Monday, March 19, 2012

Seven O'Clock Science: Freezing and Melting

And now for the latest installment of Seven O'Clock Science.

Over the last month, we have been fascinated by the process of freezing and melting. In the Februarys of other regions, this process is easily seen with a trip outdoors, or even a quick glance out the window. We did actually have a couple of decent snowfalls this year in Lubbock, but by decent, I merely mean that it was enough to cover the grass completely and that it did not melt immediately, but rather several hours later. We never have enough time with our snow and ice to really get to know it well.

So, we have to come up with somewhat artificial means.

We made up a tray of colored ice cubes (just a drop of food coloring added to each cube) and worked our way through a few different experiments over the course of the last month or so. I would like to share them today with you.

(Please forgive the poor quality of some of the photos. We usually do our science experiments in the early morning often before the sun has even risen.)

1. Put two ice cubes of different colors in a container. Let the ice cubes melt and watch as the colors blend together to make something different. This time we put them in a bowl, but we usually do this in tightly sealed plastic bags so the kids can carry them around and watch them melt slowly. (This was actually one of the most successful tricks we used to get Evan to sit on the potty when he was first potty training.)



2. Melt a few ice cubes in different places and compare the melting times. We chose four different locations - a sunny spot near the kitchen window, on a wire rack over a candle, in the toaster oven, and in a bowl filled with rock salt.



3. Try to pick up an ice cube with a piece of string. Then, wet the string and press it onto the ice for about ten seconds. Try to pick it up again.



And the last experiment without the colored ice cubes:

4. Freeze a variety of materials and compare how they freeze and melt. Evan chose water, peanuts, a stick, a plastic toy, ketchup, butter, a piece of pizza, oil, a rock, a piece of kiwi, a few pieces of pasta, milk, some dried cranberries and a piece of cucumber.


What science has caught your attention lately?

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