We survived our first week of summer vacation…it was really hot so we pretty much divided our time between staying inside in the a/c, swimming in the ocean, or swimming in a pool. We went through 3 swim masks and one snorkel, so now I just buy them in bulk at the Dollar Store.
In an effort to not let Jack’s impressionable young mind turn to mush for the next seven weeks, I have lined up a variety of science-y things to do and hope to update this blog at least once a week with our successes and failures, as well as anything funny along the way. First off, not science-y at all, but fun nonetheless, we designed our own tattoos and I drew them in permanent market on Jack’s biceps:
Yes, that does say “Ruler of Death” per Jack’s instructions; he also drew the skeleton on paper for me to copy.
This one came from a Google search of “lion tattoos” and taking into consideration my limited Sharpie skills for anything with too much detail.
Now on to the science fun! Before school ended, I picked up a couple of little kits at Tuesday Morning and also checked out a couple of library books on stuff like making your own volcanoes. First up, Make Your Own Meteor Kit!
Basically, they give you a little mold and three tiny bags with different colored space age-y material a little heavier than sand that you pour into the mold. I really liked this project because the steps were easy but you had to wait a bit for things to set up between each step so it kind of prolonged the fun and we set a count down timer on my phone (anytime I can teach Jack about time, being patient, waiting for something, etc. is a good thing!).
Here you can see Jack carefully pouring the red meteor material into the mold. Once the mold was full, we covered it with water and sealed in a little cup for 30 minutes to set. After the 30 minutes were up, we opened the mold and it was solid but tacky, requiring another 30 minutes to be completely done. Once done, the experiments began…we filled a baking pan with flour and threw the meteor into it, measuring the impact of craters and crash paths with a measuring tape and talking about how different speeds, angles of trajectory, etc. resulted in different kinds of impacts.
Here you can see the meteor in the middle right of the pan.
Here you can see the meteor in the upper left after carving a nice impact channel. We talked about the craters on the moon and about how big the meteors that made them must have been, as well as different kids of craters on earth, those made from long-ago meteors and those made when volcanoes explode. Good stuff.
Final verdict: Totally worth the $3 or $4 I spent for an evening’s learning disguised as entertainment.