I have to admit it. I’m ridiculously excited!
Our KidScience app is now available on the App Store, making it easy for kids of all ages to do science anywhere, any time, or to check out KidScience watch-and-do videos and learn a little science when they (or you) need a little portable screen time.
Let us know how you like it. It’s for you!
Here’s the scoop: If you’re ready to keep the kids busy this summer doing fun, educational projects without shopping trips and complicated directions, you’ll be as excited as we are that KidScience Premium, based on Kitchen Pantry Scientist science projects, has arrived.
Available for iphone, ipod touch and ipad, KidScience Premium brings entertainment and education to your fingertips with a continually updated list of experiments to choose from using things you already have on hand. It includes both photos and watch-and-do videos that make it easy for kids to do projects on their own or you can have fun doing projects together.
A free version of the KidScience app is on the way and will include all the same experiments and photos, but have limited free videos. I’ll let you know when it joins KidScience Premium on the App Store.
There are other kid science apps, but only one KidScience app! You’ll know us by our bright orange and blue logo.
Let’s do some science!
Here’s a quick experiment for bored kids:
You’ll need a button, a glass, water, and a carbonated beverage.
Pour some water in the glass. Drop the button in. What happens?
If it sinks*, dump the water out and fill the glass with carbonated beverage. Drop the button in. Now what happens?
The button is more dense than the water and sinks in uncarbonated water, but in a carbonated beverage, carbon dioxide bubbles form on the button and make it buoyant, so it floats to the top.
What other sinking objects can you make float with carbonation?
If your kids like this, check out this Float or Sink experiment that even very young kids can do!
*If your button floats, the experiment won’t work, so try to find one that sinks!
It’s been raining for about two weeks straight in Minnesota and my kids are climbing the walls. Yesterday, they built an amazing fort and played in it for an hour before they came to me asking what they could do next.
This easy experiment kept them busy for a little while.
Take a plastic comb and comb your hair a number of times, or rub it on some tissue paper. Tiny charged particles called electrons will collect on the comb and give it a negative charge.
Now, run a very thin stream of water from a faucet and hold the comb next to it without actually touching the water. What happens?
The stream of water is positively charged and is attracted to the opposite (negative) charge of the comb, pulling and bending the stream of water toward the comb.
Many more experiments to follow in the next few months! We’re planning a summer of science between our many sporting activities, so get those science notebooks ready and follow along with us!
What could be more fun than creating your own green slime to play with? It’s easy to synthesize your own green goo using only Elmer’s glue (the non-washable kind), Borax (found in the laundry detergent section of most stores), green food coloring and water.
In a bowl, have your child mix together about 1/3 cup glue and 1/3 cup water with a spoon or Popsicle stick. These measurements don’t have to be exact. Add a few drops of green food coloring and mix well.
To make the Borax solution, add around a cup of water to a jar. To the water, add about a Tablespoon of Borax. Have your child shake the jar to dissolve as much of the Borax as possible. You are making what is called a saturated solution, so it may not all dissolve! Don’t worry, it will work just fine.
Have your child add about a teaspoon at a time of the Borax solution to the glue/water mix. After each addition, have them stir the mixture together. You should see long strings begin to form and stick together. Keep adding Borax until the mixture doesn’t feel gluey any more. It will form sort of a shiny playdough-like substance. If you add too much Borax solution, it will feel wet. You should be able to just knead it a little to absorb the extra water! The slime is not toxic, but Borax is soap, so don’t let your kids eat it!
I am a biologist and not a chemist, but here is the science, as I understand it.
Mixing Elmer’s glue with water forms a substance called a polymer, which is a long chain of molecules. (A molecule is the smallest amount of a specific chemical substance that can exist alone, like H2O, a single water molecule). The polymer formed by water and glue is called polyvinyl acetate.
The Borax solution (sodium tetraborate) is a cross-linking substance that makes the polymer chains stick together. As more and more chains stick together, they can’t move around and the goo gets thicker and thicker. Eventually, all the chains are bound together and no more Borax solution can be incorporated.
You can store the slime in plastic bags. If you want to make a larger batch, just remember to mix equal amounts of glue and water and add as much Borax solution as needed.
To make your child feel like a “real” scientist, find an old, button up shirt for your child to use as his or her “lab coat”. It’s fun and will protect their clothes. You could even try to find some old safety goggles in your garage for your child to wear, although the ingredients for this project are relatively safe. (Very young children should always be supervised while doing science projects.)