Friday, February 12, 2010

Experiments with Solids, Liquids, and Gases

When I graduated high school, I had one semester of Earth Science and that was it for my science credits. No Biology, no chemistry or anything else. Now, at the time, I really had no interest in science anyway (probably because of how is was presented, or rather non-presented, when I was younger).

But now, I'm very interested in learning more about all the different fields of science. I feel like with raising my kids in a unschooled environment, I'll now be able to explore my own new interests in depths that I was never able to when I was younger. You know those huge science experiment books?  The ones that have 730 experiments to do in a year?  I think I'm going to go through one like that. Just for myself. Now, most things I do, the kids want to join right in. I don't know if it's just the age they are right now, but it's a plus that they probably will learn something about science, too, and hopefully grow up approaching science as something fun to play with and an interesting way to spend your time. Whether they want to join me or not, I'm excited to do all these experiments and be able to explore my own interest in science.

I have a science experiment book for little kids that I'll occasionally look through to get ideas for fun things to do with the kids. They LOVE doing experiments and have always said yes when I've asked if they want to do some with me. I think they think the word experiment is another word for game.

We read a book about solids, liquids and gases, they watched a Bill Nye the Science Guy episode about Matter, and then we did some simple experiments. They loved the chocolate experiments the best. We placed chocolate chips in our hands and in our mouths and guessed which chip would melt the fastest. Then we tried to guess why the chips in our mouth melted faster.  I realize the picture posted below looks a little gross, but that's what our chocolatey hands looked like.

We also rolled up balls of playdough and put some in the freezer and some in the microwave, and observed the differences. We boiled water on the stove and looked at the steam, filled the ice tray with water and poured different liquids in containers.

We took food coloring and colored the water in the ice trays before freezing them. Then we put the ice cubes in freezer bags and smashed them up and played with it. When we were done, we left the ice in the bowl to melt back into a liquid. I'm so looking forward to many more experiment days.

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