I’m not prone to trying out science experiments at home. It’s because I am lazy. Even when I subscribed to science projects that came monthly in the mail, it didn’t seem to take with my kids. But I yearn to be one of those moms who can do science with their kids at home.
It’s because when I was struggling with Freshman Chemistry in college — a scarring experience — I met a kid whose parents were BOTH chemists. He said that his mother had the periodic table up in the playroom for as long as he could remember. Needless to say, he was cruising through Organic Chemistry when it was an experience that I had to repeat in order to get a decent grade.
So now I am the converted because I suspect that early exposure to science — real science; the kind where you make predictions and fiddle with things — not only helps to expose kids to STEM and a love of trying things out, but I think it also gives kids an intuitive sense of how things work.
When I found this video on The Kid Should See This, and it demonstrates the easiest experiment ever, my son and I impulsively ran downstairs straight to the kitchen to give it a go. The nicest part is that the video explains the WHY so you don’t have to!
Take ice straight from the freezer and drop it in a glass of water. Listen and watch for the crack. Why does it do that?
Professor Martyn Poliakoff of the Periodic Table of Videos team explains differential expansion.
He then gives the experiment a twist: What if “hot” ice is dropped into -196C (-320.8F) liquid nitrogen? What will happen and why?
My son and I decided to give this a try. In our first attempt, the ice did not seem to crack when we used room temperature water from the tap.
We tried again with warm water hoping that this would create a crack right away.
What easy science experiments are you doing with your kids? Please share because I’d love to copy you!