Tag: Earth Day’

Earth Day Science

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Looking for some Earth Day fun? Here are some of our favorite environmental science experiments. Just click on the experiment names for directions and photos. You can find more fun outdoor experiments in my books “Kitchen Science Lab for Kids” and “Outdoor Science Lab for Kids” (Quarry Books.)

from "Outdoor Science Lab for Kids" (Quarry Books)

from “Outdoor Science Lab for Kids” (Quarry Books)

Window Sprouts: Plant a bean in a plastic baggie with a damp paper towel to see how plants need only water and air to sprout roots and leaves.  Here’s a short video demonstrating how to make a window garden.

Homemade Solar Oven: Using a pizza box, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and newspaper, you can harness the sun’s energy to cook your own S’mores!

Nature Walk Bracelets: Wrap some duct tape around your wrist (inside out) and take a walk, sticking interesting natural objects like leaves and flowers to your bracelet. It’s a great way to get outdoors and engage with nature!

Carbon Dioxide and Ocean Acidity: See for yourself how the carbon dioxide in your own breath can make a water-based solution more acidic. It’s the same reason too much carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere can be bad for our oceans.

9781631591150

Plant Transpiration:  See how trees “sweat” in this survival science experiment.

Earthworm Experiment:  Do you know what kind of earthworms are living in your back yard?

Composting: Be a composting detective. Bury some things in your back yard (away from power cables) and dig them up in a few months to see how they look. Composting reduces methane gas emissions (a greenhouse gas) from dumps.

Diffusion and Osmosis: See for yourself how the chemicals we add to water, put on our streets to melt ice, and spray on our lawns and crops can move into our soil, ground water, rivers, lakes and oceans.

Solar Water Purification: This project illustrates the greenhouse effect and is a fun “survival science” experiment. Requires hot sun and some patience!

Citizen Science: Don’t forget about all the real environmental research projects you can participate in through Citizen Science programs all around the world!

For mores activities and games, check out NASA’s Climate Kids website, to see a kid-friendly diagram of the water cycle, click here or just get outside and enjoy the beautiful planet that sustains and nurtures us.

Earth Day Science, #SpaceMicrobes and a Laser Pointer Experiment

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22nd. How will you celebrate the amazing planet that sustains us?  Here’s a link to ten fun Earth Day science experiments. Or, step outside, take a picture of yourself and post it on social media with the hashtag #GlobalSelfie for a new mosaic image of Earth being created by NASA: a new “Blue Marble” built bit by bit with your photos.
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If you live in Minnesota, join me at the Science Museum of Minnesota Tuesday morning from 10-12 to celebrate Earth Day and NASA Climate Day with some games and a hands-on experiment for kids!

#SpaceMicrobes, including our own Minnesota microbe swabbed from the Kare11 television studio, have arrived safely on the International Space Station. Over the next few days, 48 microbes swabbed from sports stadiums and other cool locations will be thawed out and start to grow! Astronauts will measure their growth using a machine called a microplate reader, over a period of three days. The experiment will be repeated three times, and scientists will average the data and compare it to the data they’ve collected doing an identical experiment with the same microbes here on Earth! I talked about it on Kare11 the other day.
Finally, here’s a fun experiment we did with a water bottle and a laser pointer this weekend. Try it!

skullsinthestars.com has a detailed explanation of this amazing phenomenon!

Joseph Priestly: Kitchen Sink Scientist

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

We kicked off a new experiment today in honor of upcoming Earth Day. Details and an Earth Day experiment “round-up” coming soon!

Joseph Priestly was an amateur scientist who started out doing experiments in his kitchen sink. Eventually, he was credited with being among the first scientists to isolate oxygen. He noticed that in a sealed container, fire burned something away that animals needed to survive (oxygen) and that plants could replace this mysterious element. This research inspired him to become one of the earliest natural philosophers to hypothesize about the science of ecosystems.

What sparked Priestly’s creative genius? Steven Johnson, the author of “The Invention of Air” guesses it might be the fact that he played with spiders in jars as a kid and always wondered why they couldn’t survive for long after the lid was sealed. It also didn’t hurt that Joseph Priestly had friends like Benjamin Franklin to toss his ideas around with.  In addition, he wrote a number of books, advised Thomas Jefferson and was a founder of the Unitarian church.

Finally, if you like soda, you have Priestly to thank for the invention of soda water.

What inspires you to be creative?

Earth Day Science

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

On April 21st (the day before Earth Day), the Science Museum of Minnesota will celebrate Earth Day and open their new Future Earthexhibit to the public.  Exploring the amazing planet that nurtures and sustains us, the thought-provoking exhibit examines climate science, looks at the impact of humans, and considers Earth’s future.  Today’s young people will play an essential role in determining that future, and it’s essential that we raise our kids to be critical thinkers, as well as creators and innovators! Abby Harrison, a.k.a. Astronaut Abby, wants to be the first person on Mars and she visited Kare11 Sunrise news with me to talk about NASA and Earth Day.

Every time you encourage a kid to ask “why?” or get them out into nature, you’re engaging their scientific brains!  When they see you recycle, turn out the lights, walk instead of drive, or pick up a piece of trash, you’re teaching them lessons about stewardship and responsibility.

Here are some easy experiments that would be fun to do with your kids to help celebrate Earth Day. If you click on the experiment name, it will take you to directions and photos!

Window Sprouts: Plant a bean in a plastic baggie with a damp paper towel and see how plants need only water and air to sprout roots and leaves.  Here’s a short video demonstrating how to put a window garden together.

Homemade Solar Oven: Using a pizza box, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and newspaper, you can harness the sun’s energy to cook your own S’mores! Try it!

Nature Walk Bracelets: Wrap some duct tape around your wrist (inside out) and take a walk, sticking interesting natural objects like leaves and flowers to your bracelet. It’s a great way to get outdoors and engage with nature!

Carbon Dioxide and Ocean Acidity: See for yourself how the carbon dioxide in your own breath can make a water-based solution more acidic. It’s the same reason too much carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere can be bad for our oceans.

Composting: Be a composting detective. Bury some things in your back yard (away from power cables) and dig them up in a few months to see how they look. Composting reduces methane gas emissions (a greenhouse gas) from dumps.

Diffusion and Osmosis: See for yourself how chemicals we add to water, put on our streets to melt ice, and spray on our lawns and crops can move into our soil, ground water, rivers, lakes and oceans.

Solar Water Purification: Another great illustration of the greenhouse effect and a fun experiment in general.  Requires hot sun and some patience!

To continue to thrive, we’ll need countless innovations in energy, agriculture, health and environmental stewardship.  Our children are our greatest natural resource, and we will depend on them to make a better future for us all.  It’s up to us to nurture them, educate them, foster their innate sense of curiosity and fan their creative spark.  Happy Earth Day!