Water Gel - Pranks and Tricks
Not just for science, Water Gel is the perfect prop for April Fool's Day
Steve Spangler Science's Water Gel is the perfect tool for teaching and learning about hydrogels and superabsorbent polymers. This white powder is able to absorb 800x to 1000x its own weight in water and is useful to farmers and ranchers in times of drought. What you may not have known about this amazing polymer, is that it's the perfect prop for pranksters and magic tricks. We've got a sweet prank and two "magic" tricks for you to check out, but we think you'll be able to come up with your own, too!
- Jar of Water Gel
- Plastic cups or glasses
- Unwitting victim
Water Gel, the Sugar Substitute
This prank is incredibly easy to pull off and the look on your victims' faces are guaranteed to be priceless!
- Start by emptying the sugar from it's container. Be sure to put the sugar into another container so that it can be replaced later. The prank is bound to take a turn from funny to tragic if you waste all that sugar.
- Once you have an empty sugar container, fill the container with Water Gel. Try to fill the container to the same level as the sugar you removed. The success of pranks is often in the details.
- Replace the lid of the container (if it has one).
- Sit back and watch as countless victims fall for your epic April Fool's prank.
You are responsible for ensuring that your victim doesn't actually drink the Water Gel. Make sure your prank is fun, and not dangerous.
Three Cup Monte
This classic parlor game is known to use slight of hand. With Water Gel you don't need to be a magician to trick your audience.
- Start with three empty cups or glasses. We used clear cups in the photos so that you could see the trick, but you will want to use cups that aren't clear.
- Before your audience arrives, put one blue scoop of Water Gel into one of the cups.
- Set all three cups, open end up, side by side on a table.
- Pour 8 oz. of water into the cup with Water Gel in it.
- Shuffle the cups a number of times.
- Ask the audience to pick the cup they think contains the water.
- Tip the cup, opening down, onto the table. Repeat with the other two cups.
I'm Going to Pour This Water on Your Head!!!
This prank is almost too simple, but the reactions you'll get will be hilarious.
- You'll need two colored plastic cups.
- Fill one cup with 8 oz. of water and the other cup with one blue scoop of Water Gel.
- Walk up to a coworker, a teacher, a student, or a parent and pour the water from one cup into the cup with the scoop of Water Gel.
- Say something like, "This is for taking the last donut," or "This is for the 'B' I got on that physics test," and tip the cup over their head.
- Nothing came out!
- Say, "Just kidding. April Fool's," and go on your way.
How does it work?
The secret to these pranks and tricks is a superabsorbent polymer called sodium polyacrylate. A polymer is, essentially, a long chain of like molecules (monomers). The prefix "poly" means many; the prefix "mono" means one. Superabsorbent polymers are able to expand exponentially when they come in contact with water. The molecules of the polymer draw the water in and than hold onto it. In the case of Water Gel, it's able to absorb 800x to 1000x it's own weight in water!
Remember, a good prankster and magician never reveals his magic. Don't tell your victims how you performed your pranks and tricks. Instead, tell them that Steve Spangler taught you. Maybe they should ask him!
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