We decided to have a little fun today and do some science experiments. Just very simple ones we found over on PBS Kids Zoom.

The first was a variation on an experiment we had done in the Math and Science Together class Ariel and I took last spring. Mix 1/4 cup baking soda with 1 cup vinegar in a bowl. Better make it a fair sized bowl. Trust me, you’ll get some bubbles rising up quite quickly. The idea is that after the bubbles come up, you can blow bubbles into the bowl and see them float on the carbon dioxide created by the reaction.

This can be a bit of a hard reaction to spot. The Math and Science Together class had us put the baking soda into a balloon using a funnel, with the vinegar in an empty water bottle – one of the ones you carry along and drink from, not a gallon jug. Fit the balloon over the mouth of the bottle and tilt the baking soda in. The balloon will inflate.

For the next experiment, we filled a clear glass about half full of water. Then we added about a half inch of oil. The oil, of course, floats on top of the water because it is lighter.

Next we took a salt shaker and started adding salt. When there was enough salt, it would go down with a bubble of oil. As the oil separates from the salt, it floats back up to the top.

We tried this also with sugar, sand and ground pepper. The pepper was kind of interesting. Rather than sinking to the bottom of the cup, most of it floated on top of the water, but under the oil.

I love doing things like this with the kids. Even Gage loves to watch, even though he doesn’t understand much of what I’m telling Ariel about it. He tries to participate… in fact, he dropped my salt shaker in the oil and water cup as he tried to shake some in.

[tags]home experiments,science[/tags]