Here's a fun way to experiment with a little art while discovering the power of the sun's rays. Just get a piece of colored construction paper, find a spot that will get several hours of sun, and then arrange pennies onto the page in any pattern you like. Leave in the sun for several hours (the longer the better). As you remove the pennies, you'll see that the paper underneath stayed dark because the pennies blocked the paper-fading UV rays of the sun.
Switcheroozoo.com is a fun website that helps kids watch, listen, and learn all about amazing animals. You can also have fun by creating your own animals and other fun activities like creating online habitats. Give it a try!
You know those rotisserie chicken containers from Costco and other grocery stores? They can be reused to make an excellent mini greenhouse to start some seeds growing. To start, simply fill the container with seed starting mix, add water, poke several holes in the soil, push the seeds in the holes, and then cover it up. Place your mini greenhouse somewhere where it will get plenty of light and watch the seeds sprout.
The upper cookie is the lithosphere, the creamy filling the asthenosphere, and the lower cookie the lower mantle. Carefully remove the upper cookie with a “twisting” motion. Slide the upper cookie over the creamy filling to simulate motion of a rigid lithospheric plate over the softer asthenosphere. Next, break the upper cookie in half. As you do so, listen to the sound it makes. What does that sound represent? An earthquake. It takes cold, brittle lithosphere to make earthquakes – earthquakes do not occur in the soft, flowing asthenosphere.
a) Divergent plate boundary, push down on the two broken cookie halves and slide them apart. Notice that the creamy filling between the two broken “plates” may tend to flow upward, similar to the rising, decompression, and partial melting of hot asthenosphere at mid-ocean ridges and continental rift zones. (Ex: Iceland)
b) Convergent plate boundary, push one cookie piece beneath the other. This is the only situation where the cold, brittle lithosphere extends to great depths, and hence the only place where deep earthquakes occur. The very largest earthquakes are at subduction zones where two plates get stuck together for centuries, then suddenly let go. (Ex: Western Oregon)
c) Transform plate boundary, slide the two cookie pieces laterally past one another, over the creamy filling. You can feel and hear that the “plates” do not slide smoothly past one another, but rather stick then let go, stick then let go. (Ex: San Andreas Fault in California)
Additionally, a Hotspot can be simulated with the demonstration in the upper left photo. Imagine if a piece of hot, glowing coal were embedded in the creamy filling – a chain of “volcanoes” would be burned into the overriding cookie. (Ex: The Hawaiian Islands, Yellowstone)
If you love to experiment with baking soda and vinegar, here's a new twist. What you'll need is:
~ Baking soda
~ Cocoa powder
~ Chocolate extract (you can purchase imitation chocolate extract from Walmart for just over $2)
~ Dish soap (optional)
Start by mixing the baking soda with a few tablespoons of cocoa powder in a container. Add a few squirts of dish soap for extra BIG and foamy eruptions, if you'd like. Make chocolate vinegar by mixing a few drops of chocolate extract into a container of vinegar. Add the mixture to the baking soda/ cocoa mixture and let the fun begin! For the full tutorial, visit: growingajeweledrose.com
If you unwrap a bar of Ivory™ soap and microwave it, the soap will expand into a foam that is more than six times the size of the original bar. It's a fun trick that won't hurt either your microwave or the soap. The soap trick can be used to demonstrate closed-cell foam formation, physical change, and Charles' Law.
Soap Trick Materials
bar of Ivory™ soap
paper towel or microwave-safe dish
other brands of soap for comparison (optional)
Perform the Soap Trick
Unwrap a bar of Ivory™ soap.
Place the bar of soap on a paper towel or microwave-safe dish.
Nuke your soap. Watch the soap closely to see what happens.
Depending on microwave power, your soap will reach its maximum volume within 90 second to 2 minutes. If you microwave the soap longer (I went up to 6 minutes) nothing bad will happen, but the soap won't continue to grow.
Allow the soap to cool for a minute or two before touching it.
The soap will feel brittle and flaky, but it's still soap, with the same cleaning power as before. Go ahead and get it wet and you'll see it lathers the same as ever.
A foam is any material that traps a gas inside a cell-like structure. Examples of foams include shaving cream, whipped cream, Styrofoam™, and even bone. Foams can be fluid or solid, squishy or rigid. Many foams are polymers, but the type of molecule isn't what defines whether or not something is a foam.
How the Soap Trick Works
Two processes occur when you microwave the soap. First, you are heating the soap, which softens it. Second, you are heating the air and water trapped inside the soap, causing the water to vaporize and the air to expand. The expanding gases push on the softened soap, causing it to expand and become a foam. Popping popcorn works in much the same way. When you microwave Ivory™, the appearance of the soap is changed, but no chemical reaction occurs. This is an example of a physical change. It also demonstrates Charles' Law, which states the volume of a gas increases with its temperature. The microwaves impart energy into the soap, water, and air molecules, causing them to move faster and further away from each other. The result is that the soap puffs up. Other brands of soap don't contain as much whipped air and simply melt in the microwave.
Here are some ideas from ehow.com for incorporating Valentine's Day into some science fun.
Since Valentine's Day is symbolized by hearts, you can demonstrate to students how the heart rate can increase when they exercise. Each student will need a stopwatch and a paper towel tube to use when they listen to each other's heart rates.
Listen through the paper towel tube against a partner's chest for 10 seconds, counting the number of heartbeats you hear. Multiply that number by six to get the number of beats for one minute. Next, have your partner do jumping jacks for 30 seconds. Then, listen through the tube again for 10 seconds, counting the number of heartbeats. Multiply that number by six, then compare the two numbers. You will be able to see that exercise increases how quickly the heart pumps blood through the body.
Heart Water Bottle
On Valentine's Day, you can demonstrate how blood pumps through the body by creating a heart water bottle. Fill a squeezable water bottle with water, then add about 20 drops of red food coloring. Insert a straw halfway into the water bottle opening, and use duct tape to seal the straw to the bottle. When you squeeze the water bottle, red water will come up through the straw, demonstrating how the heart pumps blood through arteries in the body.
On Valentine's Day, students can turn any color flower into a red Valentine's Day flower. This activity works best with light-colored flowers like white or yellow. Cut off the bottom of the flower's stem. Fill a tall glass with water and add 20 drops of red food coloring. Insert the flower into the red water and leave it there for three days. The red food coloring will flow up through the stem and into the petals of the flower, changing its color to red.
Here's a fun craft that doubles as a science experiment.
To make these cool snowflakes, you'll need pipe cleaners, glass jars, Borax, water, and a pot for boiling.
Depending on how many snowflakes you want to make, you can figure out how much water to use by putting the water in your jars first and then into a measuring cup and into a big pot for boiling.
The recipe calls for 3 tablespoons Borax to one cup of water.
If you used 12 cups of water, you would need 2 cups and 4 Tablespoons of Borax (16 Tablespoons = 1 cup).
Boil the water on the stove, and pour your Borax in.
Make your shapes out of the pipe cleaners, keeping in mind that they need to fit into the jar and have a little room for the crystals to grow. Put them into the jars wrapped onto a pencil going across the top of the jar.
Pour your solution into your jar and then put it somewhere out of the way, but where you can observe it. After about 24 hours, the snowflakes will be done.
For more detailed directions, pictures and an explanation of the science of it all, visit: ordinarylifemagic.com.
on Friday December 7, 2012 at 10:57AM