At Club SciKidz, one of our most popular summer camps is called Sea Adventures. Young kids love to hear about pirate life while learning about all thing’s ocean. Here are a couple fun activities and experiments to entertain and educate your child.
Slime is all the rage with kids today. Its also an excellent way to teach children about liquids, solids and gels. Slime is considered a gel, not a solid, but not exactly a liquid. Scientists call gel a non-Newtonian fluid, meaning it can change viscosity. When you initially pour slime, it flows like a gooey, thick liquid because it has low viscosity. When you squeeze the slime, or pound it with your fist, its feels hard like a wet solid. This is because applying stress squeezes the particles in the slime together, making it hard for them to slide against each other.
What You’ll Need:
How to Make:
Mix 1 teaspoon of borax powder with ½ cup of water. Set aside. Mix 5 oz. of glue, food coloring, glitter, and ½ cup water to the plastic bowl. Add the borax water little by little to the glue mixture and stir until completely mixed. Mix and knead, checking consistency, and adding more glue or borax as needed. Store slime in an airtight container.
Check out www.clubscikidzlabs.comunder Blogs for more slime recipes.
This experiment is named after Ren Descartes (1596-1650), a French Scientist and mathematician who used the diver to demonstrate gas laws and buoyancy. Gases are more “squishable” than liquids, so air compresses before the water. Squeezing the bottle causes the diver to sink because the increased pressure forces water up into the diver, which compresses the air at the top of the eyedropper. This increases the mass of the of the diver causing it to sink. (Density = Mass divided by Volume) Releasing the squeeze on the bottle decreases the pressure on the air at the top of the eyedropper, and the water is forced back out of the diver. Kids can relate this gas law to why things “sink or swim” in the ocean.
What You’ll Need:
Have your child place the empty soda bottle in the small plastic bowl. Fill the plastic soda bottle to the very top with water. Fill the eyedropper ¼ full of water. Place the eyedropper into the soda bottle. The eyedropper should float and the water overflowing the bottle. Seal the bottle with the cap. Have your child squeeze the side of the bottle and notice how the diver sinks. Release the squeeze and it floats back to the top. Make sure your child observes the water level rising in the eyedropper as they squeeze. See if they can make the diver go up and down without making it look like they are squeezing the bottle.
It’s never too early to start talking to children about the environment. Even young kids can understand the effect man has on the ocean. This experiment demonstrates what happens when there is an oil spill in the ocean. Make sure your child wears rubber gloves for this experiment!
What You’ll Need:
Ask your child to make a prediction about the action of oil and water. Fill a 9oz. cup with water. Using a pipette, have your child create an oil spill by putting five drops of motor oil into the cup with water. Did your child correctly predict what would happen? Ask them what effect they believe wind and wave action might have on oil and water. They can simulate the oceans behavior by blowing on and moving the water in the cup. Pour out the oil and water mixture and refill the cup halfway with water.
Have your child predict which of the oil spill cleanup methods will be most effective. Add five drops of oil and five drops of liquid detergent to the water. In the ocean, a boom might be used to clean up the oil. Use the string to try to contain the oil. Add the feather to the oil. Ask your child how he/she thinks an oily feather would affect a bird’s behavior.
Kids can learn more about how a boom system is cleaning up the oceans by visiting www.theoceancleanup.com.
Club SciKidz is also proud to offer two ocean themed lab boxes, By the Sea-By the Beautiful Sea and Save Our Oceans. These lab boxes and more can be found at www.clubscikidzlabs.comunder Past Boxes heading.
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