Thursday, April 9, 2009

Science Experiments

Here are some pictures from the chemistry exploration class I led on Monday. I got many of the materials for the projects from If you haven't checked out their website I would highly recommend it!

In the above picture J is making "worms". She squirted worm goo (sodium alginate) into a worm activator solution and she made a gel-like worm. Sodium alginate is a polymer(large molecules made by linking smaller molecules together).

I also brought in Diary of a Worm for the kids to read.

These cuties are playing with Insta-snow(also from SteveSpangler). The Insta-snow is really sodium polyacrylate. It's the same substance used in baby diapers to absorb liquids. It's also a polymer. I brought in the book Axle Annie to go with this activity.

Here J and the other children are making molecules out of marshmallows and toothpicks.

That stuff is oobleck-a mixture of cornstarch and water. If you punch it, it's a solid; if you pick it up, it's a liquid.

And of course, you can't do chemistry and not make slime. Mix 1/4 tsp. borax in 1/4 cup water in one cup. Next, mix 1/8 cup elmer's glue and 1/8 cup water in another cup. Mix the 2 cups together and voila! you have slime.

This is a "lava lamp". Take a Stevespangler test tube and fill it 2/3 of the way with cooking oil. Then fill it up almost to the top with water. Add a few drops of food coloring and about 1/4 of an alka seltzer. It's very cool.

I love these things. You take these little tiny, clear balls and stick them in water. This is how they look after about an hour. If you let them sit for 5 or 6 hours they turn into marble sized spheres that have absorbed 300-400 times their original weight in liquid. It's really a lesson in osmosis.
I did a few other experiments but don't have pictures. One of the cooler ones was a bouncing egg. I took a raw egg and placed it in a cup of vinegar for 24 hours. The vinegar dissolved the egg shell and I was left with an egg that felt sort of slimy and rubbery. First I tried bouncing it from about 3 inches. It bounced! Then a little higher, still bounced. When I tried bouncing it from about 8 inches it went splat. I'll have to try that one again-it was amazing!
You can also check out J's videos of the chemistry class in posts below.


  1. Some of those we've done... dissolving the shell, and the crystals, and of course slime and cornstarch... but the other materials we'll have to try!!

  2. Very impressive and very cool for this age.

  3. Hi - It looks like you and the kids had a blast doing science activities. I am a Mommy Blogger for Steve Spangler Science. I have also done several of these activities with my kids and their friends and they never seem to want to stop. One of my favorite experiments is using the Water Jelly Marbles ( you mentioned above. They start out as tiny beads and grow to marble-size jellies. I love to play with them. Thank you for the mention and for sharing your experience. I will share your blog with our staff.