In this experiment, your group will create pressure in a bottle to reenact one of the special conditions under which a geyser erupts. A geyser is a hot spring that shoots a column of hot water into the air. Your group will make a model geyser using liquid soap, a bottle, and Alka-Seltzer® tablets.
Water and salt can make for some great basic chemistry activities. Your group will see what happens to water and ice when a little salt gets thrown into the mix. Note: part of this activity shows results one day later. As an alternative, you can have the kids prepare the cups of water ahead of time, perhaps at the end of the day before you do this activity (see steps 3 and 4 below).
Balance is a fun concept to play with. By constructing models, your group will learn that putting heavier objects closer to the center and lighter objects farther from the center is one way to find a balance.
Introduce your kids to probability and chance with a fun interactive. By flipping coins and pulling marbles out of a virtual bag, students begin to develop a basic understanding of probabilities, how they are determined, and how the outcome of an experiment can be affected by the number of times it is conducted.
Scientists classify organisms in many different ways. For instance, animals can be classified by where they live, by what they eat, and by their body structure. In this activity, students will come up with their own classification schemes, and then use an online interactive to choose plants and animals that fit into different categories.
Kids are aware of many parts of the body—organs, bones, blood, etc. Through this online interactive activity, kids learn about the concept of separate body parts working together to build a body system. A system is a collection of things and processes (and often people) that interact to perform some function. Help your kids explore the inside of the human body with this activity.
As the moon goes through its phases, it looks a little different each night, ranging from not there at all to full. Your group will act out how the sun illuminates the moon as it orbits Earth, to understand how the moon moves through its phases.
Honeybees communicate with sophisticated “dances” to tell other bees where to find nectar and pollen. Your group will reenact a couple of these dances to learn about bees and how they communicate with each other.
Almost any place can become a “lab” for exploring forces. Your group is going to experiment with the force they feel when pressed against the side of a car that is going around a curve really fast. They’ll explore a similar situation, an object that stays in a mini-bucket as it is swung overhead.
Robots are popular with kids starting at a young age. Your group will explore the basics of how a robot follows commands to carry out a simple task.
Sound travels—not just through air, but through liquids and solids, too. Your group will listen to a hanger clanged against a table. Then they’ll put their ear to something attached to the hanger to realize that the clanging sound travels through solids, too.
This activity introduces kids to the MESSENGER Mission to the planet Mercury. The engineers who designed the spacecraft and the instrument payload had to consider function, space (or volume), and cost. In this online interactive, your kids will have the chance to try to fit all the critical equipment into the cargo bay of a spacecraft by taking into account space and cost constraints.
Kids start learning about their own bodies almost right away in school. This activity provides a fun way to measure and consider different body proportions by having the kids record the distances between different parts of their bodies.
There are a lot of challenges with space flight. One is simply getting the rocket off the ground. This is because the thrust to launch a rocket has to work against the force of gravity. So, there are two forces at play in this game: earth’s gravitational pull and thrust. Your kids will play with a computer interactive that demonstrates these two forces in action.
Your group will watch various objects (pens, pennies, erasers, etc.) fall from the same height to see if they reach the ground at the same time. They also will roll marbles down an inclined plane to see if they reach the bottom at the same time.