What do you think, is it possible to get a rainbow at home? Is it possible to grow real crystals in a regular glass? Can you build the desalination plant from scrap materials? The answer is yes, and it’s not alchemy and not magic. You can do all this and much more at home with the children. Plain water and a set of elementary gadgets will help us.
Even the most ordinary water flowing from the tap, is not as simple as it seems. Its physical properties are full of many mysteries and secrets. Let’s try to unravel some of them.
Rainbow. The beautiful natural phenomenon leads to delight of both children and adults, and it turns out, it can be seen not only in the sky after the rain. Did you miss the rainbow? So create it at home! For experiment it is necessary to choose a sunny day, arm yourself with the mirror and a relatively large container of water, like the three-liter jar. Put the mirror in a jar, catch a ray of sunshine and you’ll be surprised to observe how a light turns into a rainbow.
Water in a sieve. A great example of how folk sayings can be refuted with the help of science. For the experiment, you’ll need a strainer for sifting flour, a glass of water and vegetable oil or paraffin. To start, pour water into a sieve. As can be seen, it quietly seeps through the cell. Now, lubricate cells with oil or paraffin and repeat the experiment. The water remains in the sieve, pouring nowhere! This is due to the force of surface tension. By the way, you can tell a child that using this magical power the insects-water striders run on water, and during rain you can see how the drops do not immediately fall in a puddle, but at first bounce off its surface.
Lava lamp. Experiment is based on the fact that some liquids are water immiscible. Take a transparent bottle and two-thirds fill with vegetable oil. Add water mixed with any food coloring. The water will immediately rush down as it is heavier than oil, but that’s not all. Now throw into the water a quarter of a tablet of any fizzy medications and watch the dance of colored bubbles.
Experiment with ice and boiling water
Hot and cold water have different properties that we will test experimentally. Just don’t heat the water too much so as not to get burned.
Where is water? Fill the glass with water to the top. Now gently place on its surface the ice cube and watch it. First it is clear as soon as the ice melts and the water in the glass will start to spill out. But the result would be very surprising for the child, because the melted ice almost didn’t add water in the glass. The answer is simple – when water freezes it expands and the volume of the ice cube will be greater than the volume of melt water. Don’t you believe? So let’s check it out in a second experiment.
The ice in the pipe. This property of water gives a lot of trouble for public utilities in a cold winter. Take any hollow tube, for example, a cocktail straw. Seal one end with clay, fill it with water, seal another side and leave it for a while in the freezer. Freezing, the volume of water increases and ice-cold baloney, squeezing one of the clay plugs will be on the outside.
Fast and slow molecules. Simple but impressive experiment, all that you will need are glasses with hot and cold water and a pipette with the dye. Add a drop of dye into each of the glasses and observe what water will be painted first. Because the hot water molecules move at a higher speed, the water in the glass will be painted much faster. In this experiment you can clearly explain to your child such things as diffusion and Brownian motion.
Experiments with water and salt
Dissolving a variety of minerals, the water gets a lot of unusual properties. And even your kitchen where you will always find the simple salt can be a laboratory for interesting experiments.
Float or sink? You need to drop the raw egg in a jar with water. Since the egg is heavier than water, it immediately sinks to the bottom of the jar. Now add a few tablespoons of salt. The density of the fluid increases, and the water seems to be pushing the egg to the surface. By the way, adding the salt gradually, you can achieve the so-called zero buoyancy, when the egg will neither float nor sink, hanging in the middle of the jar.
Growing crystals. Dissolve the maximum amount of salt in a bowl of warm water. Then drop the string in it and wait for a few days. Salt water will climb up the string, and then evaporate, leaving on its surface wonderful crystals, similar to hoarfrost in winter. In order crystals to grow vertically, wrap the string around the spoke or piece of wire.
A desalination plant. A serious experiment, not once shown on TV dedicated to survival on a desert island with no drinking water. Requires time and patience, but as the result you will become cooler than Robinson Crusoe for a child. So, pour the salt water in a plastic basin. Secure glass on the bottom so that it does not pop up and does not turn. You can use waterproof glue or just put a heavy object on the bottom of the glass. Tightly cover the basin with cling film, making a funnel with a recess which is located above the glass, and set the construction in the sun. Steaming out of the pelvis, desalinated water will condense on the foil, and drain right into a glass. To complement the picture, you can solemnly drink clean water from a glass.
Experiences in eco style
All conceivable experiments have been conducted, but your little scientist only got a taste and requires more? Well, if you live in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, you’re lucky. Now you can entrust your child to the specialists of the Museum of Water, which has a Children’s Environmental Center with a scientific base for young question askers at Shpalernaya str., 56. No boring lectures, interactive classrooms in Children’s Environmental Center are nothing like school lessons.
The youngest ones can explore the water cycle, and even the Baltic Sea. There is almost a real vessel, toys in the form of the inhabitants of the Baltic Sea, laboratory with a microscope and cartoons!
The Museum of Water, equipped with the latest technology, will be a comfortable place for the modern child, from infancy surrounded by electronic gadgets. It is not so important what means are used to teach respect for the water and environmental consciousness. The main thing is that from the fun of the game it should eventually turn into a habit.
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