Joy of Science Experiments

by Jimmie Lanley on November 23, 2009

This is probably the main reason I love doing science experiments with Sprite:

density experiment

Look at that face. The wonder, the joy of discovery. This is hardly work. This is science play!

So although it’s sometimes a hassle to find the supplies, set it all up, and then clean up afterwards, it’s so worth it.

Not all experiments are so glamorous. Here is one where Sprite built a simple scale and measured the weights of various objects.

making scale06 recording results from scale

density fun

dropper, oil, and food coloringBut this one about density and miscibility was very, very impressive! In fact, Sprite asked if she could duplicate it for fun. This is the second time she did it.

[Visit At Home Science for more details about the experiment.]

The yellow is water. The blue is rubbing alcohol, and the bubbles are oil. Nothing mixed up. It was fascinating, and I admit, we both stared at if for many minutes. Sprite injected more and more oil into the bubble to see how big she could make it. It was mesmerizing.

Then I let Sprite play around, devising her own experiments, “I wonder what happens if I ….”

I love that kind of scientific play. I suppose I should use the word “experimentation” versus play. But what’s the difference, really? She’s enjoying interacting hands-on with the concepts we’re studying in her chemistry curriculum.

I was very impressed when Sprite used the word viscous in talking about pancake syrup a couple of days after an experiment. For Sprite, the activities really cement the ideas. So they are worth the preparation and clean up.

I’ve already bought a steel file in preparation for our rocks and minerals study. Can’t wait for that one.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

*Kris* November 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm

I recognize that cereal box and blue cup scale (ugh!) The concept was excellent but the scale is much too small to replicate the precision central to the concept of calibration. If you worked with 10g at at time instead of 1 I think it would have been much better. What was your experience?
.-= *Kris*´s last blog ..Rock and Mineral Show =-.

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Jimmie November 24, 2009 at 11:32 am

@Kris, You are so right! We had other weights with our balance scale, and we did end up using 10g increments instead of following the directions. That worked much, much better.

@Dana, Thanks! Yes, Noeo Chem 1. It’s way too basic, but that’s my fault — I planned a bit TOO far ahead. So I’m beefing it up as we go. It works.

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Dana November 23, 2009 at 11:20 pm

LOVE that first photo. :-) And, is this part of your NOEO studies? We’ll be doing chemistry next semester and I’m excited. I’ll definitely be using ideas from your blog & squidoo pages!
.-= Dana´s last blog ..Wonderful "New" Blogs =-.

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Marsha November 24, 2009 at 1:20 pm

We skipped the scale… me putting it off was slowing us down! And now we are to the week of experiments… that I have been procrastinating on for the past ummm… while. After Thanksgiving, that’s when we’re going to continue. I have my brine in a jar just waiting to be used!
.-= Marsha´s last blog ..The best ideas =-.

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Lynn December 2, 2009 at 9:34 am

Jimmie, that is so cool. I love that picture! I checked out the website you linked. I will do some more looking around there. Very nice site! We need to do more science and like right now! Michaela wants to be a vet, so I really need to keep science and math up to the minute!

Lynn
.-= Lynn´s last blog ..A Wintery Morning Stroll =-.

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Cindy December 27, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Great experiment. Again, Caleb would be all over this! By the way, I read each and every one of your posts as they come out on Bloglines. For time’s sake, I have to “power comment”. HaHa!!
.-= Cindy´s last blog ..Christmas Train Ride =-.

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