Valentine Heart Soap Boats

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
  • water
  • dish soap

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Draw a heart on an index card, color, and cut out
  2. Fill a shallow baking dish halfway with water
  3. Place the index card heart in the water
  4. 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!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, science art Tags: , ,
Spin Art Engineering

spin art_picCan 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 DaughterWhen 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!

Spint Art Printable

I hope you have fun this week inspiring your budding engineer! For more resources visit and check out my Pinterest board for more fun engineering activities here!



Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, thoughts of a girl engineer Tags: , , , , , ,
Valentine’s Day Candy Heart Science

candy heartsI 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!

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