Learning on the fly… When the girls ask “why?”, we try to investigate. And, that is why you are getting this particular post. We found it interesting.
We did a Clued In Kids treasure hunt (watch for a review coming at the end of the month) and the treasure was a self-inflating balloon. Do you know the kind? I got them at the dollar store – 4 for $1. You place it flat and pound it with your fist. If you hit it hard enough (but not so hard that you bust the thing open), then it immediately starts hissing and inflating. This was fascinating and E started investigating. She wanted to know “why.” Since it was late that night (it was a Sunday after evening services), I promised “in the morning.” (And as an aside – it was a “yay me” moment for remembering the next morning!)
In the morning, we got the last one and took it outside with our tools – scissors and a plate to catch “stuff” with. Before the could do anything, each girl had to make a hypothesis about what they would discover when we cut it open. Then, it was time to cut.
And here is what we found:
They made some observations about what they saw and then some guesses about what the white powder was and what was in the packet. Then, they cut the little packet open. They dripped the liquid on the white powder to see what it would do, sniffed it to see if it smelled (they were suspecting vinegar but we don’t really know since we couldn’t smell anything), tested to see if it fizzed when it was dripped in an area without white powder, etc. They made test after test to see if they could figure it out. They had fun.
Sure! Why not!?! So, we did. They tried baking soda and vinegar. They made sure it would fizz like they expected and then added the baking soda to a small balloon “because the big one would take a lot of released gas to blow up.”
After they had added just a small bit of baking soda, they observed that it probably wouldn’t work because there wasn’t much room left in the balloon. Sure enough – it didn’t work. They tried a bigger balloon. It did inflate a little but they realized that we just couldn’t close the balloon off quick enough or well enough to hold onto all the gas and that it didn’t react for very long.
So, their own attempts did not pan out but it was a good learning experience and I am super proud of all three of them for following their questions until there was no other place to go at the moment. I think they learned quite a bit and I know they had fun. At Home.
Have you ever had a science experiment that took an unexpected turn? We would love to hear about it. Please tell us about it in the comments section.
We are linking up with ABCBlogging over at Ben and Me.