Sunday, January 15, 2017

Adventures in Homeschooling: Density Science Experiment

I've been homeschooling our kids now for half a school year.  It's had highs, lows, and lots of adjustments.  I get asked about how things are going a lot and I thought I'd start sharing some details here on my blog.  It will give me a good way to be able to look back and things we did  and I'll be able to share how I get creative in that part of my life with you too!

With the start of a fresh new semester I decided to make a goal of doing at least one fun science experiment each week.  It doesn't have to complement our curriculum - it just needs to be visually stimulating and have an easy and memorable lesson with it.  I have been pinning things on Pinterest and then going back and looking them over to see if they are really practical to do!  

I'm happy to report round one was a huge success!  We did a science project involving liquids and density.We had recently talked about mass in our regular science curriculum so that was  nice lead in to density!  

Here's a link to the experiment that we did: Seven Layer Density Column from Steve Spangler Science.  And here's how it went for us!

We did a layer of honey, Karo Syrup (with food coloring added to it), Dawn dish soap, water, vegetable oil, and rubbing Alcohol (with food coloring added to it).  We did not do a layer of lamp oil at the top as he calls for...I didn't have it on hand and knew I wouldn't use it beyond this so it was sensible to stop there.

It was a raging success with the kids! They watched as I slowly added each layer and made their own predictions about what would happen next.  Even my four year old was completely engaged!  After we discussed density and why the whole thing worked how it did we did another step that was suggested - adding things to float.We also talked about what the actual density level was for each liquid.

I did the bulk of the experiment in the first round but this part I let the kids take charge.  They ran around the house collecting items to drop in.  I think by the end of the experiment we had put in close to 100 things!!!  There was various kinds of chocolate, legos, craisins, crayons, coins, popcorn much!  I literally had to make them stop!  And with each drop they watched excitedly to see which level of liquids it would end up floating on.  

All in all it was a win, they learned about density and also that different liquids have different properties and they are already excited to see what I've got up my sleeve for this week!

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