Tag: Easter’

Pumped Up Peeps Experiment- Easter Science

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

As I was trying to think of a science experiment to do with Peeps, I remembered seeing a marshmallow puff up to twice its normal size in a vacuum chamber, which was pretty cool.

Since I don’t have any way to create a mechanical vacuum at home, I decided to try using a wine pump to inflate a peep and discovered that it is extremely hard to get a Peep into a wine bottle. Even the bunny Peeps are too big to push in without maximum destruction!

So, I went bottle hunting and found that Smucker’s syrup bottles and Martinelli’s apple juice bottles have big enough mouths to accommodate Peeps of the chick or bunny variety, but still work with wine pumps. Here’s what happened!

To puff up a Peep, you’ll need

-a clear, empty bottle that fits both a Peep and a wine pump (see above.)

-a wine pump with a matching rubber vacuum cork

-Peeps (or marshmallows)

Pumped Up Peeps- KitchenPantryScientist.com

Pumped Up Peeps-
KitchenPantryScientist.com

  1. Put a Peep or two in the bottle. If it’s sticky, coat the sticky spot with a little bit of sugar. Try to squish it as little as possible when pushing it into the bottle.
  2. Put the rubber vacuum cork in the bottle to form a tight seal.
  3. Pump air out of the bottle until your Peep has grown as much as possible
  4. Release the vacuum to see it shrink back to normal size.

The Science Behind the Fun:

Peeps contain corn syrup, gelatin and food coloring, but they are mostly made up of air bubbles. The air trapped in the bubbles is at atmospheric pressure. When you pump air out of the bottle, the pressure in the bottle drops. Gases expand under lower pressure, and the air in the marshmallow bubbles is no exception. The bubbles expand inside the stretchy corn syrup and gelatin (get bigger), making the Peep puff up.

 

 

8 Spring Science Eggsperiments

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Spring is egg season. You may prefer dyed eggs, hard-boiled eggs, deviled eggs, or even dinosaur eggs. No matter what kind of eggs you like best, you’ll love these eggsperiments that let you play with the amazing architecture of eggs, dissolve their shells and even dye them with the pigments found in your refrigerator. Just click on experiments for directions and the science behind the fun!

Grow alum crystals in eggshells to create beautiful geode-like works of art. 

Egg Geode from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books)

Egg Geode from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books)

Dye eggs with spices, fruits and vegetables,

or dye them with red cabbage juice and use lemon juice and baking soda to paint them.

IMG_2504

Dissolve eggshells with vinegar and play with osmosis when you make “Alien Monster Eggs.”

Alien Monster Eggs from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books)

Alien Monster Eggs from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books)

 

You can stand on a carton of eggs to test their strength.

Standing on Eggs from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books 2015)

Standing on Eggs from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books 2015)

For a fun physics experiment, throw eggs at a hanging sheet.

From "Kitchen Science Lab for Kids" Quarry Books

From “Kitchen Science Lab for Kids” Quarry Books

Make egg-eating monsters and watch atmospheric pressure push eggs up into a bottle.CZ1A9811p

Egg drops are a fun way to test your engineering prowess. 

And finally, here’s a little more about the science of hard-boiled eggs.

 

 

Growing Alum Crystals in Eggshells

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

It only takes a spark to start a fire, and it only takes one atom to act as a seed for crystal formation. Under the right conditions, the atoms in alum will join together like puzzle pieces to form large crystals. I posted a few years ago about how to grow a large alum crystal, but this experiment is even more fun. It’s also easier for young kids, since it takes less small-motor coordination.

Alum is also called  potassium aluminum sulfate. It’s used in pickling and in found in baking powder. You can grow beautiful alum crystals at home with a few jars of alum, water and any object you don’t mind covering with glue. We made fake geodes by breaking eggs in half and washing them out, but we also encrusted a grape stem and a plastic shark.

To do this experiment, you’ll need glue, 3/4 cup alum from the spice section of the grocery store (4 or 5 small jars should do it,) water and whatever you want to coat with crystals. It takes three days to complete.

On day one, paint glue on the objects you want to grow crystals on. If you’re making “geodes”, apply a thin layer of glue to the inside of an eggshell that’s been cut in half, washed out and dried.  Then, sprinkle a little alum powder on the glue and let it dry overnight.  We heavily coated our object with alum, but might have grown larger crystals if we’d used less. Each alum particle acts as a seed for crystal growth. The closer together they are, the less room your crystals will have to grow.

On day two, dissolve 3/4 cup alum in 2 cups of water by boiling. This step requires adult supervision. Make sure all the alum dissolves (it may still look a little cloudy) and let the solution cool. This is your supersaturated alum solution.

After about 30 minutes, when the solution is cool enough to be safely handled, gently immerse your object in the alum solution.  For color, you can add a large squirt of food coloring. Let your project sit overnight to grow crystals.

On day three, gently remove your object from the alum solution and let it dry.  How does it look? Draw it or take a picture to put in your science notebook!

Crystals are geometric networks of atoms. Imagine a three dimensional chain-link fence, and you’ll get the picture. Certain crystals will only grow in certain shapes.  For example, diamonds are always cube-shaped when they form. Whether the atoms have joined to form a small diamond, or a large one, it will always be in the shape of a cube!

Some crystals, like alum, will form from supersaturated solutions, like the one you used in this experiment. A supersaturated solution is one that is forced to hold more atoms in water (or another solute) than it normally would.  You can make these solutions using heat or pressure.  Crystals can form when a supersaturated solutions encounters a “seed” atom or molecule, causing the other atoms to come out of the solution and attach to the seed.

What else could you try? Could you do the same experiment with salt, or sugar crystals? How do you think the color gets incorporated into the crystal? Do you think the food coloring disrupts the shape? Will larger crystals grow if you let your object sit in the solution longer?

You can read more about crystals and gems here.