Looking for a way for your kids to learn and have fun at the same time? Valley Today took a trip to Concordia's Science Academy for some science projects. Here's a few you can try at home.
With long winters in the mid-west it can be sometimes hard to explain to kids why salt is used on the roads. This experiment can show kids exactly why it's used.
Use a cup of sugar, a cup of table salt and a cup of calcium chloride (snow melt). Have your child pour each into a cup full of water. Then let kids lift each and feel for a temperature difference. The calcium chloride will react with the water heating it up. This can also be poured on snow to see which is used on icy roads.
Kids love to get their hands dirty, and this project is great for any age. You will need Sodium alginate which comes from seaweed. It can be bought in dry powder form online and in some health food stores.
Take 2g of sodium alginate and 100g of water and stir very well. The powder won't want to mix well with water which is why it needs to be stirred vigorously.
Then pour a small amount into a cup. Take your favorite food color and add it to the mixture. Then with a plastic syringe suck up the jelly mixture.
When you put the mix into water mixed with calcium chloride (snow melt) it causes it to make a polymer. A polymer is like a synthetic plastic. When squeezing a big amount into the mixed water it can form a long string like a worm. Kids will have fun taking the worm out and feeling the now squishy gel that used to be liquid.
pH Color Test:
You can now test the the acidity of solutions you have at home. All you need is a red cabbage. Take leafs of the red cabbage and blend it with water.
Then pour the mix though something like a coffee filter to only use the now purple water from the cabbages pigment molecule called flavin.
When pouring the red cabbage water into different household solutions it will change colors. A red color means it's a very acidic solutions. Neutral solutions will stay a purplish color, and basic solutions will look green or yellow.
For more science fun, and to see where your kids can take part in Concordia's Science Academy check out the schedule on their web page. Contact information is also on their page if you have a group activity you would like the team to come to.