Over the summer, it’s tempting to overload on screen time since there is so much freedom from the daily grind of schoolwork and learning. Around the house or outdoors, you already have the ingredients you need to turn your home into a science laboratory. Get the kids interested in how and why certain things react the way they do.
Join OCVS and try one or all of the five cool science experiments below. Who knows, you may have a budding scientist in your midst.
We all know plants need water to survive, but this shows how quickly water is absorbed and how it moves throughout plants. Take a tall stalk of celery or leaf of cabbage and cut it halfway up the middle, leaving it connected at the top. Fill two glass jars next to each other with 1.5 inches of water each and add a few drops of different food coloring in each jar, perhaps red and blue. Place a section of the celery or cabbage in each jar. After about eight hours, note the color changes and take before and after photos.
Examine the reactions of copper to 3 different solutions. Find out what happens when you drop pennies in water, soapy water, and salt and vinegar. Try to find about 20 dirty pennies to best carry out this experiment. Fill 3 clear cups with each solution and note the changes made to each group after a few minutes have passed. For the salt and vinegar group, rinse off half the pennies with water but leave half those pennies to dry out on a paper towel in the salty solution. Note how the salty pennies change color and compare to objects we see out in the world. (Hint: Is this why the Statue of Liberty is green?)
Even if you don’t have sand nearby, you can try this with dirt. Build a high mound of sand and poke a deep hole in the top. Dribble or pour water into the hole and note how slowly or quickly the water fills the hole and spills over the top, resembling an active volcano. Discuss how pressure from within causes the volcano to erupt.
Make your own bubbles. Mix together warm water, corn starch, and dish soap in a jar. Add a drop of food coloring for colorful bubbles. If you don’t have a plastic bubble wand, you can fashion one out of a kitchen wisk or a pipe cleaner.
Blow Up a Balloon—
Find out how acids and bases react to form gas. Fill a small water bottle about a third full with vinegar. Using a funnel, pour a little bit of baking soda into a balloon. Fix the balloon tightly around the mouth of the bottle without spilling the baking soda into the bottle until it is secure. Then shake the baking soda into the bottle and notice how the balloon inflates.
Brought to you by Orange County Virtual School (OCVS)