Tag Archives: science

STEAM Tastes Good: Science Makes Ice-cream

We have been trying to do learning activities all summer long. I try to incorporate fun activities with learning components that will engage the kids’ minds but also let them be little and have fun. This week I found this fun (and tasty) activity.

When I was a kid I remember helping my mother make ice-cream and make butter as fun little at-home science experiments. I had not even thought to do it at home with my kids until i came across this post at Growing a Jeweled Rose.

This activity is actually the greatest science experiment for summer. The Science Behind Ice Cream in a Bag is that the salt lowers the melting point of the ice. This is why we add salt to roads in the winter. When you shake and move the bag it causes the salt and ice to react creating ice-cream!  Check out Growing a Jeweled Rose for the fun tutorial and recipe. Then try it at home and see just how sweet science actually tastes!

Science is Fun: Oil and Water Experiment

Science is fun. When a child is able to put their hands on something and find out how it works and why it works they learn so much better. What is more exciting than trying something out on your own? This month we want to share a fun science experiment that will allow your kids to discover the difference between oil and water.

Thank you to Growing a Jeweled Rose for creating such a fun and unique way to interact with water and oil. This new experiment will allow you show your kids the property differences of oil and water with a glowing experiment. You and your kids will be excited to create a glowing magical world with oil and water.

Head on over to Growing a Jeweled Rose to learn exactly how to create this magical experiment at home.

Check out just why oil and water are so different below. While you and your kids create the magical glowing world you can share all your knowledge of oil and water and their similar yet different properties.

Oil and Water:

Oil and water are two liquids that are immiscible, meaning they will not mix together. Liquids tend to be immiscible when the force of attraction between the molecules of the same liquid is greater than the force of attraction between the two different liquids.

Although this experiment uses the same volume of oil as water, the two liquids have different masses and therefore, different densities. Density is a measure of how much of a substance is contained in a specific volume of liquid. A liquid that is less dense than water will float on the water; a liquid that has a greater density will sink.

To gain an understanding of density, think of two zippered plastic bags of the same size (same volume). Imagine that one bag contains 10 marbles and the other 20 marbles. The bag containing 20 marbles is denser than the bag containing 10 marbles because it contains more material – even though it is the same material. This analogy describes the relative densities of different concentrations of the same substance.

Also, imagine that there is a third bag containing 10 very large marbles. The volume of the material is the same, the number of molecules (marbles) are the same but again, the bag of large marbles contains more material – it has a greater mass and so a greater density. This analogy represents the experiment above since two different materials are used.

The objects added to the container will float at different levels according to their density. If the density of the object is similar to that of water, the object will float in the water. If similar to the oil, the object will float in the oil.

What does it matter?

Getting oil and water to mix is at the very heart of cleaning dishes and clothes. A lot of agents that make dishes and clothes dirty are greasy or contain oil. Water alone is not attracted to these compounds. However, because a detergent has one end that is attracted to oil-like molecules, detergents tend to bind to dirt, grease and oil. The other half of the detergent binds to water molecules, allowing the soiling agent to be washed away.


STEM activity: Build a Solar Oven

STEM is quickly becoming my favorite educational subject. It is so much fun to create these fun projects at home with my kids. We all feel as if we are playing and building when in reality I am helping to stimulate their skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It is an important subject in today’s world. So many of our important careers have STEM components. Colleges look for STEM based backgrounds and even supply STEM based scholarships.

Schools are quickly trying to create a broader base of classes and programs available in these subjects. But with defunding of public schools, many are unable to incorporate these programs. As parents, it is our job to fill in the gaps with extracurricular activities, groups, and even working with our kids at home. It only takes a little parental interest to make a project that seems boring and make it into a fun and interactive game.

We have been trying to share different STEM activities at least once a month on the blog. Our kids look forward to them. But we also know that parents get busy, and may not have the time to find things like this on their own. We also know that a lot of us pin great ideas to try. Tough we sometimes get so busy we lack the motivation and time to actually follow through. Many of you have told us that when you see our blog posts it reminds you that you can do these things. And many of you do. So we will continue to share in hopes that we can help you to accomplish the things you plan.

This month we want to share this fun STEM project is not only fun, it is also pretty tasty! PBSKids has shared a simple solar oven that can help you and your kids to create S’mores! Simply follow the incredibly easy to follow build a solar oven tutorial and enjoy the treats of your labor. build a solar oven