5-Minute Projects

PopSci.com 5-Minute Project Video: Insta-cool Beer Chiller

The dust can wait, it’s time for a frosty one

Editor Jake Ward demonstrates how to use an old plastic container and a can of air to take a beer from lukewarm to mountain-stream cold in just a few seconds. (For another video of this project, visit sonicIntoX’s channel at Metacafe.)

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PopSci.com 5-Minute Project Video: Nut & Bolt Keychain

Downsize your pocket cargo with a custom-fit keychain

Downsize your pocket cargo with a custom-fit keychain. Editor Sean Captain ditches the ring and uses more tool than necessary to trim a small bolt to just the right size for his set of keys. (For a slightly different take on the project, see the site that inspired us: carlitoscontraptions.blogspot.com).

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PopSci.com 5-Minute Project Video: Cereal Box Spectrometer

Why recycle when you can reuse? Editor Mike builds a Smurfberry Crunch spectrometer

Satisfy your scientific curiosity and your craving for some Frosted Flakes. Editor Mike Haney shows you how to use an old cereal box and a CD to build a device that reveals the hidden rainbow inside any light source. Find more examples of DIY spectrometers over at Wikipedia.

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PopSci.com 5-Minute Project Video: CD Dumbbell

Trash those CDs? Never! Let Bjorn and his 5-minute dumbbells pump you up

In the age of mp3s, most people have a lot of old CDs lying around. Instead of throwing them in the trash, though, you can put them to use in a way that's both eco-friendly and healthy. Thread the discs onto the ends of a thin metal rod and secure them in place with bolts to make a usable (and cool-looking) dumbbell. Tape up the middle of the rod to provide a comfortable grip, and you'll be all set for a workout.

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How to Make a Popsci.com 5 Minute Project

A step-by-step guide to getting YOUR projects on Popsci.com

Submit a 5 Minute Project for Popular Science! Each month we feature a cool and handy new project, and we're excited to showcase some ideas from the inventive Instructables.com community, and our own.

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PopSci 5-Minute-Project

Trick out your iPod three ways with Doug's handy guide

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PopSci 5-Minute Project: Gadget Charging Station

Clear the clutter without losing power

World of wires got you down? Clear the clutter with your very own fire-proof gadget charging station. Editor Mike Haney shows how a power drill and some tape can transform a bread box into a pint-size panic room just for chargers.

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PopSci 5-Minute Project: Disc Doctor

The prescription for a sick CD? Toothpaste, MSG and wood polish, of course

About to chuck that busted CD? Not so fast, young grasshopper. Web editor Megan Miller demonstrates three ways to resurrect those scratched discs using stuff you probably already have sitting on your shelf.

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PopSci 5-Minute Project: Underwater Camera

Lend your camera some protection for those, er, slippery situations

When you're vacationing on a beach, nothing beats an underwater camera; but watertight cases are pricey and disposables have lousy quality. Lucky for you, the editors of PopSci have come up with an easy workaround using something there's probably already plenty of in your suitcase (hint: not socks). That's right, thanks to the magic of unlubricated condoms, you too can transform your point-and-shoot into an waterproof wonder. The set-up is easy enough, but as John and Doug demonstrate, it really does help to have a partner lend a hand.

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The PopSci Junior Scientists

Inspired by our 5-Minute Project videos, Mrs. Daftari's fifth grade class shares their own DIY guides

We first became acquainted with Mrs. Daftari's fifth-grade class earlier this year when they rose to a challenge printed in PopSci by submitting their essays for how they'd change the world. Most recently, they sent us these video responses to our 5-Minutes Projects series. In the second, McKenna Mooney and Madison Wilson replicate Megan Miller's DIY non-Newtonian fluid (otherwise known as slime). And in the first, Kacie Moore and Olivia Johnson present a project of their own: the sound catcher.

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5-Minute Project: Homemade Hard Drive

Re-purpose that beater laptop into a shiny new external hard drive

Sure, external hard drives aren't exactly scarce these days, but while the price point has come down a lot, they're still not cheap. Enter the hard drive case. For just a fistful of dollars, you can pick up a case that (almost) instantly transforms your old internal hard drive into a new storage unit. As Deputy Editor Jake Ward demonstrates here, putting it together is a piece of cake. In the end, you'll have a great-working hard drive, not to mention a few dollars more. Just, keep an eye out for the tiny screws.

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5-Minute Projects: DIY Slime

It's flu season, so why not gross out your friends by whipping up a batch of totally disgusting synthetic snot? You might even learn a thing or two about non-Newtonian fluids in the bargain

Usually our 5-Minute Projects involve soldering and LED lights and other such electronic accoutrements, but this week we decided to skip the fancy stuff in favor of an old-school science project: making rheopectic slime from Borax and glue. This is a pretty safe experiment even for kids--just make sure to do it with parental supervision and keep the Borax, slime, and any fingers that have been touching the aforementioned items out of eyes, noses and mouths.

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The PopSci 5-Minute Project: iPhone Jack Hack

Use your own headphones with this quick and easy adapter solution from the neighborhood Radioshack

As any informed PopSci reader will know, the iPhone is definitely a game-changing piece of hardware, but it's not without its problems. Chief among those nagging little imperfections, for me, was the recessed headphone hack that rejected any headphones but Apple's trademark gleaming white buds. Apple's 'phones aren't that bad, but my Shure in-ear pair is better for blocking out noise on the subway (and my Grado SR60s are better for listening at home). Thankfully, an easy solution to this problem is just a trip to the local Radioshack away.

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5-Minute Project: LED Candles

Executive editor Mike Haney demonstrates how to make a handy little light from a battery, a bulb, and a resistor

Ah, the alluring glow of the LED light. Whether you're looking to create a bit of romantic (albeit extremely geeky) ambiance, or you just want to have some extra emergency lighting around the house, a set of mini LED candles is a great thing to have. They also happen to be quick, easy, and cheap to make yourself. In this video, executive editor Mike Haney demonstrates how to do it.

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5-Minute Project Video: Parabolic Cookware Wi-Fi Antenna

Extend your range with some old-fashioned cookware

Here we have yours truly demonstrating a quick and easy way to greatly enhance your computer's ability to detect and connect to Wi-Fi networks both near and far with a piece of Asian parabolic cookware.

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