Can an engineer be creative? Of course she can and I’ll show you how!
But first, did you know that this week is Engineering Week and it’s goal is to bring engineering ‘to life’ for kids!? As you know, I believe we can encourage our daughter’s innate curiosity and creativity to help her become that future problem solver our world needs. I show you how in my newly published book She Loves Science: A Mother’s Guide to Nurturing the Curiosity, Confidence, and Creativity of Her Daughter. When we encourage a “homegrown” love of science we will increase her confidence so she might consider science and engineering as a future career.
Today, let’s bring engineering to life and amaze her with a little bit of paint and a dash of centrifugal force!
What you’ll need: Washable paint, salad spinner, construction paper, tape
How to do it:
Cut paper into a heart and tape it to the inside bowl of a salad spinner
Place small dots of paint at the center of the heart
Close the lid and let her spin the salad spinner
Watch what happens to the paint!
What happens: When you spin the salad spinner it applies centrifugal force to the paint to make amazing spin art! Next try what happens when you spin a wet sponge! (Hint: the sponge should dry as the water moves away from it!) Engineers use centrifuges to separate mixtures like water from oil. Oil is like a sponge that has trapped water in it.
In case you want a card to print with this experiment and explanation on it – here ya go!
My daughter loves art. I can imagine the day she will have her own blog called “SheLovesArt.com”! Hoping that her two interests could coexist together, she wisely asked, “Mom, can science be art?” Yikes. As with most of her questions, it caught me off guard. “Um, yes of course it can be!”, I fumbled. I spent the next few days researching an experiment that would interest her most creative side!
I found that you can do chromatography with Sharpie Markers and rubbing alcohol to make amazing tie-dye art! Scientists use chromatography to separate mixtures into their individual parts using a solvent (like alcohol) to separate a mixture (like the colors in the Sharpie marker). Interestingly, industry uses of chromatography include testing blood samples, testing for contaminants in water, and controlling food quality!
The best part of this experiment is it’s simple setup and easy execution!
Here’s what you need:
Rubbing alcohol (90% isopropyl alcohol that you can find at Target)
Here’s how you do it.
Place newspaper or cardboard inside the t-shirt (to prevent the markers from bleeding through)
Make small dots of different colors in a flower pattern all over the shirt. Be as artistic as you’d like!
Then replace the newspaper with a cookie sheet inside the t-shirt to catch any alcohol drippings
Fill the eye dropper with rubbing alcohol and slowly place it at the center of the ink pattern
Allow the alcohol to dry then toss the shirt in the dryer for 15 minutes to set the design
Check out this video. Pretty neat, huh?
Allie enjoyed making her own t-shirt. But when I tried to help she said I didn’t understand her “style”. Oh boy…
Who knew that science could be so colorful and artistic!? I think Allie is convinced her two favorite worlds can work together in harmony.
We would love to see the results of your chromatography art! Post your pictures and make sure you tag it #shelovesscience so we can all connect together!
Hi! My name is Tracy. I’m a mom and engineer who loves to help you inspire your girls to be curious and confident about science with simple easy activities and experiments. Together let’s raise empowered girls with science!
Science camp is all about learning the laws of motion but someone wants to put the brakes on Camp Eureka for good. Can 9 year old science whiz Halley Harper find the culprit by using her knack of turning ordinary into the extraordinary? Will she find out who is sabotaging the experiments before anyone else gets hurt and camp closes forever?
Do you want your daughter to say she loves science? My book is your guide that will get you excited to share science with her. It is not your ordinary science book because it will get you thinking, laughing, and pulling out your baking soda and vinegar just for the fun it. This book is here to cheer you on while you try science with your daughter. (Click book image to find it on Amazon!)