Lots of great new Science Room content

We’ve got lots of new content in the Make: Science Room, including a whole new Forensics series on the many methods of fingerprinting. Tired of those bitter family disputes over who ate the last ice cream sandwich? Take the wrapper to the lab and find out for sure!

We also have a lab on testing for lead paint and an introduction and series of labs on colloids and suspensions. What in blue-blazes is a colloid, you ask? Why it’s a “two-phase heterogeneous mixture made up of a dispersed phase of tiny particles that are distributed evenly within a continuous phase.” Think: homogenized milk. It has tiny particles of liquid butterfat (the dispersed part) suspended in water (the continuous part). That’s a colloid.

And then there are sols, that’s a “solid phase dispersed in a liquid continuous phase. Ordinarily, a sol is a liquid, but it can be converted to a semi-solid gel by adding a gelling agent. In some cases, the solid phase itself may also serve as the gelling agent.”

An example of a gelled sol is the notorious Super Napalm B. And guess what? We show you how to make it — just in time for Halloween. We’re kidding. KIDDING! This is serious stuff, a cool experiment, but one with real dangers. This is seriously volatile burning material that’s also a seriously sticky gel, a deadly combination (hence the notoriety).

Here’s the door to the Science Room >>

In the Maker Shed


And don’t forget all of the awesome science-related products now carried in the Maker Shed, including a Latent Finger Printing Kit and a Lead Paint Test Kit (seen above).


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn