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Hi kids, parents, and teachers! Science projects and experiments can be fun. However, be sure to always have a parent or teacher supervising to make sure things are safe!
Science Experiment: Sense of Smell
Purpose: To learn about your sense of smell. The sense of smell is still a bit of a mystery to science. For more information on the sense of smell see Smelling and Taste for Kids.
- 10 black plastic film canisters with lids that have 4-5 holes punched in the top of each
- 10 cotton balls
- 5 different scents (suggestions: vanilla, peppermint, perfume scents, and cooking scents)
- permanent marker
- Scent Control Chart
- Student Data Chart
- Place a few drops of a scent on two cotton balls.
- Place each cotton ball in a film canister and replace the lid.
- Using the permanent marker on the top of both lids, label them both canister "A." The other canisters will be labeled in pairs as "B," "C," "D," and "E."
- Write the scent in the control chart.
- Repeat Steps 1-4 with the other four canisters, putting a different scent for each pair.
- Now you are ready to test your partners.
- Have all partners waft the smell in canister A toward their noses. To waft, hold the container a short distance from your nose and using your other hand, wave the smell towards yourself. You never want to directly smell an unknown substance.
- Partners will then try to guess the smell.
- They will write their guesses on the data sheets.
- Compare the correct answers to each partner's responses.
- Blindfold your partners.
- Choose one of the scents and let each partner waft it towards himself/herself.
- Let partners smell the other scents until they find the matching scent.
- Repeat until all scents are matched.
- Take the blindfold off and let your partners see if they were correct!
- Now it is your turn. Repeat the second part of the experiment, steps 11-15.
- Which smell was the easiest to match?
- Which smell was the most difficult to match?
- Why do you think some smells were easy and some were more difficult?
- How was your sense of smell affected while blindfolded?
Reference: NASA SciFiles
More Human Body Experiments
Pulse and Heartbeat - Take your pulse.
Skin Temperature - How does our skin lower or raise our temperature?
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