iPhone Life magazine

Experimenter - good news and bad news

I was pretty excited about this app at first, but as I continued to explore it, I have reservations about recommending it.

First, the good news: Experimenter contains 14 experiments that are fun, extremely interesting and easy to do. Your older teens could do them on their own. The directions are included as well as videos showing the actual experiments in action. A brief explanation of how the experiments work is also included.

The equipment needed to do the experiments is, for the most part, not too hard to find. Here is a list of supplies needed. (Some you may have to purchase at a science supply store.) Pepsi, Mentos, whiskey, old credit card, hydrogen peroxide, Potassium Iodide, flask, glass, water, paper, flat basin (like a large cookie sheet) starch, sodium acetate, ethyl alcohol, honey, rubbing alcohol, vegetable oil, food coloring, cigarette & lighter, box of matches, dry ice, UV lamp, knife, fluorescent marker, milk, liquid soap, balloon, scissors and various containers.

Please note that I did not actually perform the experiments, so I can’t say if they work in real life. I simply enjoyed watching the videos and took their word for it that these experiments actually do work.

My favorite experiment was Magical Mix. This amazing mixture changes back and forth between a liquid and solid state. You can write on it, even walk on it!  

The other experiments were all interesting. There was one experiment where they made instant ice; another where they held burning balls of fire in their hands, and another where they made hot, gooey foam from cold ingredients. All very fascinating!

Now, the bad news and something I hope they will correct, if they want to market to a wider audience. In the Blooper video, the music background vocals contained cuss words and ethnic slurs. Other items that might be objectionable are the inclusion of whiskey and cigarettes in experiments, and one experiment where a condom is used instead of a balloon.

In all fairness to the developers, they did put a warning on the app that it is for ages 17+. However, since this app will appeal to school students and teachers, I wanted to alert potential buyers as to exactly what you will see and hear when using this app.

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