December 15, 2017

Before heading out to celebrate winter holidays, we got a bit messy in our science lab during the general introduction to chemistry. First, some safety rules: it is essential to never touch or smell an unknown substance. To demonstrate the importance of this rule, we showed four vials with clear liquids: all looked liked water; however, they were water, tonic water, glycerin, and vinegar.

We showed examples of mixing different substances — a heterogeneous mixture of water and wood chips; immiscible water and oil; making “snow” by adding water to InstaSnow mix — and separating the mixtures — making butter by shaking a jar of whipping cream; filtering water and gravel mixture. We made an oversaturated solution of Borox and hot water and are looking forward to seeing the crystals grow over the holidays.

For the hands-on part, everyone delighted exploring the effects of dripping colored vinegar onto trays of baking soda.

For those inquiring minds wanting more chemistry knowledge, a large poster of Periodic Table of Elements as well as many books on chemistry were available in the lab.

Listen: Wow in the World podcast and Kareena’s Chemistry for Kids podcast

Make: Christmas sugar crystals on Steve Spangler Science.

Family activities: Bake together! Kids will learn measuring with precision, following instructions, and mixing ingredients. Have a safe and happy holiday season!


Photo credit: Designed by Pressfoto / Freepik


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