Showing posts with label science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science. Show all posts

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Eggshell Geodes

This has to be one of my favorite science experiments! We have made crystals in different ways, but the crystal formations from one method we tried was just amazing.

Directions for these "geodes" can be found all over the internet, and these are made from Epsom salts and water.  The photograph above shows the results of two different curing methods. The carton on the left was grown in the refrigerator. The one on the right was left in the kitchen window to dry out. These pictures were taken a couple of months after we made them, so the original color has faded somewhat.

The refrigerator method gave much larger, more impressive crystals. For both batches we used these basic instructions. On another blog I read the idea of putting them in the refrigerator to crystalize, but I'm afraid I can't remember what blog it was. Another hint I read from the unnamed blog was to make sure you have a good slurry. It's the slurry you want in your shells, not the thin top liquid.
Here is a close up of the air dried version. The crystals were much finer, and sparse. It actually took about a week longer for the liquid to dissolve in the air dried shells versus the ones in the fridge!

It's a simple experiment, calling only for a few ingredients and about ten minutes of actual work time. I had been saving eggshells for a few weeks prior, rinsing them and letting them dry in the kitchen window. The fun came in watching the crystals emerge over the next two weeks. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Candy Science

We don't eat much Halloween candy around here. First of all, Max can't eat any of it, and since I don't usually buy candy, the kids usually forget about eating it after Halloween. Instead, we do science projects with it. Last year, we made models of molecules, and this year we had two days of experiment mania. Most of our ideas came from the Candy Experiments website. We messed around with density (a huge hit), looking for the floating "s" from Skittles, tested for acid, and melted lots of different candies in the toaster oven.
Before we broke out the beakers I had the kids sort their candies and record the data, then decide on broader categories to put them in and graph the results. Who knew you could get so many lessons from Halloween treats?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Homeschool Corner - Making Molecules

What to do with all of that leftover Halloween candy? How about a science lesson? We've been studying chemistry this year, and have learned about atoms and molecules. I gathered all of the Gobstoppers, Jawbreakers, and hard round candies from the Halloween stash, and a box of glue dots.

We looked at some models of molecules in the Usborne First Encyclopedia of Science, and then they got creative. Most candies could be held together with a single small glue dot.
All science, no cavities.