Monday, April 11, 2011

Messy Science Day

Just before spring break, my kids and I hosted a 'messy science day' at our house. We had some home school and GCA friends over to do some fun (if messy) science stuff.

Sizzling Monster Flesh. A friend gave me this one. Requires playdough, baking soda, vinegar. The kids mixed the baking soda into the playdough and made 'monsters' out of it. Then add vinegar and watch them 'melt'. We had more color runnage than anything, though the playdough becomes very slimy.

Egg in a bottle. It didn't quite go off as it should have, but the kids thought it was funny. Requires a bottle, hard boiled peeled egg, and matches. When there's a flame in the bottle, put the egg on top. The egg should 'pop' into the bottle. Ours split instead. Poor egg.

Elephant toothpaste. I found this one from Steve Spangler. Requires peroxide (from beauty supply), yeast (dissolved in warm water), and soap. The first is no soap, just a reaction. You can see the 'steam' that's given off as it goes better this way. The 'toothpaste' itself. We tried a couple of shaped jars to see what it would look like. The resulting 'foam' is very warm to the touch (which the kids found fascinating) and very thick. We had them wash hands immediately after so that peroxide wouldn't hit clothes and make things fade.

A milk separation experiment. Requires milk, food coloring, soap. Take a dish of milk, add food coloring, note the patterns (kinda cool by itself). Add dish soap and watch the fat separate from the water.

We finished off the day with the classic diet coke and mentos. Kids had a blast doing all of this, which is a great thing. They can learn and have fun at the same time. One experiment didn't go off as planned. A friend had brought acetone and styrofoam cups. The idea was for the acetone to 'dissolve' the cups and the kids could then use it like playdough until it dried. For whatever reason, the acetone wasn't dissolving the cups quickly enough, so it didn't get finished.


Jon said...

Hi, I found your blog while looking for reviews of GA Cyber Academy. My wife and I are thinking about GCA for our 9YO son this fall. I enjoyed reading about your first GCA year with your children. Any advice for a family that may be starting GCA this fall? Thanks!

Ashley said...

Primarily - patience! It has taken me the full year to figure out what does and does not work. With two it's a challenge because they DON'T do things the same. Next year,we'll rearrange everything and try again. There's a group on facebook that's very helpful and supporting, as well as many email lists that you can join. I highly recommend networking yourself to find others to help you out. Also, the school itself does a lot for you, make a point of checking on what's going on and you'll find lots of help there too.

Jon said...

Thank you for your response. What is the name of the Facebook group? And where do I find the email lists?

Ashley said...

drop me an email and I'll give you the info.