Friday, June 10, 2011

DIY Science @ Home - Dissolve & Evaporate

You can just call yourself "Science Mom" as you play with the kids.  You'll have the kids requesting to do "science" every day.  Or maybe that's just my kids. 

Today we're going to explore the simple basics of dissolving and evaporating.  Tasting is allowed. 

A few places to get more information and ideas are:
Science Kids Reversible Changes
Science Project Ideas for Kids: Evaporation
Science Project Ideas for Kids: Solubility of Sugar
501 Science Experiments, Written and tested by teachers and Illustrated by Glen Singleton.  Find it at Amazon.  (Highly recommend this book, it's where I get a lot of ideas for easy things to do with the kids). 


What will dissolve and what won't in water?  That's the basic question.  Some materials easily dissolve in water, meaning that they break down until we can't see them anymore.  They disappear, but are they really still there?  That's what we'll find out.  Also, some materials do not dissolve or disappear in water.

You'll need warm water, 3 glasses, salt, sugar, flour, and spoons.  Straws are optional if you want to let the kids taste the water.
  • Fill the 3 glasses with water.
  • Let the kids taste a little bit of sugar.  Let them taste the water without anything in it.  Put 1-2 tsp of sugar in one glass and stir.  What happens?  Taste the water.  Is the sugar still there? 
  • Repeat with the salt.  What happened to the salt?  Can you taste it in the water?
  • Repeat with the flour. (Yes, my kids tasted it).  What happened to the flour in the water?  How does it look different from the salt water and sugar water?
Water evaporates in the sun.  Here's a way you can prove it to the kids.  You can feel free to go into the water cycle and other things, but I kept it really basic with my kids.  And it's fun.  The basic premise of this is to dissolve sugar in water (see the above fun experiment), the water evaporates, and you're left with the sugar.

You'll need sugar, water, food coloring, a bowl, and a sunny spot. 
  • Put 20 teaspoons of water into a bowl.
  • Stir in 4 tsp sugar.
  • Add a drop or two or three of food coloring.  Stir.
  • Leave the bowl in a sunny spot for a few days.
  • Optional....also leave a bowl of water without sugar to compare.
  • Check the bowl everyday and observe what happens.  What happens to the water?  What happens to the sugar?  Stir the bowl and make observations.
  • Optional...taste test the sugar crystals after the water has evaporated. 

These aren't too messy of experiments and they're short enough and basic enough to hold young children's attention.  If you're looking for something to do inside on a too hot or too cold day....give this a try.  And be sure to call yourself Science Mom. 

Any fun experiments that you've tired lately?  Enjoy!

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