Monday, November 8, 2010

Science: Chemical Reactions

I am loving the Real Science 4 Kids curriculum we have chosen. Right now we are in the Pre-Level 1 Chemistry book. We divide each lesson into two or more weeks depending on the amount of material and how quickly Gess is grasping it. The first week we read through the workbook and on the second week we do the lab work. Gess really loves when we get to the experiments. This study was on chemical reactions.

Our lab work for chemical reactions has us labeling 4 cups and placing lemon juice, vinegar, milk and water mixed with baking soda in them. Gess had to first describe what was in each cup (she didn't see me prepare them). She did pretty good but she thought the lemon juice was apple juice and of course the baking soda water was just plain water.

Then we started mixing them. She discovered what happened when we mixed the following:

1. Lemon juice to vinegar
2. Lemon juice to milk
3. Lemon juice to baking soda
4. Vinegar with milk
5. Vinegar with baking soda
6. Milk with baking soda

She then add to look at her overall findings and discuss what she learned. As much fun as she had experiencing some messes as a couple of the mixtures bubbled up and all over the table, I thought I would add an another element of even more fun and yes, more mess to really drive home what a chemical reaction can look like. We had to take this last experiment outside.

I have shared Steve Spangler Science with you in the past. His site is an excellent resource for fun, hands on Science projects and teaching videos. In 2005 Steve Spangler started sharing about how Mentos candy reacts with soda. Check out his video explaining how to make a huge geyser with a simple tube of Mentos candy mints and a bottle of diet soda.

As you can see, this is a really fun, yet messy experiment. Gess had a blast placing different things in the bottles to see if they did or did not react. We finished with some Mentos candies and she got her geyser. We don't yet have a tube like they do in the video, but I am thinking of getting one. That is really neat. We will play with this again and again I am sure.

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