The Summer Reading Program at our local library (Commerce Township Community Library) was based on S.T.E.A.M. – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math! Along with many other fun activities, they offered a different program one evening each week through July. The last one we attended was based on experiments! Don’t my little scientists look great – and protected – in their safety glasses?
As always the evening was well organized and lots of fun. We began with the Elephant Toothpaste experiment.
Each child took a paper plate containing dish soap, water, and yeast. I love how they have everything measured out and easy to use. Of course, if you did this at home it would be a great time to practice measuring too!
They each got to choose which food color to add, our kids all chose different colors.
Lily is looking a bit frightened because the librarians demonstrated the final experiment for the group and it made a loud noise inside the room, so she was a little worried this was going to POP!
They loved watching it foam and fill up the plate!
A scientific explanation was provided too!
Our next experiment was trying to blow up a balloon without using our mouths.
The kids loved using the funnel and pouring the baking soda into the balloon. After an adult pulled the balloon over the bottle they helped shake the soda into the vinegar – and then they watched it inflate!
We went outside for the last 2 experiments. The kids loved using the eye droppers! The straws were standing up in a pile of baking soda on a paper plate.
The last experiment was my favorite. I used to do this with my Kindergarten families at Parent/Child Activity Nights.
Each child received a small film canister that contained a small amount of watered down tempera paint and a half tablet of Alka Seltzer. They were instructed to break the Alka Seltzer tablet and put it into the water. Then they securely snapped the lid onto the film canister. Finally they set the film canister UPSIDE DOWN on a piece of paper, and backed away. This was the experiment that the librarians demonstrated at the beginning so they could emphasize the importance of safety glasses, and backing away from this experiment. When the tablet dissolves in the liquid it expands and pops the film canister way up in the air! If you do this experiment inside (as I did with my classes, you must use plain water and leave the canister right side up so it doesn’t go quite as high!
The canister shot high into the air, leaving a neat design on the paper. Hey! I just had an idea of using this as a sequential writing activity – First – Next – Last! A fun way to integrate science and writing!
By the way – if you have trouble collecting film canisters, they are available online through Steve Spangler Science materials! Lots of fun things for sale on that site!
This was such a wonderful family evening. It was so great that we used common kitchen ingredients like baking soda, vinegar and yeast because now when we use these materials in the kitchen we can talk about the chemical reactions! Being a Nana is so much fun!