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 Unique and Easy Birthday Gift Idea

Do you have this same problem? I take my kids to the toy store to select a gift for their friend’s birthday and they end up wanting the same thing? When I explain that it is not their birthday and they can put it on their Christmas list, drama ensues.

These days I tend to sneak to Target to do birthday gift shopping when the kids are at school to avoid the in-store battle. (Truth be told I remember doing the same thing to my mom… payback is.. well you know.)

So next time you need a birthday gift idea avoid the in-store drama and head to the dollar store for a unique and easy birthday gift that is under $20! Throw in book one of the Halley Harper series and you’ve got a great birthday gift for your child’s next birthday party they attend!

The dollar store supply list can be found at She Loves Science here along with a FREE PRINTABLE! You can find the Halley Harper book on Amazon here.

I hope this helps you avoid in-store drama with buying birthday gifts and more importantly I hope it gives you an easy idea for all the upcoming birthdays this year!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, lovely conversations Tags:
Screeching Ghost Balloons 

Is it just me or when stores cleared their back to school items in late August then Halloween decorations were put in their place?  Stores have wanted us to feel like it’s fall but it’s even hard for me to drink a pumpkin spice latte when it’s still 90°F outside.

I do LOVE the fall especially because my youngest has her birthday around Halloween so I always have my eyes peeled for cute party decor and Halloween games with a science twist of course!

I recently saw this experiment on Steve Spangler and thought what a great Halloween science activity! All you have to do is draw a cute little ghost on the balloon and you’ve got a real haunted house sound! And of course my youngest really got the hang of it!

What you need: a white balloon, a black permanent marker, and a hex nut


 What you do:

  1. Place hex nut in balloon
  2. Blow up balloon and tie
  3. Draw a ghostly figure
  4. Twirl the balloon around until the hex nuts spin on the inside

Warning: Depending on the age of the hex nut it could cause the balloon to pop if it nicks the side. Supervise young kiddos when trying this at home.

What’s the science:

This experiment demonstrates centripetal force – the force that keeps the hex nut moving on a circular path. Other examples of centripetal force are satellites when they stay in orbit around the earth or when a hula hoop continues to spin around your body when you hula! The screeching sound is caused by the vibration of the balloon when the hex nut comes in contact with the latex.

For more fun Halloween experiments check out this blog’s header menu labeled ‘Halloween’.  It has my favorite She Loves Science Halloween posts over the years!

I hope you are able to enjoy this experiment with cooler fall temperatures!

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