New Year Science Noise Makers

Can you believe it is almost 2018? Are you looking for a way to help the kids ring in the New Year long before midnight? Why not raid your craft supplies, make your own noisemakers, and learn a bit of science in the process?

We made two different noise makers as twirling the “buzzing bee” required hand eye coordination that my 4 year old doesn’t have yet… but blowing on a harmonica was right up his alley!

The First Noise Maker: The “Buzzing Bee”

What you need: one index card, tape, one craft stick, a wide rubber band, a piece of sticky backed foam (I used a foam letter “I”), 36″ string, and New Year stickers.

How to do it:

The Second Noise Maker: The DIY Harmonica

What you need: two craft sticks, a rubber band, an index card, and a toothpick

How you do it: (Important note: The toothpick should be underneath the paper strip on one side of the craft stick and on top of the paper strip on the opposite end of the craft stick.)

What’s the science?

In each noise maker the sound is coming from a vibration.  For the “Buzzing Bee” noisemaker the sound is from the vibration of the rubber band as the air passes over it.  The DIY Harmonica sound comes from the paper strip vibrating as you blow air over it.

Now this is the kind of noise that I could get used to… the sounds of science! Happy 2018! I hope you and your family have a fun one together!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, how to videos Tags: ,
Elf on the Shelf Science

Our elf just raided my science supplies and came up with some fun easy experiments to show the kids during Christmas! I hope it inspires your elf too!

Elf in Slime

As it turns out, elves can’t resist playing with slime! Our elf found our slime stash from Halloween and decorated the container with a cute elf belt! Here is a great slime recipe here.

A fizzy Christmas countdown

Elves are just as excited as we are to help the kids countdown to Christmas. She left a balloon filled with baking soda and a bottle of vinegar so when the kids come downstairs in the morning they can blow up the balloon to see the magical message appear!  Here’s how our elf prepared this experiment!

Elfish States of Matter

Elves know that Texas kids don’t get to see much snow. So ours brought some from the North Pole! The only trick is we have to keep it frozen! What a great lesson on states of matter!

Elf Magnetism

Imagine all of the science and engineering that goes on in Santa’s workshop. On this day our elf taught us that jingle bells are made of metal which a magnet is attracted to. One of my favorite things my kids said this day was, “Wow, I didn’t know jingle bells would stick to magnets!” It gave us a reason to explore what else magnets can stick to!

Elf 3D Model

Elves must have a lot of spatial skills to build all of the toys for Santa. Here is our elf showing us how to build 3D shapes with marshmallows and toothpicks! After we found our elf we promptly started trying to build the same structure shown here.

We have loved having our elf show us so many neat science experiments this Christmas! We hope your elf will bring a little easy science to show your kiddos too! It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, lovely conversations Tags: ,
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: , , ,