Tag: experiments’

Catching Bugs: 5 Science Projects from Outdoor Science Lab for Kids

 - by KitchenPantryScientist


Our planet is buzzing with life, and over 90% of all the animals on Earth are invertebrates, including worms, insects and arachnids. From Earthworms to sow bugs and butterflies, your neighborhood is teeming with amazing creatures.

From Outdoor Science Lab for Kids (Quarry Books 2016)

Below are five science projects from my book Outdoor Science Lab for Kids ! Click on the experiments below for instructions, or order your copy (wherever books are sold) to find step-by-step instructions, how-to photos, science explanations and more outdoor science experiments!

1.Find some Monarch eggs or caterpillars to raise into butterflies!

2. Make a pit trap to discover which invertebrates are living in your neck of the woods.

3. Assemble a homemade sweep net from wire and a pillowcase to capture insects and arthropods.

4. Use mustard powder dissolved in water to bring Earthworms wriggling out of the dirt so that you can study them.

5. Make a bug house to discover what environment isopods (pill bugs and sow bugs) prefer.

What did you discover?

Basketball Science for the Final Four

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Love basketball? Think you’re pretty good? Try taping some coins to a basketball, or covering one eye and shooting the ball. The coins change the ball’s center of mass, making it harder to shoot, and covering one eye messes with your depth perception! Try it!

I had fun thinking up these new basketball experiments that we tested on TV this week. Can you come up with one of your own? What could you try?

Rainbow Science

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Yesterday, I demonstrated some fun rainbow science on The Jason Show. Click here to watch!

As part of the segment, I featured the “Rainbow Slime” experiment from my new book, “STEAM Lab for Kids,” which you can order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite online retailer. Here’s a sneak-peek at a few photos from the book.

Rainbow Slime from “STEAM Lab for Kids” by Liz Lee Heinecke

Rainbow Slime from “STEAM Lab for Kids” by Liz Lee Heinecke

Rainbow Slime from “STEAM Lab for Kids” by Liz Lee Heinecke

Science Light

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Here’s a fun optics experiment, based on one created in 1842 by Jean-Daniel Colladon, that you can do at home using a laser pointer and a bottle of water.

Parental supervision required. (Eye protection recommended for kids.) Never shine a laser pointer at or near eyes, as it can cause blindness.

Skullsinthestars.com has a well-written, detailed explanation of how light can be reflected in a transparent medium, like water.

 

Candy Experiments

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

We have bags full of candy at our house, and I’d like to see them disappear as quickly as possible. Here are a few science experiments we tried, substituting candy for other ingredients:

Candy Chromatography: We put candy in water and used coffee filters to separate out the colors, via capillary action.

Skittles in water with coffee filter strips between cups...

Skittles in water with coffee filter strips between cups…

Coffee filters on cups, with water dripped onto a piece of candy.

Coffee filters on cups, with water dripped onto a piece of candy.

Candy-drinking plants? We dissolved candy in warm water and added white carnations with cut/split stems to see whether they’d  change color as the flowers drew the water up into their petals.

img_21141

img_21431

img_21501

Candy Vegetable Vampires: We tried the same experiment with Napa Cabbage, via the Vampire Vegetables experiment in Kitchen Science Lab for Kids.

img_21541

img_21591

We’re also going to freeze candy in ice and make Tie Dye milk with Skittles!

What could you try with your candy?

10 Fun Kitchen Halloween Science Experiments for Kids

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Here are ten quick and easy experiments to make your Halloween even more fun and memorable!

_DSC5642-b

Click on these links for instructions on how to make:

Oozing Monster Heads (from Outdoor Science Lab for Kids)

Frankenworms (from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids)

Cornstarch Goo (from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids)

Mad Scientist’s Green Slime (from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids)

Alien Monster Eggs (from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids)

Magic Potion (from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids)

Bags of Blood (from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids)

Fake Blood 

Scary Jell-O Eyeballs

Vegetable Vampires (Scholastic.com/Experiment from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids)

Here are a few of my favorites!

You can find more experiments by scrolling down on my website!

16 Summer Science Experiments

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Between working on a follow-up to Kitchen Science Lab for Kids (which involves testing, writing up and photographing 52 experiments), driving my kids around to camps and sports, and doing science outreach at libraries, bookstores and on TV, I’m finding it hard to keep up. Here’s a short video on how to make tie-dye milk (a surface tension experiment), which I did on WCCO Mid Morning show last week and forgot to post!

Diet Coke Mentos fountain. Photo by http://www.amberprocaccini.com/

Diet Coke Mentos fountain. Photo by http://www.amberprocaccini.com/

Luckily, between all the camps and activities, the kids and I are having fun digging in the dirt, blowing giant bubbles, and watching tadpoles and monarch caterpillars go through metamorphosis!

What science experiments are you doing this summer? It’s a great time to take science outdoors!

Here are some of our favorites:

Got water? Make siphons, a water-purifier, water rockets, or fire-proof water balloons.

Hungry? Build a solar oven from a pizza box and bake s’mores.

Stand on eggs or throw them as hard as you can without breaking them. You can always clean up mistakes with your hose!

Play magician with the tablecloth trick, or make paper bag volcanoes erupt in your back yard.

Of course, there’s always the famous Mentos geyser, and film canister rockets are always a hit.

Nature walk bracelets add fun to any excursion, and you can collect water from trees or make water filters with grass and sand.

August is a great time to find Monarch caterpillars or study the earthworms in your back yard.

And no summer would be complete at our house without an epic marshmallow shooting competition. You’ll even learn some physics!

Halloween Science: Fizzy Balloon Monster Heads, Green Slime and More

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

With a few ingredients from your kitchen, you can turn your table into a mad scientist’s laboratory for Halloween! We made Fizzy Balloon Monster Heads, Alien Monster Eggs, Rock Candy and Soda Geysers on Fox9 News this morning. Click on the blue experiment names for directions!
KMSP-TV
Last Saturday morning, I had fun showing Kare11 meteorologist Belinda Jensen how to make Mad Scientist’s Green Slime, Frankenworms and Magic Potion. Click here to watch!

Dinosaur Science

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

Today on Twin Cities Live, we did some dinosaur-related science experiments in honor of the Science Museum of Minnesota’s new Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibit.

Here are directions for doing the experiments in the video. Just click on the name to go to the post.

Alien Monster Eggs

Window Stickies diffusion experiment

Paper Bag Volcanos

Have fun!

Kitchen Science

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

“Are you a good cook?” was the first thing Dr. Tsneo Suzuki asked when I sat down in the office next to his cancer research lab at the University of Kansas. I stared at the picture of his wife, who I later learned had passed away from breast cancer, and wondered whether I should be offended.

After all, I was in my twenties and had five years of molecular biology experience under my belt. But I understood why he asked the question. Once you figure out how to test a hypothesis, most science experiments involve following recipes, which scientists call protocols. Generally, if you can read directions and mix things together in the correct order, in the right proportions, you can do things like amplify DNA and clone genes into bacteria.

So I truthfully answered “Yes, I’m a pretty good cook,” and got the job.

Food preparation is like a science experiment. If you can follow a recipe, you should get something close to what you set out to make, because often the ingredients will interact with each other to make something new. This is the very definition of a chemical reaction. Everything you cook with, from water to baking soda, is just a collection of molecules.

Here’s a collection of some food science experiments on my website. Since I love to cook, I hope to add more in the future! Leave a comment if you have other favorite kitchen science experiments, and I’ll try to add them to the list.

Testing Foods for Starch– Add a drop of iodine and watch for color change to detect starch.

Crock Pot Microbiology: Making yogurt from scratch is a delicious experiment

Yeast Experiment: Pyramids, Pasteur and Plastic Baggies– Grow yeast in a plastic bag to see how they make bread rise.

Emulsions: Mayonnaise and Vinaigrette– Mix the un-mixable using surfactants.

Curds and Whey: Make glue and plastic from milk and vinegar.

Gluten Ball– Explore the protein that makes bread chewy.

Red Cabbage Juice CO2 experiment– Use the pH-sensitive pigment in red cabbage to illustrate how CO2 can acidify liquids (and why soda is bad for your teeth.)

Homemade Petri Plates: test surfaces around your kitchen and house for microbes.  Use to test fingers before washing, after washing with water alone, after washing with soap, and after using hand sanitizer.

So remember, cooking can make you a better scientist, and doing science can make you a better cook.