Sunday, February 24, 2013

Science in the car: TMBG

Sing along to science related songs in the car

Appropriate Age Level

4+ (at least my 3yo wasn't into it)          

Science Learned
How Blood Works in the Body
Hydrogen Cars
Colors of the Rainbow etc.

Materials Needed

They Might Be Giants - Here Comes Science CD, usually found at a local library but can be found here on Amazon.

1. Play the CD on the go in the car to expose the kiddos to science concepts such as the one listed above.

2. Disclaimer: Tracks 1 and 6 are of the secular humanist view point, so disregard these tracks if this is something that conflicts with your faith.

3. Quiz the kids when getting out of the car on some of the science facts they could have learned while listening. Here are some example questions: 
     a. Can you name some elements?
     b. What are some or all of the colors of the rainbow?
     c. Why is pluto no longer a planet?
     d.  How does hydrogen power a car?
     e. What is the sun made out of?
     f. What life forms participate in photosynthesis?
     g. How does the scientific method work?
     h. What dinosaurs can you name?
     i. What are some of the states of matter?

4. There is also an accompanying DVD that you could play at home and do the same thing at home.  Here is a video from the DVD.

Time Allotted
5 or more minutes depending on how many songs you want to listen to and discuss. 


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Winter Ice Melt Palooza!

Learn why salt helps to melt ice using different types of salt. 

Appropriate Age Level
5+ (some concepts can be 3+)

Science Learned
Freezing Point - The temperature at which a liquid becomes a solid
Temperature - a physical measurement of the hotness or coolness of something
Freezing Point depression - when the freezing point of something is lowered by a solute
Colligative Property - a property of a substance that depends on the number of particles present instead of type of particle.
Solution - a homogeneous mixture of solute and solvent that is in one phase (liquid, solid, gas)
Solvent - A substance that dissolves a solute.
Solute - A substance, usually a solid, dissolved into another substance, usually a liquid. 
Liquid- a state of matter that is characterized by taking up a definite volume but having no particular shape
Solid - state of matter that is characterized by being structurally rigid and resistance to change

Materials Needed
Ice Block
Table Salt - NaCl
Magnesium Chloride MgCl2
Calcium Chloride CaCl2

1. Either find a block of ice outside, or freeze some water in a plastic container. 

2. Explain how ice is frozen water and a solid and how its freezing point is at 32F or 0C.  When water is not frozen it is in the liquid state. 

3. On a surface that you don't mind getting wet, take some table salt and add it to the block of ice in one area. Attempt to stir in the salt into the ice.  Notice how the salt, the solute, melts the ice, the solvent. It essentially lowers its freezing point of the ice.  (If the student wants to know more, it essentially breaks the hydrogen bonds required to keep the ice in solid form by the salt molecules coming in and wanting to share the same space and transferring electrons.)

4. If you have Magnesium Chloride and/or Calcium Chloride on hand you can add a spoonful of each to other parts of the block.  (You could probably add some different food colorings to differentiate the different materials if you would like more wow!) If you have a thermometer on hand you can check out the differences in temperature of the solution melts.  The MgCl2 will depress the freezing point of ice to 5F.  While table salt only depresses it until 15F. Calcium chloride depresses it until -20F. While if you are doing this experiment inside the temperatures gotten will not be at these exact levels you should be able to see some difference. 

5.  Explain that the differences of the freezing points arrise from freezing point depression being a colligative property and the differences in size of the molecules, where NaCl is the smallest, CaCl2 is the largest, makes a difference in melt points. 

Time Allotted
20 minutes