National Science Week: Be a Scientist at Home with Your Children

Did you know, Australians, that 16-24 August is the National Science Week? Since I am not keen on mathematics, physics or biology, I have decided to celebrate the day in a non-traditional day with my soon to be teenager sister.
Fortunately, there is no need to be a scientist to do some laughable tricks. Thus you’ll have the opportunity to spend some extra time with your children, for example. What is more, you can teach them ‘serious’ things while having fun. Who said science must be boring?

1. “Delicious” Science

At what temperature does a solid bar of chocolate go to liquid? Are there any differences between white, dark and milk chocolate? Let’s find out!

What You’ll Need

  • Chocolate pieces of the same size. Chocolate bars are perfect for the purpose. Just don’t eat too much before the experiment.
  •  Paper plates
  • A pencil or pen and a notebook to record your results

What to Do

  1.  Take one piece of chocolate, put it on the plate and leave it where the sun is shining brightly.
  2.  Record how long it will take for the chocolate to melt. If it is not liquid after ten minutes, record its condition(how soft it is).
  3. Repeat the same process with another piece of dark or white bar of chocolate. Is there any difference among them?
  4.  Be creative. What other locations can you find? Hot water? Your mouth?

Why is This Happening

Everyone has experienced the melting ability of the sun at least once in his life. Have you ever noticed that the chocolate usually melts even faster when you hold it with bare hands? What does this tell you about the temperature of your own body?

2. Make a Huge Dry Ice Bubble

Who doesn’t love bubbles? I have always tried to make them bigger and bigger, and if you are like me, this experiment is the perfect opportunity to make your childish dream come true.

What You’ll Need

  •  Some soapy mixture for making bubbles
  •  Water
  •  A bowl with a lip around the top
  • A cloth
  • Dry ice(you’ll need more if you are using a bowl instead of cup). Can be usually found in ice cream stores or in large grocery stores.

What to Do

  1.  Place the dry ice in the bowl, then add water.
  2. Soak the material in the soapy mixture. Run it around the lip of the bowl, before dragging it across the top.
  3. Watch your bubble grow!

Why is This Happening

At temperature above -56.4 C dry ice changers from a solid substance to a gas, without being liquid. This is called sublimation. Therefore, dry ice put in water fills the bubble with clouds until the pressure is so high that it explodes. Ever wondered how do they make that foggy effect in theatres? Well, now you know the answer.

Megan Steel

About Megan Steel

For Megan, landscaping has been a lifetime passion, and writing about it gives her great pleasure. Ms. Steel specializes in contemporary landscape design, and planting, but she also acknowledges the European style, and classic looks (which she has studied in Italy and Spain). If you want to recreate a little piece of heaven right in your backyard, Megan can help you make it happen, so stay tuned for her articles!
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