Tag Archives: mad scientist

The Perfect Gift for Budding Scientists – Do It Yourself or All in One Science Kits

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

Do you have a pint-sized scientist in your life? Do they want to set up a mad scientist laboratory in your kitchen?

We meet so many parents, grandparents and other influential adults who know a child who is obsessed with science. These supportive adults are constantly looking for new ways to inspire their budding scientist, even if they themselves, are either scientists themselves or completely clueless in the world of science.

One question we are asked a lot is – what do I give the kid who loves science to keep that love alive?

Here are a few suggestions to think outside the box and away from plastic toys and video games.

We sell several different types of all-in-one science kits for kids of all ages, interests and price ranges. Here are the kits, as a mom, I recommend as the best science gifts.

1. Splash of Color Kit  $7.99

Perfect for ages 2 and up. No science experience needed! How fast can you mix 24 different colors using only red, yellow and blue water? Combine art and science as students experiment by adding droplets of primary colors to the 24 tiny mixing cups and create an amazing splash of rainbow colors! Discover how to mix a rainbow of colors, and learn how scientists keep track of portions when they experiment with different colors and materials. Once the mixing is done, don’t throw your masterpiece down the drain! Pull out a bag of Water Jelly Crystals and drop a pebble-size crystal into each of the compartments. In just a few minutes, you will end up with 24 jiggly, jelly-like crystals in all the colors you made! This kit will need adult supervision – it contains tiny pieces. Older kids will also have a ton of fun mixing colors and making jelly crystals.

2. Six Test Tubes in a Rack $19.99

Perfect for new or inexperienced scientists ages 4 to 12 (and beyond). Seasoned scientists will also enjoy the activities. Each unbreakable test tube in this kit holds materials for one experiment that can be done over and over.  Experiment with a growing alligator, ooey gooey jelly crystals, bubbling potions, magic sand that stays dry under water, color-changing beads, polymer plants, a test tube rainbow and erupting snow! Each test tube is a stand alone experiment with easy to understand instructions and simple science explanations. This kit does contain small pieces.

3. Big Bag of Science $39.99

Perfect for seasoned scientists ages 5 and up. Also good for scientists that like a lot of different activities. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own laboratory, look no further than this bag of science secrets.  This kit contains over 60 different experiments in a reusable bag.  Blast off with a soda explosion from a Geyser Tube‚ learn about the science of polymers including giant spheres, growing crystals, and Insta-Snow, learn about acids and bases, or even make your own slime… over 70 activities in all!  The Big Bag of Science uses materials covering multiple fields of science to help develop specific skills.  You’ll use physical science, chemistry, life science, and biology to learn about observation techniques, measurements, experimentation, and classifcation.

4. Chemistry Kit $62.99
Perfect for seasoned scientists ages 10 and up with adult supervision. (This kit contains chemicals.) The CHEM C1000 may just be the best way for young scientists to dive into the captivating world of science and chemistry. In this fascinating kit, Professor Probenius will guide you through 125 awe-inspiring experiments. Learn how to build a mini fire extinguisher, make water flow uphill, float a soap-powered boat and entertain your friends and family with amazing chemistry “magic” tricks. Discover how to identify the elements in different chemical substances with brilliant flame tests, and then use chemical reactions to make an American flag mysteriously appear.
5. Do It Yourself Kit  $Unlimited
The best part about this kit? You set the spend, you choose the science supplies and experiments and you tailor make it for the scientist in your life. Many items can be found in stores or online or at SteveSpanglerScience.com.
Here are some ideas to include in your science kit:
Check out all of the amazing science kits at Steve Spangler Science. You are sure to find the perfect gift for the mad scientist in your life. Don’t forget Test Tube stocking stuffers and for more ideas, visit our Top 12 Smart Toys gift list.

 

Mom Creates Mad Scientist Birthday Party Celebration

Steve Spangler Science Glowing Atomic Insta-Worms Instant Worms Mad Scientist Birthday PartySelf-proclaimed Mad Scientist Lab Coordinator and all around amazing mom Cara went above and beyond in planning her son Thomas’s 6-year-old birthday party this year.

Cara created a “secret lab” at her church. All attendees were given safety goggles & disposable lab coats (purchased from a medical supply store).

Thirty children, ages ranging from 4-7 years old, performed three experiments. They began their journey through the mad scientist lab by making Atomic Insta-Worms. Each scientist was given a Baby Soda Bottle to keep their worms and transport them home. After making the worms, they were led into a small room that was set up with several black lights to watch their worms glow.

The second experiment was making Shaker Slime. This gave each child a container to bring slime home. The shakers also put the children into the experiment, as they were the ones shaking and making the specimen.

The third experiment was launching water-pressure rockets outside.

The grande finale was Diet Coke and Mentos erruptions. Cara explains, “Man that got a huge reaction as they shot approx 20 feet in the air.  I was super happy I chose a place FAR away from the building.  We only did two explosions, but I could have done them all day long.”

The party wrapped up with cupcakes placed into the shape of a beaker. Cara also filled test tubes and beakers with bright colorful candy and placed them on the table. Each child also received a certificate that said “Professor XXXX is a Fantastic Funologist at THOMAS LAB.”

Spangler Unwrapped: Mintastic Episode Airs in September

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Tune into Food Network’s Unwrapped to get a peek inside the Spangler Science labs as Steve shares the science behind the Mentos Geyser all of that exploding soda. Back in December, I mentioned that a crew from Unwrapped on the Food Network wanted to get the real scoop on the popular Mentos and soda reaction. The crew spent an entire day grabbing the reaction from every angle and trying to understand how all of those tiny bubbles produce such a huge fountain of soda. The episode is scheduled to air on September 24, 2007. Consult your local listing for time and channel.

Exploding Watermelons

7607-watermelon.jpgI love Halloween. One of my favorite activities is to “carve” pumpkins using a simple reation inside the fruit. First, you carve the face then carefully replace pieces. After creating a reaction by generating a gas inside and igniting it (ask your local chemistry teacher for the details) the face pieces are blown off with a small explosion.

Halloween is more than 100 days away and I just couldn’t wait. So I initiated the new weather anchor at the local Denver television station by introducing her to carving watermelons. The problem was, we didn’t really carve the watermelon, it exploded. Watch the Video to see how we skipped right over the carving and went straight to exploding.

Water Flowing Uphill?

Not exactly… but this stuff is really cool. It’s probably best described as a self-siphoning gel. The chemical is called polyethylene oxide or Polyox and it has an incredibly large molecular weight – about 4 million. When the powder is mixed with water (that’s the tricky part), the liquid becomes very thick and will literally siphon itself from one container to another. As a kid I order a product called Moon Blob – “The Gravity Defying Gel” – which promised to do the same thing. It did… but now I’m doing it as an adult! It’s tough to explain it… just watch the Polyox video.