For this saltwater density experiment, you’ll fill four clear glasses with water, then add salt to one glass, sugar to one glass, and baking soda to one glass, leaving one glass with just water. Then, float small plastic pieces or grapes in each of the glasses and observe whether they float or not. Saltwater is denser than freshwater, which means some objects may float in saltwater that would sink in freshwater. You can use this experiment to teach kids about the ocean and other bodies of saltwater, such as the Dead Sea, which is so salty people can easily float on top of it.
'Tis the season for gumdrops and this classic structural engineering challenge uses just two ingredients: toothpicks and candy. We’re particularly fond of this one from The Homeschool Scientist because it helps you explain what the concepts (engineering, load distribution, physics, shape comparison) are to your kiddos while they are building it. doing it. Visit The Homeschool Scientist to get going. And click here for five more gumdrop-themed challenges.
Is it a liquid or solid? The answer is both! This DIY slime—made from glue, borax and water—is also known as a polymer (molecules that can stick close together to be a solid or spread apart and take liquid form). And it’s all thanks to borax, which acts as a binder to prevent the glue from going completely liquid. Check out Explorable’s recipe on mixing the ingredients. Prolong the life of your goo by keeping it in an airtight container in the fridge.
Baking soda volcanoes are one of the classic science projects for kids, and they’re also one of the most popular. It’s hard to top the excitement of a volcano erupting inside your home. This experiment can also be as simple or in-depth as you like. For the eruption, all you need is baking soda and vinegar (dishwashing detergent adds some extra power to the eruption), but you can make the “volcano” as elaborate and lifelike as you wish.
OST experiences also promote an appreciation for, and interest in, the pursuit of STEM in school and in daily life. They help learners understand the daily relevance of science to their lives, the depth and breadth of science as a field of inquiry, and what it might be like to choose to do science in the world, either as a professional or a citizen scientist.
If your kids are learning about genetics, you can do this edible double helix craft to show them how DNA is formed, what its different parts are, and what it looks like. The licorice will form the sides or backbone of the DNA and each color of marshmallow will represent one of the four chemical bases. Kids will be able to see that only certain chemical bases pair with each other.
A nature journal is a great way to encourage kids to be creative and really pay attention to what’s going on around them. All you need is a blank journal (you can buy one or make your own) along with something to write with. Then just go outside and encourage your children to write or draw what they notice. This could include descriptions of animals they see, tracings of leaves, a drawing of a beautiful flower, etc. Encourage your kids to ask questions about what they observe (Why do birds need to build nests? Why is this flower so brightly colored?) and explain to them that scientists collect research by doing exactly what they’re doing now.
Ah, slime. It’s the one thing that parents across the UK have been being pestered to make, so why not turn it into a science activity? For our concoction, we mixed shaving foam, PVA glue and a little bit of air freshener (fabric conditioner can work too!), to create a slime that you can swirl, stretch and crack, providing hours of fun. Try changing the quantities to see how the mixture changes, and ask the kids to explain the differences.