in temperature. The ball will easily pass through the ring when both are at the same temperature. If you then heat the ball so it expands slightly, it will no longer fit through the ring. Similarly, if you cool the ring significantly, it will not fit over the ball if the ball is at a warmer temperature. Heat transfer between touching metal parts makes the size difference last only a few seconds, but the effect can be demonstrated over and over.
MISC.31   $19.95 set

Bi-Metal Strip
Another classic physics demonstration, also known as a Compound Bar. This apparatus demonstrates that different metals will expand different amounts when heated. A strip of brass is riveted to a strip of iron, and provided with a wooden handle for comfortable holding. When heated, the bar will bend to one side, because the brass will expand more than the iron. Can be used over and over.
MISC.45   $19.95 each

This apparatus demonstrates the principle that different metals will conduct heat at different rates. Rods of different metals (steel, brass, aluminum, stainless steel and copper) are fastened to a central brass "nut", so they radiate outward like the spokes of a wheel. A wooden handle is fastened to a sixth "spoke" for the comfort of the operator. When the central brass "nut" is heated, the different metals will conduct the heat outward at different rates. Can be used over and over.
MISC.46   $19.95 each

Tornado Tube
A classic. You supply two empty plastic pop bottles. Fill one of them two-thirds full of water, screw on the Tornado Tube, then screw on the other bottle. Turn upside down so the bottle with the water is on top, and give it a slight circular motion. A fascinating vortex will be created, similar to a whirlpool or tornado. Add food colouring, tiny sequins or glitter for a very colourful and entertaining display.
MISC.18   $4.95 each

Pocket Telescope/Microscope
Amazing resolution for such a small unit. Handy 2 in 1 pocket tele-microscope, about the size of a fat drawing marker. Telescope 8X power, microscope 30X power. Popular gift, great for field trips!
TELE.01   $6.95 each

Three digital functions: stopwatch, clock and alarm. Comes with neck cord. Has start/stop button and lap/reset button. Times in minutes, seconds and hundredths of a second. Clock shows hours, minutes, seconds (in 12-hour or 24-hour mode), day of the week and date. Battery operated LCD.  Ages 8 and up.
TIME.01   $12.95 each

Also known as a "Double-Back Spinner", "Rattlerock" or "Celt", this little curiosity is a favorite of physics teachers.  It is an elliptical shaped piece of plastic that has some unusual properties.  Place the Rattleback on a smooth, hard, level surface with the curved side down and tap it gently to make it spin.  Due to its offset centre of gravity, it has a preferred direction of rotation which happens to be counter-clockwise.  If you purposely give it a spin in the clockwise direction, it will turn through a few revolutions, stop, rattle or rock up and down on its long axis and then automatically reverse itself and spin gently in the opposite direction.  Most people will say "So what?", but if you know a bit of physics, this will blow your mind.  You've given this object momentum in a particular direction, but due to its shape (and without any outside influence), it stops this momentum and converts it into movement in the opposite direction.  Spooky!  
MISC.51   $4.50 each

Glo Germ Powder
Non-toxic white powder glows under ultraviolet light.  "Simulated germs" used by health nurses and lab trainers to safely demonstrate proper cleaning or disinfecting methods.  Sprinkle or smear a bit of Glow Germ powder on the surface to be tested (you don't have to use much - the amount on the end of a toothpick is plenty for most tests - a very little bit goes a long way).  Test with UV light source to show where the powder is, then clean surface by whatever method you choose.  Re-test with UV light source to see how good your cleaning practice is.  Full bottle of this very fine powder contains approximately 30 grams, but it is labelled as containing "4 fluid ounces".  
MISC.62    Glo-Germ Powder, full bottle, shaker lid, approximately 30 grams    $39.95 per bottle  
MISC.63    Glo-Germ Powder, 3 grams    $6.00 per vial

Portable UV Blacklight / UV Flashlight
Great for UV Beads (above) and Glo Germ Powder (below), also invisible ink, glow in the dark paints, counterfit money detection, pet satin and soiled surface detection.   Certain antique glass and art, some natural minerals and even some insects (i.e. scorpions) will also glow under UV light.  High output LEDs.  Operates on 3 AAA batteries (not included).  Use with caution and adult supervision. 
MISC.97   $19.95 each

Solar Viewing Glasses
Called "Eclipse Shades", these are thin cardboard paper frame glasses with special black polymer lenses, safe for sun observation, either during a solar eclipse or anytime.  With these glasses, you can even comfortably view the filaments of high-intensity household bulbs like halogens.  Normal low-intensity light will not pass through, so don't wear these while operating machinery, or even just walking around!   Use with caution and adult supervision. 
GLAS.03   $4.95 each

# 14 Welder’s Glass
Yes, we sell that hard-to-find welder’s glass that astronomers recommend for viewing solar eclipses safely.  Called Welder’s Glass shade 14-H, it is a 10.7 cm X 5 cm (2" X 4 1/4") piece of special glass so dark, ordinary room lights can’t be seen through it.  Heat treated glass filter plate provides infrared and ultraviolet protection while viewing the sun.  Impact resistant, but not unbreakable.   Conforms with ANSI Z87.1-1989 and CSA Z94.3M-1988  This stuff is getting really hard to find because I've been told that it isn't actually used for welding any more, so many suppliers are discontinuing it! Have no fear, even if we run out of stock on this item, there are also the Solar Viewing Glasses above that can be used for safely viewing solar events.
SOLR.02   #14 Welder’s Glass   $9.95 each

Visit our showroom in northwest Calgary. Come and see what’s new. We get new and interesting items from time to time, and we also have surplus items in our showroom that are not on this site. Please call 403-547-4422 for a viewing appointment.


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Science Is...
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