A Thankgiving Science Bucket List

Thanksgiving break is upon us and my kids will be out of school all week next week. In between trips to grandparents house, football games, turkey meals and being stuffed why not throw in a bit of fun science to entertain the family?

turkeybombHow many times have you said you’ve eaten so much turkey you are going to pop? This year pop a turkey instead! pineconepic

My kids will be playing outside a lot during this break. Have them collect a few pine cones and try out this experiment. Let them dry and paint them for a beautiful fall craft!

This one is just plain fun. Before you chunk the Halloween pumpkins to make room for Christmas decorations, make a hypothesis (an educated guess), then chunk that leftover pumpkin into some water to see if it will sink or float.  Did you guess right?

pumpkinpicmonkeyOnce you’ve seen if the pumpkins can float… try burying it in your garden. Chances are by the time the kids go back to school in a week a sprout will have formed. Who knew you could grow a pumpkin in a pumpkin?

Are you like my family and still have Halloween candy in the house?  Ok, truth be told by this time last year I had eaten all the left over candy… But this year why not try a bit of science?  Amaze the kids – then chunk the results!  Easy, entertaining, and future cavities averted…

IMG_8977

Will you be waiting in restaurants with the kiddos during the break?  Bring along a string and pass the time by fishing for ice. Trust me… this one will entertain until the food comes out! 

(Photo Credit: Live Science)

And if you are still looking for interesting dinner table entertainment…Did you know turkey’s are related to T.Rex?! Who knew!  Check it out here on Live Science.

We have so much to be thankful for this year. I hope that you and your family enjoy Thanksgiving together because isn’t that what this time of year is all about?

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments Tags: ,
Pumpkin Powered Robot

Do you struggle with what to do with those cute little pumpkins after Halloween? I guess you could make them into a pie but around my house we like to experiment with them. This fall why not see if a pumpkin can be used to power a robot?

What you need: The Green Science Potato Clock components found here, a DIY robot, a AA battery, and two cute little leftover pumpkins.

How to make the DIY robot: 

  • Wrap two small boxes in aluminum foil. (I used a jello box and an old Alka Seltzer box.)
  • Wrap a cardboard tube with aluminum foil for the neck
  • Glue boxes, tube, and pipe cleaners on to complete the body. Make a face with permanent marker.
  • Hot glue or tape the clock components to the ‘belly’ of the robot

How you do it:  First, test out a AA battery to see if it will power the robot clock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does a battery work?

There are three main parts to a battery: two electrodes (of different metals) and a chemical that separates the electrodes. When a device is connected to the battery a chemical reaction causes the electrons to flow between the two metal electrodes using the chemical as a bridge for the electrons.

(Image Source: Wikipedia found here)

So can a pumpkin be a battery? 

Follow the instructions from the Green Science clock kit but instead of using a potato, try with two pumpkins instead as shown below.

What is the science?

The pumpkin acts as a bridge between the two electrodes just like the chemical between the battery electrodes.  When the electrodes are inserted a pumpkin and connected to the clock it completes the circuit and causes the stored chemical energy in the pumpkin to be converted to electrical energy just like in a battery. Question: Why does it take two pumpkins to power the clock? Answer: You need two pumpkins to be strong enough to power it.

What do you do with your leftover pumpkins?  What other fruits or veggies did you try to power the robot clock?

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, STEM Tags: , , ,
A Happy Scientist Costume

This year my older kids chose a profession for their Halloween costumes; one will be an astronaut and the other a policeman. Of course my youngest is still too young to have an opinion but I thought, “Hey, it may be my one of my last years to get to choose her costume so why not make her a scientist!”

But when I searched for DIY girl scientist costumes this is what I found – mad ones. What is to be mad about on Halloween? Why not make science just a tad bit sunnier? So I tweaked these Michael’s costume instructions to make my littlest scientist a happy one. 


What you need: 

  • Tie dyed t-shirt  (about two times bigger than normal size): I found mine here
  • Pink duct tape
  • A black sharpie marker
  • Safety glasses: These are old ones that we have but you can also buy safety glasses at Walmart or LakeShore Learning.
  • Plastic beaker

How you do it: I followed Michael’s tutorial here for turning a tshirt into a labcoat but substituted the white shirt for a tie-dyed one!  Easy-peasy!

Who says being a scientist means going mad and having crazy hair. Let’s have happy adorable scientists who can experiment AND rock the tie dyed lab coat!

I hope you are having as much fun as we are getting ready for Halloween!

Categories: science art Tags: , ,
Rock Painting featuring Gutsy Girl Dr. Jennifer Wiseman

This female scientists is featured in one of my favorites book series, Gutsy Girls by Amy Sullivan. I just love how the book makes Dr. Jennifer Wiseman so relatable to our girls who may also love rocks, exploring outdoors, animals, and outer space.

Jennifer went on to pursue her love of science by discovering a comet and teaching children how awesome our God is by studying the wonders of His universe. The best part is she shows us that it’s okay to love science AND God! What a great role model for our girls!

I highly recommend this Gutsy Girls book for your science loving girl’s library. You can buy it here.

The book illustrations are amazing – so much that it inspired our rock painting craft! Check out our favorite page featuring a beautiful picture of outerspace. I just love how Allie is soaking up this picture. 

 

 What you need: rocks, black acrylic paint, Gelly Roll pens found here

 How you do it:

  • Clean and dry the rocks
  • Paint with acrylic black paint and let it dry
  • Use pens to create the art that inspires you!

Whats the science:

One of the five natural sciences is earth science. Exploring and finding rocks are such a great way to explore our earth and ask questions about how the rocks were made, what they are made of, and how they got their shape. My daughter likes nothing more than to smash rocks (with eye protection) to see what it looks like inside. No doubt she’s looking for crystals or geodes!

Enjoy learning about this female scientist and doing a sweet rock painting craft with your gutsy girl!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, lovely conversations, science art, STEM, thoughts of a girl engineer Tags: ,