Day three of Science Camp started with my portion, states of matter.
I started off my gathering the kids tightly and showing them how it was hard to move, representing the atoms or molecules in a solid state.
Then they stepped away from each other and saw they could move more freely and quicker around each other, representing a liquid, then we stepped away once more and they could move much quicker and freer, representing a gas.
Next I gave each kid a cup of water and a piece of alka seltzer. I didn’t tell them what that was, but they observed that the water was liquid and the alka seltzer was a solid. Then they all dropped their alka seltzer into the water and observed how it was making gas and I talked about the chemical reaction that happened when we dropped in the pill.
We talked about how a solid holds a particular size and shape. A liquid takes the shape of whatever it is in. A gas also fills up the space of what it is in. At this point we were supposed to do THIS experiment. SO COOL, right? Well, my dry ice didn’t make it to day three, sadly, so we didn’t try it, but it would be really neat to do still, to show how the gas filled up the space in the bubble.
We took some polymer balls and I showed how they changed states of matter by adding water to them.
I took an ice cube and heated it under a metal spoon. We talked about how the water can change states of matter, but that it would still have the same properties. So the ice was a solid, melted into a liquid, then boiled to make a gas.
Next we talked about density and layered corn syrup, dish soap, rubbing alcohol, water, and oil. I had dyed some of the different liquids so we could see the separation better. I first had the kids write down how they thought the layers would work out, so that was fun for them to see some of them move up or down according to the density of the liquid.
And for the last experiment (my favorite!), we made lava lamps! I didn’t tell the kids what would happen, but I found the idea HERE, but we layered a couple inches water at the bottom, then filled up the bottle with oil (leaving some space at the top). Next each kid chose their color of food coloring. What is neat is that since it’s water based, the food coloring will sink to the bottom in cool balls, then it hits the water and either floats around for a minute, or explodes to color the water.
Next you take a piece of an alka seltzer drop and put it in.
It sinks to the bottom and the colored water bubbles in forms balls that float to the top and it goes on an on until the alka seltzer it dissolved. Then you do it again and again and again because the kids LOVE it!
In centers we played with cornstarch and water, which is actually a non-Newtonian substance. That was fun to talk about with the kids and how it related to density.
Sabra’s sister did centers again and talked about erosion.
And the kids got to make their own silly putty. Behind my kids you’ll see the kids working with sponges at another center.
A great time was had by all! This year with only one segment to teach, it was a lot easier and I loved preparing for it. Sometimes the experiments don’t work perfectly (or your dry ice melts before you can do the coolest experiment of your class) but the kids really love it! We also went swimming, caught crawdads, skinned a rattlesnake (gross and scary that they were there) and had some delicious meals.
**I got so many great ideas online for this. Many of them overlapped, but I did link to those I found the most unique.
**Thanks to Sabra (and her sister Suzie!) for inviting us along and for the majority of pictures in this post!