By: Krystle Crossman
It is cold outside. Very cold. Most places are covered in snow and ice and the winds are whipping. If you home-school you may not be getting outside very much for lessons over the next few months. There are a few experiments that you may want to get bundled up to do though because they are pretty neat and are a great science lesson.
1. Bubbles – Blowing bubbles is fun for kids and adults alike. It is even more fun when the weather is really cold and they freeze in mid-air. If it is cold enough they will not pop when they hit the ground. It is recommended that you warm up the bubble solution before you go outside as it freezes quicker when it is at a higher temperature. As you blow the bubbles you can either release them from the wand into the air or keep them on the wand. Watch the inside of the bubble and you will see the crystals begin to form and spread across the bubble. At this point if they are strong enough they will freeze in position or they will shred apart.
2. Boiling water – Use caution with this one as you do not want to get burned. Make sure that you throw the water away from you and away from anyone else that is outside. Take a mug or small pot and put some water in it. Make sure that the water is boiling when you bring it outside. Throw it out of the container away from you and watch it instantly turn into ice crystals in the air. This happens because there is little to no water vapor in the air, so when you have boiling hot water with a lot of steam (vapor) coming off of it, the air can’t contain the molecules. When you throw that water into the air the water breaks down into smaller droplets so that more of the vapor can be released but the air is so dense that there is nowhere for it to go. The water instantly freezes into ice crystals because of this. All you will be left with is a cloud of vapor and falling crystals everywhere.
3. Soda Slush – We all love the slushees that you can get from gas stations so why not make your own at home and put the freezing cold weather to good use? When you have soda in an unopened bottle there is a lot of pressure that is still in the bottle due to the carbonation. Now you can set the soda outside for a few hours. You will see that the soda still looks like it is at room temperature and will not notice any ice crystals forming. However the second that you open the cap and release the pressure you will activate the crystallization process. Unscrew the cap a small amount until you hear the fizz, and then put it back on, tip the bottle upside down, and watch the soda turn into a slushee! You can also open the cap all the way and pour it into an ice cold bowl that has been sitting outside or in the freezer and it will turn to slush instantly.