This week we started back to school. We love hands-on activities and jumped in with some fun, hands-on activities to bring our new units on chemistry alive!
These are experiments you may have done with the kids in preschool, but are as important for understanding chemistry concepts in middle school and beyond! 🙂
For ED, we spent some time reviewing the changing states of matter. It had been several years since we did that unit. I pulled out a couple of those worksheets and she did those while I got everything else set up on the deck.
Since it is so hot and humid, it was easy to see the condensation build up on the outside of a glass of ice water. Then we brought out the dry ice and the real fun began!
We did several of the experiments… from making a coin vibrate to making carbonated apple juice. And of course in the meantime, we talked about deposition (the ice crystals forming on the coins) and sublimation (with the dry ice going straight into a gaseous state.
Warning: Always wear gloves when handling dry ice! it is MINUS 109 deg F. That’s cold enough to give you frost bite!
As I mentioned last week, ED is doing the Properties of Matter unit. We started off talking about elements, compounds and mixtures. She spent the week building molecules and reviewing those tricky elements with the weird names — like lead Pb or silver Ag.
You can do activities with cohesion by having kids drag water along wax paper. Have them see how close they can move two droplets of water before they join or have them move a large water droplet around a “raceway.”
She did the experiment on capillary action and cohesion… with celery! It’s been a very long time since we did this! This is an experiment is an activity many of us did with our little ones in preschool… perhaps you did it with carnations?!!. But this experiment is wonderful for talking about some chemical properties – in particular cohesion, adhesion & capillary action.
Next, ED snapped one celery stalk in half. (See the picture below on the right.) You can easily see the dye in the xylem – the tiny tubes that transport water. Cool, right?!!
We talked about how the water moves upward through those narrow tubes… because of cohesion and capillary action. (These are in the Properties of Matter Packet too.)Here’s a quick video that talks about xylem in plants that we watched. 🙂
So all in all, it was a great way to start off the homeschool year!
On the day that I bought the dry ice, the kids spent nearly two hours working with it! It was a fun day! (Though, of course, if you do experiments with dry ice be extremely careful because dry ice can burn!)
Note: You can purchase dry ice in your local grocery store.
If you are interested in the chemistry packets I mentioned above, you can follow the links above or visit this post: Chemistry, Properties of Matter Unit
Happy Homeschooling and have fun!!
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P.S. Here’s a glimpse of the States of Matter Packet: