Science project

Turn Back Time

Difficulty Level




Safety Issues


Material Availability

All necessary materials are readily available.

Project Time Frame

3-4 weeks


This project explores the process of laminar flow. 

The goals of this project are:  

  1. To discover the mechanism of laminar flow.
  2. To encourage technological progress based on this concept. 

Materials and Equipment  

  • Computer with internet access
  • Digital camera and/or Video camera
  • Typical office/craft/hobby supplies (paper, pens & poster-board, glue, etc.)
  • Clear plastic cups of two slightly different sizes.
  • Simple corn syrup
  • Medicine droppers or pipettes
  • Food coloring
  • Raw egg 

All materials can be found in your home, at local stores, or on ebay. 


They say you can’t unscramble an egg, but this incredible demonstration of laminar flow begs to differ! Some viewers are so amazed by it that they swear there’s trickery involved. Like maybe someone ran the film backwards or something. Fortunately, you don’t have to take anyone else’s word for it, because now you can create your very own, eye-popping laminar flow demonstrations. 

Research Questions 
  1. How does laminar flow work?
  2. What are the practical applications? 
Terms and Concepts to Start Background Research 

Laminar flow           

Experimental Procedure 

  1. Research related materials (see bibliography below and search terms listed above)
  2. Put some simple corn syrup in a cup, and place a narrower cup inside of it, so that the corn syrup is trapped between the two cups.
  3. Add food coloring to three small amounts of corn syrup, so that each is a different color.
  4. Carefully immerse the dropper halfway into the syrup, and add a drop of each of the colored syrups to the clear syrup in the cup. Be sure the colored drops are not touching each other.
  5. Hold the outer cup firmly, and slowly turn the inner cup five times around, so the colors mix together.
  6. Now slowly rotate the inner cup five times in the opposite direction.
  7. Write down and photograph all observations.
  8. Try the same experiment using an unscrambled raw egg. Separate the egg, and add coloring to the white of the egg for easy viewing.
  9. Carefully place a drop of the yolk and a drop of the white separately into the syrup.
  10. Repeat the above process and record observations.
  11. Analyze the data.
  12. Interpret your results and describe your ideas in a detailed report.
  13. Include a live demonstration in your science fair display.
  14. Show interesting photos taken throughout the course of the project. 


Wiki topic: “Laminar Flow” (Video demonstration)

Internet searches of your own choosing: Search for any of the terms listed above (or make up your own phrases to search), and click on any results that interest you. Have fun surfing the net!

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Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

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