I ran across an easy surface tension experiment using soap boats and thought I would give it a twist for Valentine’s Day! Needless to say it was a hit with the three year old and I can’t wait to show my first grader after school. Check this out!
Here’s what you need:
an index card
a shallow baking dish
Here’s how you do it:
Draw a heart on an index card, color, and cut out
Fill a shallow baking dish halfway with water
Place the index card heart in the water
Add a small drop of dish soap to the “V” in the heart and watch the heart zoom along!
What is the science?
The index card heart floats on top of the water due to surface tension. Surface tension is the water molecules creating a skin on the surface of the water. When you add dish soap the surface tension breaks and propels the heart boat forward. Once the surface tension is broken you have to start over with clean water for the second (and third) boats.
This is a definite must to entertain the kiddos for Valentine’s Day! Enjoy!
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!
I am beginning to think that Allie associates doing science with eating candy. I guess there are worse things – ha! The other day she said, “Mom, can we do an experiment?” while she was eyeing a box of Valentine candy hearts!
How could I resist? Candy hearts were always one of my favorite candy as a kid. They are to Valentine’s Day what candy corn is to Halloween. So why not mix science and candy together and make a candy heart experiment!?
I reached for my good ole’ gingerale and told her we were going to see if candy hearts would float or sink. We did a similar experiment with raisins here.
Allie carefully selected each heart color, we read them together, and tossed them in a fizzy glass of gingerale!
Here’s what happened.
The gingerale’s bubbles attached to some of the candy hearts creating little “life-jackets”. These little bubble “life-jackets” made the hearts more bouyant until they came to the surface and popped. Then the hearts would sink back to the bottom. It was a simple fun experiment! (Experiment disclaimer: some of the hearts sunk and stayed at the bottom. Sounds like a future experiment is in order!)
I hope you have an amazing Valentine’s Day mixing candy and science!
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!)