Light Ice, Heavy Water – Unfold the Mystery of the Sinking Water

Water floats and ice sinks, right? Frozen water is heavier and denser than when it is in its liquid state. Or is it? This activity is all about experimenting with different liquids and their densities.

In one of our most popular experiments, the 9-Layer Density Column, each liquid is stacked up on the next and do not separate because of their density. Objects sink to different levels based on their density.

Taking a lesson from the 9-Layer Density tower, we tried a new experiment with food coloring, water, an ice cube, baby oil and a mystery liquid. Watch the Sick Science! video and try to guess the mystery liquid before reading further.

Did you figure out the mysterious liquid? It was vegetable oil.

The basis of the Light Ice, Heavy Water experiment relies on density. Density = mass ÷ volume, which essentially equates to how many atoms are within a certain space. It is tough to see, but when you add baby oil to the vegetable oil in the container, the baby oil settles on top of the vegetable oil. This is because baby oil is a less-dense liquid than vegetable oil. That’s where water comes in to the picture.

As you likely know, ice cubes are frozen bricks of water. What you may not know, is that water reacts unlike almost every other material on earth when it freezes – it becomes less dense. That’s right! Other than water and some types of rubber, materials become more dense when they cool and freeze. As you can see in the Light Ice, Heavy Water experiment, however, ice is actually less dense than water and vegetable oil. Pretty, cool, and pretty cool!
To perform this experiment and get the step by step instructions, please visit the Light Ice, Heavy Water experiment page.

Test Tube Valentines – A Science Message in a Bottle

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

I am not incredibly crafty, although I enjoy breaking the paper Valentine mold each year and finding something new and different. This year, my second grader and I are breaking out and making Valentines with test tubes. They are super easy, super fun and super unique. What could be better than a little love, a little science and an activity all wrapped up into one?

Materials

  • Test Tube Baby Soda Bottles
  • Candy
  • To, from stickers
  • Valentines stickers, ribbon or anything you want to use for decoration on the outside.
  • Experiment print out
  • Experiment materials

Start out filling the test tubes with Valentines candy. Add the stickers to the outside of the tube to include to and from. Then choose an experiment to include with the test tube. It can be something really simple or something a little more advanced. You can even mix up the experiments and share several. I have included a few test tube experiments that you can add inside the test tube…

 

 

 

 

 

When my oldest was in first grade, we made similar Scientific Test Tubes for her class. They were a huge hit, but I quickly learned that including Fizzy Tablets in a Valentine when kids expect candy wasn’t the best idea. (You can include them with the bubbling blobs experiment)  If you put together Test Tube Valentines, make sure they are age-appropriate.

The Best of Steve Spangler Sick Science! Videos January 2013

What a great start to 2013! From Pop Rocks, mystery liquids, folding eggs and even a VIRAL video showing how to remove iron from your breakfast cereal, to newspaper trees, dirty cell phones, and instantly freezing water. Our Sick Science! Video Team works hard to create and develop the best science experiment how to’s every month.  Hope you enjoyed this month as much as we did!

Don’t miss the season two premier of The Spangler Effect on March 6, 2013!

Young Alchemists – Science for Babies, Toddlers and Kids

By Angelique Felix

Young children are always experimenting! If you give your child a cup and a bowl of water, he will fill and pour, push the cup under the surface and watch the water rush in, and investigate why his sleeves get wet when he dips them in.

New theoretical ideas and empirical research show that very young children’s learning and thinking are strikingly similar to learning and thinking in science. (source)

I say that almost all young kids have the fundamental skills of becoming a good scientist!

They Play.

They Explore.

They OBSERVE.

They are CURIOUS.

They want to DISCOVER new things.

They want to know WHY certain things happen.

Every age contributes in its own way of becoming young alchemists.

Explore & Play

During the Baby age (0 to 1) a child explores & plays with what is suitable for its age (click here to see how babies can play). Babies learn about the world through their senses and use their whole body for that investagation. On the picture you see baby girl explore a homemade babypaint (cornstarch, water, food colors).

 

Do it yourself & observe

When baby grows up to toddler (1 to 3) and preschooler (4 to 6) it will be attracted to do things theirselves with the material being offered. While creating, mixing, making “mess”, they observe and might want to ask you ‘why does this happen’? The picture shows one of my super curious preschoolers making playdough out of flour-water and salt.

 

Thinking logically & Understand

Getting bigger and being more able to reorganize information a child (6+) shows you that it is ready to use logic and to understand certain processes that are happening. On the picture my daughter pretends to be a witch creating her magical potion. We’ve put out several ingredients and she followed precisely the effects of adding each ingredient separately.

So if we adults stimulate these innate natural abilities, our kids later on will be attracted automatically towards science and technology. What a great new future can lie ahead for the world of tomorrow simply by motivating children to develop their alchemists skills!

Have a look at the video. It’s a compilation of science moments with the kids I work with.

 

Autobiography

 

Angelique Felix is the creator of AngeliqueFelix.com -The Magic Of Play . She’ s on a mission to bring play back in daily lives through bilingual songs, movement & creativity. Angelique teaches 0 to 6 year-olds in Italy, but comes from the Netherlands. She is a single mom passionately loving her only daughter Chanel every day. And she thinks it’s strange to write about herself in the third person :)

Make a Love Connection with Valentines Day Science

Valentine’s Day is a holiday known for its dedication to love, chocolate, and… science? The Science of Love of course!

This year we are celebrating Valentine’s Day science with a kit full of the most eye-catching, heart-grabbing, hands-on science we can find. You can use the Valentine’s Day-themed activities however you want, with whoever you want, but we guarantee that the fun you’ll have will make for a holiday you’ll never forget.

Whether you are looking for activities to do in a classroom setting, at a Valentines party or just with some of your favorite kids, this kit has the experiments for you. So turn down the lights, turn up the music and start in on some science lovin’. In this kit you will find enough materials for nine experiments and suggestions to take them further.
Start off with testing how hot you are with the Love Meter. Gently squeeze the bulb on the bottom of the Love Meter 3000 or Hand Boiler for scientific purposes. The colorful liquid will begin to rise to the top and boil. You are that hot! Or it could be that it isn’t your love that makes the liquid boil but your body temperature.
Now that you know how hot you are, move on to the Energy Stick to make a love connection. Grab a friend or 20 and touch both ends of the Energy Stick. When you complete the circuit, or “connection” the lights and alarm will go off.
Design science jewelry to make amazing Valentine’s gifts. Use special color-changing UV Beads that change color in the sun. When your love takes their unassuming white beads outside, the beads magically change to brillant red. Forget the diamonds and chocolate this year and give them the gift that serves as a reminder for sun protection. If the beads are red, it’s time to put on the sunscreen. Can a diamond necklace save a life?
What about leaving your love a secret message to decode? Forget the boring paper heart Valentines and think like a scientist. Hydrate a bowl full of Water Jelly Marbles and hide a message underneath. When your Valentine fills the bowl with water, the water beads will magically disappear and reveal the message.
The Valentine’s Day Science Kit also contains Magic Color-Changing Flowers that turn pink when exposed to “love potion,” Fortune Telling Fish that identify just how you’re feeling about your crush, and a little Love Potion #9.
Those are just a few of the activities included in the Valentine’s Day Science Kit, and we bet you’ll combine them to create even more. The science of love is incredible! You will also have Professor Cupid with you every step of the way to explain the science behind each activity. This kit is great fun for all ages, but is recommended for scientists ages 10 and up with adult supervision.

What’s included?

  • 4 sheets of Magenta Heat Sensitive Paper
  • 1 Energy Stick
  • 1 Hand Boiler
  • 2 white carnations
  • 30 Fortune Telling Fish
  • 150 Red UV Color Changing Beads
  • 25 grams of Jelly Marbles
  • 12 pack of Fizzers Coloring Tablets
  • 2 Jumbo Test Tubes with rack
  • 4 oz spray bottle of ammonia
  • 4 oz bottle of phenolphthalein
  • 30 pipe cleaners
  • One pair of Clear Safety Glasses
  • Activity Guide

What does it teach?

The Valentine’s Kit uses different fields of science to capitalize on the Valentine’s Day holiday and make it a scientific learning experience that is fun and engaging.