Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mad Scientist Party!

We had another very successful Art Group/Young Scientists get together this afternoon.  It was actually more on the Young Scientists side of things (next month we'll have an end of summer paint extravaganza to balance things out) because we had 5 separate (messy) experiments for the kids (and parents) to mess around with.  Everyone had a blast and we got a ton of thank you's and "this is so fun!" comments.  I overheard a little girl chatting with her dad as they walked away and she was excitedly saying "Do you know what the BEST part was?"  Then, when I went to our community garden plot to water, I saw the mother of one of the kids who came and she thanked me because her kids loved it so much.  Their dad had been the one to take them though, so they had obviously still been talking about it when their mom got home from work!

Anyway, here are some pictures of the Mad Scientist Party!

Color Mixing Station
We filled some clear bowls with vinegar (if you want to do this experiment alone, you can use water.  We used vinegar so they could use the color they created at another of our stations) and added primary food colors to them.  When the kids came in, we told them to grab a smock, a pair of goggles, a dropper and a test tube and start mixing colors.  We filled 2 beakers with clear vinegar so when they were happy with a color they could add more liquid without changing the color.  We told them to put the caps on their test tubes to save for another station.

Make your own GAK
(For  instructions please see this link to The Artful Parent)
Although the kids had a blast with this too, we realized it would serve them better (and make our lives less frazzled) if we made signs with pictures showing how to do each step.  We did the measuring and pouring with them, but if we do it again we'll make signs and let them do it themselves.  Actually we decided we'll make similar signs for each station next time and also print out instructions for people to take home with them.

Mixing Baking Soda and Vinegar
We had the last 3 stations sort of mushed together outside because they all involved mixing baking soda and vinegar and watching the reaction.  First we gave them a little tray with some baking soda in it and told them to add the colored vinegar from their test tube however they wanted to see what would happen (inspired by Preschool Alphabet).  Most of the kids wanted to do it over and over again.

We also gave them a plastic bottle and told them to put some baking soda in it.  Then they got a balloon, put some vinegar right into the balloon, stretched the opening of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle and tipped the balloon up, letting the vinegar pour into the bottle.  (I could have sworn I pinned this on Pinterest but couldn't find it, so I'm not sure where I originally saw this...)  The balloon blows right up and stays that way!

Lastly, we gave them a paper towel with some baking soda on it and told them to fold it up like a little packet.  Then, we put some vinegar in a ziplock bag and told them to put the packet in.  We quickly sealed the bag and shook it up.  It blows the bag up until it bursts open.  A lot of our bags had holes in them so we had a lot of duds, but we had luck with some.  (Just be sure to either throw the bag before it pops or hold it away from faces)  Anyway, this idea came from All Things Beautiful...

It was a great party--wish you all could have joined us!

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