Archive for the ‘science experiments’ Category

{Weather Making Science} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

June 20th, 2013

One of the nifty things about living in the Seattle area is that in the month of June, they host a Seattle Science Festival. Last year was the first one, and this year was the second one. One of the fun things we were able to do was attend the NOAA open house here in […]

 

One of the nifty things about living in the Seattle area is that in the month of June, they host a Seattle Science Festival. Last year was the first one, and this year was the second one. One of the fun things we were able to do was attend the NOAA open house here in Seattle last Friday, and my boys and I were entranced by all the things we learned. The NOAA stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which means that it studies the oceans, marine animals, and also the weather. The boys and I got to do some interesting experiments on weather modelling and predictions, and when we got home, my youngest asked if we could do some more weather experiments. I looked things up, and found we could make a tornado in a bottle, make rain, and make fog. Sounds like fun!

What You’ll Need To Make Rain or Fog:

  • Jars or Tall glasses (preferrable with wide mouths. I use mason jars)
  • hot water
  • ice cubes
  • strainer
  • plastic plate

 

Here was our set up to make rain. I put hot water in the jar, put the plastic plate on top of the jar, then put ice cubes on top and waited about ten minutes. TO MAKE FOG: the set up is the same, except that instead of a plate on top, you put your ice cubes in a strainer, and only put about an inch of hot water in the glass (fog was too hard to capture on camera, hence no pictures)

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You can see the precipitation forming on the underside of the plate. There will be condensation on the inside of the jar as well, and if you’re patient, you’ll see the “rain” actually come down. HOW IT WORKS: What happens is that the warm air from the hot water collides with the cold air from the ice cubes. For rain, enough water particles will bond together to become heavy enough to become rain drops. For fog, the warm air and cold air mix nearer the ground, thus creating mist. Pretty cool!

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What You’ll Need to Make A Bottle Tornado:

  • Two 2-litre bottles
  • water
  • duct tape
  • washer
  • **optional** colored lamp oil (found at craft stores or hardware stores)
  • **optional** a tornado tube. I would TOTALLY RECOMMEND getting one of these

 

Here is the set up for making a bottle tornado. You want to fill up one of the bottles 2/3 full with water (cold or room temp tap water is fine).

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This is what a tornado tube looks like. It is a plastic tube that you can screw both ends of your 2 litre bottles into, with little leaks.  I got mine at our local toy store for $1.99.

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You don’t need to use lamp oil, but if you do, about 1/4 cup is enough. It just makes the tornado colorful. You can also put in light “debris” such as styrofoam bits, or legos, or use dish washing soap to make a “bubbly” tornado. We chose a red tornado, and used a funnel to put it inside the 2 litre bottle.

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If you don’t use a tornado tube, you’ll need to put the washer on top of the bottome 2 litre bottle.

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Then, put the empty 2 litre bottle on top of the washer. Make sure it lines up.

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Duct tape the two bottles together, and swirl in a circular motion to make centrifugal force to create your tornado.

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TORNADO! if you don’t add colored oil, your tornado will still be impressive looking, such as our tornado on the right. **BE WARNED** if you use the washer/duct tape method, after a few tornadoes your duct tape becomes gummy and the bottles fall apart and you will have to re-tape. This is why I recommend the tornado tube if you want to do the experiment more than once.

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We brought our bottle tornado to my oldest son’s end of year school picnic, and it was a big hit. The kids got to make a dancing tornado.

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And there you have it, tornado in a bottle!

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DID YOU KNOW? After our experimentation, my older son asked what was the biggest raindrop ever recorded. We had to look it up, and found out some really interesting facts about raindrops!

  • raindrops are on average .1mm to .2mm big
  • the biggest a raindrop usually occurs in nature is .5mm
  • the biggest recorded raindrop was between .6mm or .8mm
  • raindrops bigger than .2mm are not “tear drop” shaped, but rather “hamburger” shaped. the force of falling often will split the “hamburger” shape raindrop into two

We also learned some facts about tornadoes:

  • tornadoes in water are called waterspouts
  • In the southern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a clockwise direction.
  • In the northern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a counterclockwise direction.
  • tornado wind speeds usually are under 100 mph, but can reach over 300 mph!

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{Salt Water Science} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

June 6th, 2013

One of my favorite places to get science project ideas and equipment is the Steve Spangler science website. I also sign up for their emails, which include daily deals, and awesome links to cool science videos. When  I got this email for this neat looking salt water density straw experiment, I knew that I had to […]

 

One of my favorite places to get science project ideas and equipment is the Steve Spangler science website. I also sign up for their emails, which include daily deals, and awesome links to cool science videos. When  I got this email for this neat looking salt water density straw experiment, I knew that I had to try it out with the boys. We had already done the density tower experiment with different kitchen liquids, and this experiment talked about density just using salt water. This was really fascinating for my older son as well as my younger son. I would highly recommend it for all ages, as you could tailor questions appropriate for your age demographic.

Some questions we had before we started: would the glasses with more salt, or less salt, be more dense? Is density the same thing as weight? Would the colors separate out due to their different densities, or would they mix together?

What You’ll Need:

  • Salt (table salt is fine)
  • three or four different holding containers
  • water
  • teaspoon
  • stirring stick
  • food coloring
  • CLEAR plastic straws – this was actually hard for me to find, so I went with clear straws from our sippy cups, which didn’t photograph as well.

 

I asked my older son to write a sign. He took some creative license with illustrating “salt” “water” density. 🙂

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What you’ll need – pretty simple kitchen stuff. Salt, measuring teaspoons, food coloring. I put water in the big yellow jug.

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I had the boys write out on some note cards the amount of salt they were to add into each glass beforehand. Then, they took turns adding the teaspoons of salt into each container. We went with 1, 3, 5, and 7 teaspoons of salt (plus one with no salt for a control glass).

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From L-R, a glass with 7 teaspoons of salt all the way to a glass with just 1 teaspoon of salt in it. Then, you stir to dissolve the salt. (or, as my youngest says, MORE MIXING!)

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A close up of the two. You can see the difference in the salinity, and also the opaqueness in the liquid. Very cool!

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Then the fun began. We added food coloring to the different glasses.

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Stirring, stirring, stirring. The boys got in some nice writing practice for the labels as well.

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Then, THE FUN PART! We got the different colored waters to stay separated, due to the density of their salt solutions. The boys were suitably impressed.

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We tried to do it with the straw, but since I couldn’t find any clear straws, I made do with a sippy cup straw, which did not photograph as well but you can see the colors are clearly separate due to the different densities of our salt water mixtures. My youngest did the experiment on his own at a later date, and proudly showed me how he got the two colors to stay separate. 

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We also tested which objects would sink or float in the different salt water densities. Here’s a marble and a washer in the 7 teaspoon glass.

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When it came down to it, the boys just really enjoyed color mixing, figuring out which things would float in which glass, and how to layer the different densities. Remember our questions from earlier? Density was NOT the same as being heavy, as the salt dissolved in the water and all the glasses ended up weighing the same (or thereabouts – we didn’t actually weigh them, just held them).  The glasses with MORE salt were more dense, as the salt molecules filled up the spaces inbetween the water molecules, making it more compact. And, the colors STAYED separated and didn’t mix! All in all, a very cool science project! 

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{Bridge Building, 101} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

April 20th, 2013

Both boys are on spring break this week from preschool and elementary school respectively. Now, spring break around here is hit or miss weather wise, usually more of a miss. I came across this project idea for  building a bridge from Science Sparks (a new monthly link up they have called Challenge and Discover) and […]

 

Both boys are on spring break this week from preschool and elementary school respectively. Now, spring break around here is hit or miss weather wise, usually more of a miss. I came across this project idea for  building a bridge from Science Sparks (a new monthly link up they have called Challenge and Discover) and thought, what a GREAT project! The boys took to it quite enthusiastically, and it took up most of a morning. It definitely was one of the best science projects we’ve done. Not only did we get to draw out what we thought our bridge would look like, we got to build it out of newspaper (!!), measure and look at numbers, have a failed experiment, rethink our project, and then have a successful bridge. WOO HOO!

The guidelines to the project were: A) The bridge had to hold at least one kilogram (1kg=2.2lb) and B) the bridge had to be made out of one object in the recycle bin. Here is what we did for our project.

We used newspaper and scotch tape.

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Here is the draft that my oldest drew for what he thought the bridge would look like. I would like you to note the star shape under the bridge!

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For my preschooler, I printed out different bridges and had him circle ones he liked.

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Next, we rolled up the newspaper in order to make it sturdier, like sticks. We rolled up half sheets, then cut them in half again for the bridge supports. For the main bridge, we rolled up a whole sheet for the bridge decking.

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Our supports. I helped with this phase, I think we rolled up 12 pieces of newspaper to make 24 supports.

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The boys figuring out how to attach them together.

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My oldest went back to his drawing and decided the star design was the strongest. He went to town with the tape.

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Cutting to level the supports.

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The bridge decking, and all the leg supports.

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The preschooler was Captain Tape Giver Person

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He also measured the length and width of the bridge.

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The bridge was 32 inches long, and 6 inches wide.

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My oldest then went to taping the star shaped supports to the bridge deck.

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The bridge is finished! We did have some problems with leveling (my husband later surmised it may have been sturdier on carpet, or another more giving surface than hardwood).

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First test: EPIC FAIL!

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We decided that scotch tape was not strong enough, so we went back and reinforced the supports with duct tape. SUCCESS!

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Overall, this was a super fun and exciting project. My oldest did most of this, from drawing the bridge, to figuring out how to make it from the supports, to being sad about it not working, to suggesting the duct tape. We even made a video where he explains everything, if you want to watch. Thank you again, Science Sparks, for hosting this great event! We look forward to what’s in store for next month!

 

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{JELL-O Science} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

April 2nd, 2013

Last year at the Seattle Center and Bumbershoot, the kids got see art in action. Artists Lisa Hein and Robert Seng were building a wall made of Jell-O on the premises. Let me repeat that: They were building a WALL MADE OF JELL-O. The kids were amazed. Of course, my preschooler asked “Can. We. EAT […]

 

Last year at the Seattle Center and Bumbershoot, the kids got see art in action. Artists Lisa Hein and Robert Seng were building a wall made of Jell-O on the premises. Let me repeat that: They were building a WALL MADE OF JELL-O. The kids were amazed. Of course, my preschooler asked “Can. We. EAT IT.” They were using mortar, and Jell-O was used in place of bricks. As the Jell-O decayed and molded away, the mortar remained, and they had built it higher than the boys’ waist when we saw it. Needless to say, they wanted to try building their own Jell-o wall at home. (But maybe, without the mold). I googled and checked to see what other experiments we could do with Jell-o, and found a fun one about figuring out if we could nail Jell-o to a wall. So off we went!

What You’ll Need:

  • Jell-O packets (we had 4 packages at our house, so we made two regular pans of Jell-o, and one pan of Jigglers)
  • board
  • nails
  • drinking straws
  • **optional** sliced fruit. I thought to use it like “mortar” for the Jell-O, but it turned out I didn’t need it at all

 

Ready for some Jell-O experimentation!

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The boys’ had to write their own hypothesis about if Jell-o could stick to a wall. The preschooler did not believe it could. Because it’s food, and food does NOT stick to walls (believe me, he’s tested this hypothesis on more than one food object at our house during meal times.)

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Our starting boards. The nails I hammered in for the boys, and I set them up outside for the Jell-o building.

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Why yes, that is my preschooler sniffing the Jell-O. I…don’t even ask why he does it anymore.

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Starting to build the Jell-O wall! SO EXCITING!

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As you can see, we gave up using fruit (mainly because the boys’ kept eating the fruit since I forbade them from eating the Jell-o until the experiments were done). The wall seemed to be stable enough.

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We got to five Jell-o levels before…oh no! They all came a-tumbling down.

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“Now we can eat them, mommy?”

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These just crack me up. They were very serious about their Jell-o consumption.

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NEXT UP! Using straws as supports over the nails, we put the JIGGLER Jell-o on the wall! The regular jello just fell down (even with straw supports), but the jiggler jello stayed put!

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And our exciting conclusions.

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Overall, using Jell-O to conduct some science experiments was super fun! 

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{Egg Science! Newton’s First Law} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

March 26th, 2013

We did a quick and easy experiment to demonstrate some physics at our house the other day. My  boys are very into space, planets, and anything that doesn’t involve keeping their two feet on earth. Sir Isaac Newton’s book Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy helped formulate the laws of motion and universal gravitation which explain how planets […]

 

We did a quick and easy experiment to demonstrate some physics at our house the other day. My  boys are very into space, planets, and anything that doesn’t involve keeping their two feet on earth. Sir Isaac Newton’s book Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy helped formulate the laws of motion and universal gravitation which explain how planets move around the sun, etc. etc. We touched on Newton’s Laws of Motions a little bit, and I found this easy experiment to help demonstrate his First Law, which states:  every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion, unless an external force is applied to it. Alternately, objects that in a state of rest will remain in a state of rest, unless an external force is applied to it (also called “inertia”). My younger son, who loves math problems, liked it when I showed him what Newton’s First Law looked like as a math problem:

<br /><br />
\sum \mathbf{F} = 0\; \Rightarrow\; \frac{\mathrm{d} \mathbf{v} }{\mathrm{d}t} = 0.<br /><br />

 

For this experiment, you take an object (an egg), place a support under it, then knock the support out. The egg is at rest, then we apply an external source (gravity, in this case, as we take away the support), then it gets to rest again once it falls into the glass. **NOTE** For preschoolers, I would not use real eggs, but plastic ones, weighted with beans or rice. Scroll down to the bottom to see why not. 🙂

What You’ll Need:

  • egg (real or weighted plastic ones)
  • aluminum pie plate
  • glass of water (you can color the water if you like)
  • cardboard tube

 

Set Up:

Set up your glass of water, with the pie pan on top of the glass. Then, set your toilet paper tube. Then, set the egg on sideways. you want to hit the edge of the pie pan so that it hooks the toilet paper tube, knocking the egg down. But, don’t hit the glass!

My intrepid scientist! Since we used real eggs, I let the seven year old demonstrate this experiment. He was ready and willing to take one for science!

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Our set up was very simple: egg set SIDEWAYS (important!), toilet paper tube, tin foil pie pan, glass of water

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The experiment in action! He hits the pie plate, and does the egg fly off, or drop down? Pretty cool to see it proven!

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Newton’s First Law – an object (EGG) at rest, will stay at rest unless acted on by an external source!

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I took these pictures to show you what happened when the four year old tried the experiment. He got a little oversealous and hit the glass of water.  Oops!

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Ah, wellNext time for the preschool set, I would definitely use a plastic easter egg filled with rice or beans to weight it down, instead of a real egg.

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{Science Sunday – Making SLIME!} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

March 10th, 2013

At my younger son’s preschool, we have two sensory bins, one “wet” and one “dry”. This week, in the “wet” sensory bin, the parent in charge had made a huge supply of gak (aka SLIME!). My four year old had so much fun with it, we decided to try it out at home. Basically, “gak” […]

 

At my younger son’s preschool, we have two sensory bins, one “wet” and one “dry”. This week, in the “wet” sensory bin, the parent in charge had made a huge supply of gak (aka SLIME!). My four year old had so much fun with it, we decided to try it out at home. Basically, “gak” is a long polymer, or a long strand of connecting molecules. For older (and younger) kids, you can take this lesson a step further by cooking up some spaghetti. Fresh cooked spaghetti slithers and slides all over each other, you can show your children that they are acting like long molecules, or polymers as well. After a while, the spaghetti starts sticking together, and if you’re brave, you can squish it and make it bounce on the floor (just like gak!).  In real life, polymers that slide (like wet cooked spaghetti) are more liquid, whereas polymers that stick and bounce (like drier cooked spaghetti) are called elastomers and are used in things like rubber! For the preschool set though, this was purely a sensory and fun science activity in showing how two things combined together would make something called “gak”.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon Borax (you can find it in the laundry aisle)
  • Elmer’s school glue, 8oz bottle
  • 1/2 cup warmish water
  • food coloring **optional**
  • mixing bowl
  • freezer bag or tupperware (you’ll want someplace to store the awesome gak when you’re done!)

Here are all the ingredients you will need. Easy enough, eh?

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Pour all the glue into your bowl. Once it is empty, fill the empty glue bottle  with warm water, put the cap back on, shake to get all the glue bits loose, and pour it out again into the bowl. This is also a good step to add in any food coloring (we chose blue).

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My four year old was checking to make sure the glue bottle was *really* empty.

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Next, take your borax, dissolve in the 1/2 cup warm water, and stir. (it’s ok if not everything dissolved and there are some granules at the bottom, as long as most of it dissolves)

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 Then, add the borax mixture to the glue in your bowl. You should instantly be able to see the mixture bond together to form long molecules. My four year old looks properly impressed and surprised. (He was skeptical about this experiment only having two ingredients)

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Keep mixing, and eventually you’ll end up with a big, flexible ball of gak.

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Pancake gak!

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We had gak races, taking a glob each and seeing who could make the longest strand before theirs broke (my four year old always won, coincidence?)

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When my seven year old came home from school, he immediately wanted to play in the gak as well. We involved hands AND feet. The best part was the super big smiles all around. Go forth and make your own gak today! This post heartily endorsed by my four year old.

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{Learning about Acids and Bases} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

March 2nd, 2013

Here’s another great experiment I found on the Steve Spangler Science website. Here, we use red cabbage to make a simple indicator to find out what liquids are acids or bases around our house. It’s a great chemistry experiment, and you adjust the level of the explanation of the science behind the experiment in relation […]

 

Here’s another great experiment I found on the Steve Spangler Science website. Here, we use red cabbage to make a simple indicator to find out what liquids are acids or bases around our house. It’s a great chemistry experiment, and you adjust the level of the explanation of the science behind the experiment in relation to how much your child can absorb.

What You’ll Need:

  • RED Cabbage Leaves (I used 2)
  • Blender
  • Enthusiastic helpers
  • Clear glasses
  • big graduated cylinder (or just tall, clear container to hold your cabbage “juice”)
  • test chemicals!

 Ideas for Household Test Chemicals:

  • household ammonia (NH3)
  • baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3)
  • baking powder (basically baking soda + a salt)
  • washing soda (sodium carbonate, Na2CO3) or another laundry detergent
  • lemon juice (citric acid, C6H8O7)
  • vinegar (acetic acid, CH3COOH)
  • cream of tartar (Potassium bitartrate, KHC4H4O6)
  • antacids (calcium carbonate, calcium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide)
  • seltzer water (carbonic acid, H2CO3)
  • ketchup
  • milk
  • juice
  • 7 up/Sprite/some other lemon-lime drink

 

I enjoyed using red cabbage since it was an inexpensive item, and you didn’t have to use a lot. I used two leaves, and had the boys enthusiastically shred the leaves in small pieces before putting them in the blender. Then, I strained the mixture to get all the leaf bits out and leave just “cabbage juice”. The ratio is 1 leaf : 6 cups of waters but I cheated a bit and used 1 leaf : 3 cups of water. It made it a bit more concentrated, but my blender was small.

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From L – R, we used: baking soda (dissolved in water), baking powder (dissolved in water),  apple cider vinegar, milk, white vinegar, cranberry juice, gatorade, and ketchup.20120912_066WM

A view before we added to the cabbage juice indicator.20120912_068WM

And after! This was a pretty exciting and cool experiment for the boys and me, as we could predict beforehand what we thought would happen (was the substance an acid OR a base?) and then see how our conclusions were proven right or right. Plus, it was just awesome to see the color change from purple to green or red!
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A close up shot of the changed cabbage juice indicators. Sweet!20120912_072WM

This science experiment involved mixing, color changes, fizzing, predictions AND conclusions. All in all, very satisfying and successful!20120912_073WM

We made a chart of what we used, our predictiosn (I used A for acid and B for base), and what the cabbage juice indicated if it was a base or acid.20120912_074WM

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{Science Fun – Density Tower} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

February 5th, 2013

**Hello and welcome! Please check out my other science experiments under the “science experiments” categories above. And please, leave a comment on how you found me!**   Everyone has seen the very cool layered density column featuring different liquids (usually different colors), then you drop in things to show how there are different densities and […]

 

**Hello and welcome! Please check out my other science experiments under the “science experiments” categories above. And please, leave a comment on how you found me!**

 

Everyone has seen the very cool layered density column featuring different liquids (usually different colors), then you drop in things to show how there are different densities and things fall in either all the way, some of the way, or float right at the top. This is a great visual learning experiment. You pour the heaviest liquid in first, being careful not to let it touch the sides. Then, pour in the rest of the liquids you chose. Pick some household items to drop in (ping pong balls, golf balls, pick both heavy and light objects for the best displays), and let your little scientist figure out how density means that different layers will support different items!

 

What You’ll Need (in list of heaviest to lightest):

  • Honey
  • Corn syrup or pancake syrup
  • Dish soap (I used Dawn because it was blue and pretty)
  • water (you can color it)
  • vegetable oil
  • rubbing alcohol (you can also color this to differentiate it or just to make it pretty.)
  • lamp oil
  • Random Household Objects – have fun with this one! check out small items like toy balls, ping pong balls, golf balls, beans, legos, screws, washers, keys, etc.

 

 

Our layers! I used what I had on hand.  In order: honey, corn syrup, dishwasher soap, water (I colored it red to differentiate), corn oil.

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My little scientist in training.

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I let him pick items around the house to drop into the layers. He picked lego mini figure, buttons, different beans, pasta, peppercorns, an aluminum screw and a metal screw.

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The ingredients and what the layers looked like. In hindsight, I would have colored the water something lighter!

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He didn’t believe me that the layers wouldn’t mix, so he was watching very closely.

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“mommy, look! they’re staying separated!”

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Our first pass dropping items into the layers.

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Lego Man and the peppercorns stayed on top.

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After a while, we noticed that items started to sink through the corn syrup layer, especially if you piled more things on top.

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A before and after shot. Overall, a fun and colorful experiment!

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{Tidepool Exploration} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

August 23rd, 2012

Living here in the lovely Pacific Northwest, we’re very lucky to be able to go to the beach and explore the sand and surf. Along with building sandcastles, my kids love to explore the tide pools. It’s a lovely reminder of the wonderful and fragile ecosystem surrounding us, and which we live alongside. There are […]

 

Living here in the lovely Pacific Northwest, we’re very lucky to be able to go to the beach and explore the sand and surf. Along with building sandcastles, my kids love to explore the tide pools. It’s a lovely reminder of the wonderful and fragile ecosystem surrounding us, and which we live alongside. There are a few things we do to make a trip to the tide pools more memorable:

Tide Pools Checklist:

  • Check times for low tides. I like going to the NOAA website, or your local newspaper (like the Seattle Times) will have it listed as well, usually under the weather section.
  • Bring appropriate clothing, including footwear. Rocks are slippery, so flip flops would not be a good choice. A sturdy shoe with good traction and grip will prevent cut feet or turned ankles.
  • Likewise, it’s good to have a full change of clothes in the car, just in case. Like, a brother dumps a full bucket of water on top of another brother’s head.
  • have the kids bring a bucket (or a flat tupperware container)
  • if you have it, bring along some popsicle sticks and string. You can mark off a square section of the tide pools (use the sticks as fence posts, and rope the string around to make the square). Makes a great and quick observation point for kids, especially small ones who may be overwhelmed with everything.
  • for bigger kids, have them bring along a magnifying glass as well to check out sea animals.
  • Remember, tide pools are animal homes. So talk to your kids about not removing animals to take home, etc. In my pictures, you do see my kids handling sea stars and hermit crabs, but I made sure they replaced them where they found them. We talked about how it would be if someone came and removed them from our house, and how they would not like that very much. Practice good, ecological etiquette so others can also enjoy the tide pools as well.

 

At Marina Beach Park during a neap tide. See how far out the low tide went?

 

Sunhat? Check. Boots? Check. Bucket? Check.

 

Tide pools aren’t only found in the subtidal area left after a high tide leaves, they can be found amongst the rocks in the intertidal area as well.

 

 

Don’t forget the appropriate footwear! My son loves his ladybug rainboots.

 

In cases when you don’t plan ahead, the tide pools can provide you with these fabulous seaweed footwear instead.

 

Checking out the sea life.

 

The best thing about tide pool exploration is the sense of wonder by all ages! You’re never too old, or too young, to be too cool to check out tide pools.

 

A very serious discussion about where to explore next.

Tiny hermit crab! My oldest actually would stalk out a tide pool for half an hour to watch a hermit crab move to a new shell home.

 

Starfish in your hand! My youngest said that it was very tickly, and not like a spider at all.

 

The boys were quite intent on all the new discoveries they were making left and right among the tide pools.

 

Don’t forget about looking down inside the rocks either. We found this between rock crevasses. It’s either a flattened sea anemone or a sea cucumber

 

Another hermit crab! You can see the little antennae poking out towards my son’s thumb.

 

After closer examination in our buckets, we put everything back in their original tidepool “families”.

And one last cool find!  We found this guy clinging to some rocks. We believe it’s a tonicella chiton.

Lasso the Moon

breaker

{Stick + Balloon = FUN!} Seattle Area Lifestyle Photographer

March 19th, 2012

I saw this experiment on the Steve Spangler experiment of the day email and thought “WOW! the kids would love this!” The experiment teaches you about what latex rubber is made of (long molecules), and when you blow up a balloon, some areas will stretch further than other areas. I attempted to talk to the […]

 

I saw this experiment on the Steve Spangler experiment of the day email and thought “WOW! the kids would love this!” The experiment teaches you about what latex rubber is made of (long molecules), and when you blow up a balloon, some areas will stretch further than other areas. I attempted to talk to the boys about the science behind the experiment, but in all honesty, I think they tuned me out when I brought out the sticks and balloons. 🙂  This is a very simple set up, but you do need nerves of steel, or at least ear plugs, if your kids really just like popping balloons.

As always, check out Let’s Lasso the Moon, Adventures in Mommydom, and Science Sparks for more kid-oriented science experiments!

 

Materials Needed:

  • balloons (I used 8″ latex ones)
  • bamboo skewers
  • permanent marker (I used Sharpie – do NOT use dry erase, as it came off the balloon easily)
  • oil (doesn’t matter, I used cooking oil)

 Basic Experiment:

You want to coat the skewer with a thing coat of oil (I used a paper towel). Then, push the skewer through the ends of the balloon – near the end that is tied, and near the top.

Not pictured – the oil we used. But it was just to coat the skewer. Simple experiment set up!

 

 

Our experiment: Can a stick go through a balloon without popping?

 

Both boys answered with a resounding “NO!”

We took our balloon

 

Then we drew dots all over it in various places

 

We then blew it up and checked out what the dots looked like. We talked about how the balloon stretches (the long rubber molecules), but it doesn’t stretch evenly. That was why some dots got “faded” and looked bigger, while other dots looked the same. The more stretched out dots meant a thinner area of the rubber.

 

You can really see the different here at the top of how little the balloon had stretched and how much the dot had NOT changed.

 

 

 And the moment of truth...SKEWER THROUGH BALLOON! It totally worked. The bonus is also that when you take the skewer out, the balloon doesn’t pop! (it does hiss air though and deflates)

 

 Here’s a video showing my 3yo doing the skewer pushing through the balloon. Totally fun science experiment!