Friday, January 21, 2011

3 Other Below Zero Science Experiments

These were so much fun to do, mainly I think because I had never done them before and so I was able to experience them for the first time with Isabel.

They are all relatively simplet to do.

The bubble experiment is just blowing bubbles in the air and if it's cold enough they freeze and don't pop when they touch the ground, or don't fully pop. The picture of the single bubble is a full bubble; the picture of multiple bubbles are actually popped but they stayed frozen and the open part is where it "popped'. Then Isabel was touching them to see what happens when she pops them and basically what we found out is that it flakes away. Here we are teaching how the cold air turns a liquid into a solid. Very interesting.

This next experiment ideas came to us compliments of our friend Rebecca who had done it earlier in today. You blow up a beach ball as full as you can, then place it outside and watch as the ball implodes, this happens quite quickly at -20 below. Once it looks like it is done sinking in, bring it in the house and watch as it appears to reinflate. Then you can talk about how the cold makes the air molecules contract and heat makes them expand. We talked about this while the ball was outside and when I explained what was happening, she knew exactly what would happen to the ball.

For the egg experiment you crack an egg outside ( I did it in a pie tin) and time it to show how long it takes to freeze. This demonstrates how fast frostbite can happen. Then to take it a step further, when you unthaw it you can explore how part of the egg changed in color & consistency due to frostbite. What we found is that it immediately stated freeezing on the thin edges right after we cracked it into the pie tin (which was in the house, could you imagine if we had frozen the pie tin first). Then at 12 minutes, all but the thickest parts were frozen. At 20 minutes the entire thing was one very solid frozen mass and you could see thta part of the egg were changing color due to the frostbite. We brought it inside and after 20 minutes it was still mostly frozen. So, Isabel decided to experiment with 1st blowing bubbles on it (which did nothing to help thaw) and then putting liquid soap on it (which did nothing to help thaw) and finally put warm water on it (which thawed it, these were all her own ideas to try), but then we found that the discolored areas stayed that way and their consistency changed as well in the frostbit area.
What fun experiments! But now we are staying indoors the rest of the day. It's 1:30pm and we haven't reached 0 yet.

1 comment:

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

Ooo... I have a feeling the bubble blowing experiment would be a big hit around here! Great idea!!