Early science projects foster a sense of curiosity, and teaches your child the critical problem solving skills needed in the "real world". We have a list of simple projects that you can do at home. Help your child create a Jr. Science Journal to track their hypothesis and outcome of the project.
Sprout a vegetable:
Try sprouting a potato, onion, or carrot top by suspending it with tooth picks in a glass of water. Ask your child: "What do you think will happen if we put this (potato) in water like this?" document their answer, and check it everyday.
Transpiration and Cohesion:
Show children how to place a white carnation in water with a few drops of food coloring and have children check it periodically while it drinks in the color. Water evaporating from the leaves, buds, and petals (transpiration) pulls water up the stem of the plant. This works in the same way as sucking on a straw. Water that evaporates from the leaves "pulls" other water behind it up to fill the space left by the evaporating water, but instead of your mouth providing the suction (as with a straw) the movement is due to evaporating water. This can happen because water sticks to itself (called water cohesion) and because the tubes in the plant stem are very small (in a part of the plant called the xylem). (courtesy of www.stevespanglerscience.com)
Double Displacement Reaction:
Put a tsp of baking soda in a small plastic pop bottle, add a tsp of vinegar and quickly cover the opening with a balloon. Kids will be amazed when the balloon starts to inflate.
Put a few seeds and a wet paper towel in a zip lock bag and watch the sprouting process close up. The uptake of water by dry seed is called imbibition (imbibition means to drink). As seeds imbibe water, they expand and enzymes and food supplies become hydrated. Hydrated enzymes become active and the seed increases its metabolic activities to produce energy for the growth process. In addition, the water causes turgor pressure to increase in the cells and they are able to enlarge. It sounds pretty complicated, but bottom line, its pretty cool to spy on these sprouting seeds through a plastic bag. Kids get to see what normally happens underground!
Pour juice, yogurt, juice and pudding into ice cube trays or paper cups, and place in the freezer. Talk about how the atoms move around faster when they are warm and slower to the point of solidification when they cool down. Talk about how liquids turned into solids, and then enjoy your yummy snack!
Baking is the tastiest of all science projects! You are measuring and combining different ingredients. And then you are turning liquids into solids by adding heat! To make cookies, an edible science experiment, click here for an awesome recipe: Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!
It is so easy to bring science into your child's lives! Your child will be amazed with all these simple experiments, PLUS they will be impressed with your knowledge as well!
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