Close this search box.

CAGIS Clubhouse

Spin Science: Make Your Own Centrifuge

Photograph of gloved hands loading test tubes into a centrifuge

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Did you know that one of the most useful pieces of equipment in science labs is a centrifuge, a machine that spins up to 50,000 times faster than a Merry-Go-Round? In this session, we will make a centrifuge of our own! Discover how the power of spinning forces can be used to separate mixtures and explore tiny particles.

Materials and Preparation: See below.

Expert: Dr. Hongwei Li is a chemist who specializes in natural resource utilization. She frequently uses separation techniques in the laboratory, where she extracts chemicals from agricultural and forestry residues to create other materials.




  • Please cut out your circle (see materials list) before the session (or use a CD).

  • If you are using a see-through pen as your small, transparent tube (see materials list for details), please cut the pen in half before the session.


  • A circle (about 15 cm big) cut from a piece of cardboard, cardstock, heavy construction paper, a cereal box, or something similar. An old CD works too! 

  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks 

  • String (e.g., kite string, cotton string, embroidery floss, etc)

  • A large, 4-hole button (button holes must be large enough to weave the string through)

  • Dirt or soil, water, a spoon, and a cup/bowl for mixing them together

  • A small, transparent tube, such as a COVID-19 rapid test tube, clear plastic straw, empty sample-size perfume bottle, etc.

    • Alternatively, you can use a see-through pen tube that can be cut in half, such as this common BiC pen

  • Scissors

  • Pencil or pen

  • Ruler or measuring tape

  • Roll of tape

  • Eye protection (e.g., glasses or goggles) is recommended
Items listed here (including glue gun, glue sticks, 4-hole button) can be purchased from a local Dollar Store.

This programming was developed by Natalia Mangos and Hongwei Li.

Share this event!

Discover More Events