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Summer is here! I’m so excited for summer, warm weather, no school (not that I was in school or have any kids), but just the idea of summer and all the different activities you can do is amazing! Now those of you with kids let me help you out with some really fun weekly Summer Science experiments you can easily do with your kids so they continue learning (without feeling like they’re learning) and having a blast with new experiments they can do and have fun with for hours. To start the summer off we will do Summer Science Air and Gas!
With these Weekly Science Experiments I’ll include a little lesson that corresponds with the activities and multiple experiments that go along with that lesson to keep your kids engaged with learning. Now lets be honest, some of these experiments, I think you will have more fun with than your kids. I don’t have any kids but there’s a couple of these that my husband and I had a really fun date night with doing little science experiments so enjoy yourself, these are to be fun not only for your kids but for you too, they’re cheap, easy, (not always very clean so I recommend doing them outdoors), and your kids will remember these memories for years!
This week, and probably next week because there are so many experiments that you can do, we are going to talk about and play around with Summer Science Air & Gas!
Air is all around you, you can’t see it, but it has many different strengths and it is what keeps us alive. Animals, plants, and even you need air to live, we all breath it to survive. Air is needed to make fire, is used to make machines work, even aircrafts need it when they fly. Air is made up of “gases” or a substance that can change shape and “expand” or grow bigger to fill any shape or space it is in. When you ride your bike the air you pump into your tire takes the shape of the tire so you can ride it around.
Balloons have a gas in them called Helium; Helium is lighter than air which causes balloons to float in the air, because the Helium is in the balloon it will take the balloon up as high as it can go, you can get a balloon and let it go outside and it will float up until you can no longer see it.
Parachutes float through the air by having the air push upward against it so it will slowly and safely lower someone to the ground. Air is made up of two main gases, called nitrogen and oxygen, with small amounts of other gases.
Warning these experiments can be messy so do them outside instead of getting water all over your house.
Crush with air
Air is so strong it can crush a plastic bottle! You cannot feel air, but it presses against every surface, this is called “air pressure”.
You will need:
- Hot and cold water
- 2 liter empty pop bottle
- Stand the bottle upright in a bowl and pour the hot water into it. You don’t need to fill it all the way, I only fill it about 1/3 full.
- Screw the top on the bottle. Lay the bottle in the bowl and pour ice and cold water over it until the bowl is full, then stand the bottle up.
- In a minute the bottle will collapse! As the warm air inside of the bottle cools, it applies less pressure. The pressure of the air outside is stronger and crushes the bottle.
Seal with air
You can keep water from falling out of an upside down glass with just a small card like magic! Air pressure forces the card upward, against the glass, the pressure is strong enough to stop the weight of the water trying to push the card away.
You will need:
- Thin flat card
- Glass (make sure the rim isn’t chipped)
- Fill the glass with water until almost full
- Place the card on the glass and hold it down so the card touches the rim all the way around the glass.
- Still holding onto the card carefully turn the glass upside down.
- Still holding the glass let go of the card. The water stays in the glass! (warning this experiment seems really stupid and little but I found it very interesting and fun)
Form a Gas
Have you ever inflated a balloon without blowing into it or using a pump? You can by combining two ingredients to form a gas called carbon dioxide. This is the gas that forms the bubbles in pop and carbonated drinks.
You will need:
- Baking soda
- Empty bottle (I used an empty 20 oz bottle)
- Pour some vinegar into the narrow-necked bottle until it is about a quarter of the way full.
- Using the funnel, fill the balloon with baking soda, fill it pretty full but not completely, I guess you could say mine was about ¾ the way full.
- Stretch the neck of the balloon over the bottle careful not to spill the baking soda into the drink yet or all over your table.
- Lift the balloon and slightly shake so that the baking soda falls into the bottle. The vinegar begins to fi and bubble forming the gas carbon dioxide which fills the balloon up.
Airliners fly around the world at high speed. They have large jet engines that produce a powerful jet of air to push the airliner through the sky. We can see how air can push objects with balloons. Did you now jet engines power the fastest cars in the world as well as high-speed aircraft. A jet engine sucks in air at the front and heats this air with burning fuel. Then it sends the hot air blasting out from the back of the engines which forces the aircraft or car forward at very high speeds.
You will need:
- Balloon pump
- Drinking straw
- Feed the thread through the straw so it will move easily.
- Stretch the thread from a distance like across a room, from your pourch to your fence, we did from our canopy to our fence which was about 40-50 feet long, making sure the thread is tight.
- Blow up a balloon and while holding the neck place two pieces of tape around the straw to stick to the balloon.
- Let go of the balloon and watch it rush along the thread at high speed!
Now this one is a little harder to explain to kids but the experiment is amazing and kids love it. The reason mentos react with pepsi and other carbonated beverages is because the structure of the Mentos themselves allow carbon dioxide bubbles to form extremely quickly, which when this happens fast enough you will get a Geyser.
You will need:
- 2 litter pepsi, diet coke, coco-cola
- 1 pack of mentos per 2 liter
- ¾ inch pvp pipe about 6 inches long
- Once again this is an outside experiment with some space and make sure you don’t have clothes on you don’t want dirty.
- Place the 2 liter on a stand or table and take the lid off.
- Unwrap the mentos and place them in the pvp pipe.
- Once all the mentos are in the pvp line it up with the opening of the 2 liter and let them fall in.
- You might not get all the mentos in because the reaction is instantaneous but just drop as many as you can in and watch the geyser form.
Ever wonder why pop will squirt all over when shaken? Carbon dioxide that we’ve been talking about is in are favorite soda beverages which gives it its bubbles. When a can of pop sits the extra carbon dioxide will just sit at the top of the can so when you open it it just fizzes a little and escapes. When you take a can and shake it right before you open it the carbon dioxide gets all mixed up so when it pushes out to escape all the pop will come with it.
You will need:
- Cans of soda (I used diet 7up because its clear, wont stain, and no sugar so no sticky mess)
- Cups or something to knock down
Directions: You can just use these as a water fight as well
- on a table set up some cups in a pyramid.
- Grab a can of soda and in the center of the tab there’s a little circle, punch a hole in this with the pen.
- Grab the can and place your finger over the hole and shake it for a few seconds.
- Point and knock down the cups.