Thursday, 17 March 2011

National Science Week - Day 4

Today we met some other families from our home ed group at the Natural History Museum.
Oscar has been here lots of time and is very familiar with this fairly small building which meant I didn't really see much of him but I did manage to get a couple of pics.

After everyone had had a good look round the museum we all went to the play park at Canoe Lake, this time I did know where Oscar was (most of the time) but I still only managed to get one photo.

Then after a picnic lunch we came home and did some more science.
We started by planting a broad bean in a glass jar with some damp kitchen roll, hopefully in a week or two it will germinate.

Then we had a look at our plastic, it's taking longer than it should to harden but it's definitely getting there.

Then we got out this optics science kit that I found in a charity shop last week.

From the kit we made some optical illusion spinners,

Oscar saw what happens to his reflection when he bends a mirror.

He looked at lots of things through a kaleidoscope maker.

He put different colour filters over the kaleidoscope maker and spent ages walking round the house like this.

He looked at different pictures that came in the kit with the coloured filters to see how this affected the images.

And he made a periscope.
Not bad for a 99p science kit.

Then after a busy day it was time for Oscar to go to Beavers, he was really excited about going and very proud of his new uniform.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

National Science Week - Day 3

Well we didn't actually do any science today as we went to our Latin group but there's lots of Latin is science right? After the session we all went to the park and after a picnic lunch the children made their own mosaics using air drying clay.

Oscar's completed mosaic.

Then it was off play area.

It was a beautiful day to be outdoors and it was really lovely to see the blossom on the trees.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

National Science Week - Day 2.

This morning it was back on with the lab coat and goggles for Oscar and back to the kitchen for some more science fun. Having had a good look through his science book Oscar decided we should start by making a volcano. After it had erupted we discussed how the lava would go hard and then over hundreds of years if the volcano was to erupt many times you would build up layers of rock.

Next we had a look at some ice cubes we made yesterday. One was made from tap water that had been put in a plastic tub and given a good shake to get lots of air mixed into it. The other was made from boiled water that had been slowly and gently poured down the side of the pot trying to ensure that as little air as possible got mixed in. It's not very clear in the picture but the shaken tap water cube was all cloudy whereas the cube made from boiled water was pretty much clear.

Next Oscar mixed up some vinegar and salt in a jar and popped some dirty copper coins to the mixture.

While the coins soaked we boiled some eggs and made them some parachutes in different sizes.
Roger took the eggs upstairs while Oscar and I went to the garden to watch as Roger dropped them from a window.
The first egg to be dropped was the one with the smallest parachute. Can you spot it?

This poor egg sustained fairly heavy damage.

Next was the egg with the medium sized parachute. That egg had a cracked shell that doesn't really show up in a photo but was otherwise ok.

The last egg to go had the largest parachute and survived the fall with no damage at all.

I sometimes wonder what our neighbours must think of us....

After all that eggcitement we had a look at the copper coins that had been sitting in the vinegar and salt solution. Oscar was fascinated by how much they had changed.

Then we put some ungalvanised iron nails into the solution and stopped work for a lunch of egg sandwiches.

After lunch we retrieved the nails from the vinegar and salt solution and Oscar was amazed at how tarnished they had become.

Then we had a look at the bulb that Oscar's nan gave him earlier in the year. Having started out well it seems to have died and Oscar thought it might be fun to dissect it, so we did.

The vase it had been in was perfect for our next experiment. For this we put a candle in the bottom of the vase and I showed Oscar how a flame needs oxygen to burn by covering the top of the vase until the candle went out. Then we lit the candle again and this time we sat the egg in the neck of the vase.

When the candle burnt out the egg started to move,

Until it slid right through to the bottom of the vase.
Oscar thought this was brilliant :)

Finally we went back into the garden to explore centripetal force using a bucket, a rope and some water.
Oscar bravely spun the bucket half filled with water round in a big circle to see if the water would stay in the bucket, and was rather pleased that it did.

After all that fun Oscar went to his swimming lesson before going to his friends house for tea.
He was very tired come bed time this evening.

Monday, 14 March 2011

National Science Week - Day 1.

This week is National Science Week so Oscar  and I are going to be spending most of this week doing science experiments - I just hope my kitchen can take it!

Oscar is very lucky because a friend of ours is a physicist and his partner is a chemist and Andy and Milena very kindly sent Oscar a book of experiments by Robert Winston, we have a few books of this type but this is by far the best. So armed with his new book, some goggles, a 'lab coat' (a mans shirt that's been altered by Granny) and his science box Oscar and I headed into the kitchen to make some mess.

First we looked at the different states of matter by mixing up a salt water solution and then boiling it in a pan with a lid over the top angled over a dish so that the steam hits the lid, turns back into water and trickles down the lid into the dish.
 Once all the water had had evaporated we were left with the salt in the bottom of the pan.

Next we looked at the density of different liquids.
We put some golden syrup, water and vegetable oil in a glass and mixed in a pea, a marble and a piece of nectarine before leaving it all to settle for half an hour. Once the liquids had settled they were separated out according to their density with the syrup at the bottom and the oil on top. The marble had sunk to the very bottom of the glass but the pea and nectarine were floating on top of the syrup. We made a paper ball that floated on top of the water but failed to find anything that would float on top of the oil.

Next we made our own 'lava lamp' using cooking oil, water, food colouring and an effervescent tablet.
The result was pretty cool but I think we will have another go with a bottle that isn't ridged.

Next up it was out to the garden with some cola and mentos.
Oscar took a seat at a safe distance while Roger dropped the mentos into the bottles.

Interestingly this is supposed to work best with proper Coke but we found that to have the smallest fountain, cheap coke was next but our biggest fountain came from a bottle of very cheap lemonade. We will have another go at this sometime soon to see if we get the same results a second time.

After lunch we had a go at growing Crystals from a kit.
I'm not sure if we failed or the kit failed but we didn't manage to grow any crystals.

So we made some gloop instead.
This stuff is brilliant and I will definitely be doing this at the home ed group at some point.
It's just cornflour and water with a bit of food colouring but it becomes solid when touched but can pour through your hands like a liquid. Oscar loved it.

Then we had a go at making some plastic.

This needs to be left overnight to set so check back tomorrow to see if it's worked.

Next we cut up an apple and put a piece in four different cups. One piece has been left as it is and of the others one is covered in table salt, one in epsom salts and one on baking soda. Then we put them all in a cupboard where they will stay for a week. Come back next Monday to see what's happened to them.

Next up was butter making, pretty simple really we just put some cream in a pot with a marble, popped on the lid and gave it a shake.
Ok alot of shaking was involved but it worked in the end.
It actually tasted more like clotted cream but it was very nice with on our scones with some strawberry jam.

Finally before going to Taekwondo we had a look at some daffodils that have spent the weekend in red food colouring.

It's been a busy day and my kitchen is a mess but Oscar has had a ball learning about states of matter, density, polymers, colloids, emulsifiers and non-Newtonian fluid. He has asked if we can stay at home tomorrow instead of going to our home ed group so we can do some more experiments so it's looking like we will have a fun week. I just hope our house is still standing come the weekend.