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Play with your food…for science! July 25, 2017

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It is official. My book is out! Enjoy tons of fun edible experiments, and get ready to play with your food…..for science! You can find it at Amazon here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1944613285/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501011861&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=play+with+your+food+for+science

I also have a few new experiments in the works that I hope to put up soon. In the mean time….Happy experimenting! 😊

 

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Edible Experiment: “Magic” Floating Raisins January 16, 2017

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Hi! Finally getting back to posting some fun experiments. A little while back, my pastor decided to take a page from my book, as it were, and try a Children’s sermon you can eat. He floated a raisin in soda (only he had trouble making it float….but that’s a different story, lol). So I decided to put it up here to explore the science of it. Enjoy! 🙂

Instructions:

Take some raisins, and drop them one at a time into a cup of clear soda. It may take a few, but you should be able to get at least one to float.

What’s going on?

The bubbles in the soda cling to the raisins, causing them to rise to the surface. Once the bubbles reach the surface, they pop. The raisin then sinks again, only to rise again.

Edible Experiment #18 March 28, 2016

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This is another experiment my husband and I came up with to explore buoyancy and Archimedes’ Principle.

Area of Study: Physics
Age Range: Jr. High school and up
Materials Needed: an egg
a bowl
a cup

Background: Archimedes’ Principle states that the buoyant force on an object submerged in fluid (whether fully or partially submerged) is equal to the weight of the fluid the object displaces. In mathematical terms, the formula is:
F=ρgV
where F is the upward buoyant force, ρ is the density of the fluid, g=9.81 m/s² (the pull of gravity), and V is the volume of the fluid displaced. If the weight of the displaced liquid is less than the weight of the object, it will sink. If the weight of the fluid is equal to or greater than the weight of the object, then the object will float.

Instructions:
1. Fill the cup with water (ρ=1) all the way to the brim. Carefully place cup in the bowl.
2. Gently place the egg into the cup. The water displaced will overflow into the bowl.
3. Carefully remove cup from bowl, and measure the water displaced.
4. Hard boil the egg in a pan of water. Once cooled, repeat steps 1-3.

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Questions: Was there any difference between the hard boiled egg and the raw egg? Which one displaced more water? Why do you think this was?
If you have a kitchen scale, you can weigh the eggs and see if there is a weight difference between the two.

Note: You can use this to test if an egg is still good. A good egg will sink in water, while a bad egg will float. Why do you think this works?

Fizzy Fruit Salad Explanation August 10, 2015

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Ok, now that you’ve had plenty of time to do your own research on to why my sister-in-law’s fruit salad turned fizzy, I will give you the explanation.

Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide (CO2). Carbon dioxide is what they use to create carbonation in drinks such as sodas. Dry ice, when it changes phases, goes through a process called sublimation. It skips the liquid phase and goes straight from solid (dry ice) to gaseous carbon dioxide. Within the confines of the cooler, the fruit absorbed the gas, thereby giving it a fizzy taste.

Hope you enjoyed the fruit salads. 🙂

Science Mysteries in Real Life July 14, 2015

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Today I’m going to deviate slightly from my usual edible science experiments. Usually, you perform experiments and learn concepts, but part of science is learning to apply principles to everyday life. So, with the permission from my sister-in-law, I am going to share a real life science example/mystery.

My sister-in-law and her husband love camping. On a recent camping trip, she packed some food in a cooler to take along. She made up a batch of fruit salad. Since the fruit was tart, she added some sugar. She put the fruit salad in a bowl and covered it with plastic wrap. Then she placed the bowl into the cooler. In the cooler she had a package of dry ice at the bottom, covered with regular ice on top. By the time they got around to eating the fruit salad, it tasted fizzy. She called my husband and me to ask if we could help her figure out what was going on.

Now….here’s a challenge for you. Research and see if you can explain what happened. I’ll give the explanation in my next post. Happy hunting!

In the meantime, while you’re doing your research, you might want to try one of these recipes for fruit salad (non-fizzy). 🙂 Enjoy!

Fruit Salad Recipe #1

2 (20 oz.) cans crushed pineapple                           1 T. vegetable oil

2/3 c. sugar                                                              2 (17 oz.) cans fruit cocktail, drained

2 T. all-purpose flour                                                2 (11 oz) cans mandarin oranges, drained

2 eggs, lightly beaten                                               2 bananas, sliced

1/4 c. orange juice                                                   1 c. heavy cream, whipped

3 T. lemon juice

Drain pineapple, reserving 1 c. juice in a small saucepan. Set pineapple aside. To saucepan, add sugar, flour, eggs, orange juice, lemon juice, and oil. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute; remove from the heat and let cool. In a salad bowl, combine pineapple, fruit cocktail, oranges, and bananas. Fold in whipped cream and the cooled sauce. Chill for several hours. Yields 12-16 servings.

Fruit Salad Recipe #2

1 c. strawberries

1 c. grapes, sliced

1 small can pineapple chunks

1 small can mandarin oranges

1 c. miniature marshmallows

1 small container cool whip

Add all ingredients; mix well. Serve chilled.

Edible Experiment #7 May 4, 2015

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Observe the change of a mixture from liquid to solid and make your own homemade Play-Doh in the process. 🙂

Area of Science: Chemistry
Age Range: Elementary age and up
Materials Needed: 1 cup flour
½ tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 cup water
1 package (3-3 ½ oz) Jello, any flavor

Instructions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a pot. Cook on stovetop on medium heat and stir constantly. Observe as the mixture slowly changes from liquid to solid (about the consistancy of mashed potatoes).
2. Allow it to cool, then knead with a sprinkling of flour until it is dry to the touch.
3. Store in an airtight container when not in use.

Explanation: What causes the change from liquid to solid? When heated, the flour causes things to thicken. Why? The starch in the flour, when mixed with liquid, doesn’t really do much. They absorb a little water, but not much. But when you add heat, the rigid starch molecules start to break down, allowing for more absorption of water.

Note: While you probably would rather play with the dough instead of eat it, it is indeed edible. Perfect for young children who may like to stick everything in their mouth (you don’t have to worry if they actually do). I found several recipes for homemade play-dough. This one I adapted (original called for ½ cup salt, which I felt was too much). Another similar one uses herbs and spices instead of Jello (plus less salt to begin with). If you are interested, feel free to experiment with your own.

Sources: http://www.buzzfeed.com/morganshanahan/19-kitchen-science-experiments-you-can-eat
thekrazycouponlady.com/family/diy-have-fun-with-jell-doh/
https://themolecularcircus.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/kitchen-science-how-flour-thickens-sauces/
https://craftulate.com/2013/09/homemade-herb-and-spice-play-dough.html

Edible Experiment #4 February 28, 2015

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This experiment is all about rocks.

Area of science: Geology
Age Range: elementary school and up
Materials needed: starburst candy, foil, wax paper, an oven (or toaster oven), oven mitts

Background: There are three types of rock: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Each is formed in its own unique way.

Sedimentary rocks are formed from sediment, i.e. sand, pebbles, and other such materials. Over time, these particles collect in layers. Pressure from new layers compacts the material until it eventually hardens into rock.

Metamorphic rocks are formed under the earth’s surface. The heat and pressure work together to form these rocks.

Igneous rocks are formed from magma, or molten rock from deep within the earth, that has hardened. These rocks can form inside the earth or from lava that has erupted onto the surface of the earth from a volcano and then cooled quickly.

Instructions:
1. For each type of rock, you will need a small piece of foil, a piece of wax paper, and 3 starbursts.
2. Unwrap your starbursts. Lay out the foil with the wax paper on top.
3. Stack the starbursts on top of the wax paper. Roll the wax paper and foil tightly around the starbursts.
4. For sedimentary rocks, try to change the shape of the starbursts using pressure only. This could be squeezing them, squishing them under your foot, or any such similar means of applying pressure.

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5. For metamorphic rock, you will need to add heat. Place them in a toaster oven or a regular oven heated to 350ºF. Heat them until they are soft and malleable, about 2-3 minutes. Then pull them out and apply some pressure.

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6. For igneous rocks, leave them in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the candy has melted. With igneous rocks, the minerals all mix together and are indistinguishable from one another. If your melted candy doesn’t mix that well, you may try mixing it with a fork. Allow to cool.

SONY DSC

Now, compare your three rocks. What differences do you observe?

Note: You will probably find that the metamorphic and igneous rocks will stick to the wax paper.
Sources:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/morganshanahan/19-kitchen-science-experiments-you-can-eat
lemonlimeadventures.com/edible-rock-cycle-for-kids/#_a5y_p=1341452
http://www.learner.org/interactives/rockcycle/types.html

The War on Thanksgiving November 15, 2014

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We’ve all heard about the War on Christmas. Well, I’d like to point out another war, one we may not even even recognize is being fought and lost: The War on Thanksgiving.

You’re probably asking, well, what do I mean, the War on Thanksgiving? What war?

If you go to any store this time of year, you see Christmas decorations. Stores are already encouraging you to shop for that special gift now. Even before Halloween, I began seeing Christmas stuff in the stores. Now go look for Thanksgiving stuff. You probably won’t find much, if any. And it seems they just keep pushing Christmas earlier and earlier. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. It’s probably my favorite holiday. I like all the pretty lights and Christmas trees. I like baking and eating Christmas goodies. And I like getting Christmas shopping done early (paticularly if you order online and have to leave time for gifts to arrive in the mail). It’s fun to try and find gifts I know my family will love. And I love listening to Christmas music. But more and more, Christmas has pushed Thanksgiving out of the way. Now of course I’m sure turkeys would be glad if we skipped Thanksgiving. But brushing past Thanksgiving to get to Christmas sooner has bothered me. But I never could quite explain why it bothered me.

Then earlier this year, my cousin loaned me a book entitled “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp.
One thing she points out in her book that has stuck with me, one simple statement: “Thanksgiving precedes the miracle.” Now to fully understand Thanksgiving, we need to go back to the Greek word for Thanksgiving, which is eucharisteo. This word encompasses the root word charis, which means grace, and the derivative, chara, meaning joy. Thanksgiving incorporates both grace and joy. Another point she made that struck me was the idea that all of sin can be boiled down to the sin of ingratitude. The idea that God is not enough. And ultimately, “if our fall was the non-eucharisteo, the ingratitude, then salvation must be intimately related to eucharisteo, the giving of thanks.”

Only by giving thanks can we understand the miracle that was to come. It’s no coincidence that in our calendar Thanksgiving comes before Christmas, and Christmas before Passover and Easter. Only by the giving of thanks can we understand what Christmas is really about. Only by giving thanks can we comprehend the ultimate miracle that began with Christ’s birth. He came to earth, ultimately, to die on the cross so that we could be reconclied to Him. The ultimate miracle being Christ’s resurrection from the dead, which we celebrate at Easter. And it all begins with Thanksgiving.

See, the world doesn’t understand Thanksgiving. The world lives in the sin of ingratitude, and therefore they can’t understand the miracle: Christ’s birth. And because they can’t understand it, they want to skip it. The world doesn’t want you to take time to pause and give thanks to a God they don’t acknowledge even exists. They would rather turn the miracle of Christmas into nothing more than an excuse to blow your budget on all the latest toys and electronic gadgets. A lot of stores even have started having their Black Friday sales begin on Thanksgiving Day, which means that employees have to spend Thanksgiving Day working instead of with their familes. They try to convince you that what you have isn’t enough; that you need more. That God isn’t enough. They even try to remove Christ from Christmas. But without Christ, Christmas is utterly meaningless. But when we take time to pause, and give thanks, and recognize that God truly is all that we need, then we are able to see Christmas, and ultimately Easter, for the miracles that they are.

Thanksgiving October 15, 2014

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We temporarily interrupt the regularly scheduled blogging of science experiments to bring you this important update. Christmas has hit the stores. Already! I was in the store last week and saw several aisles of Christmas stuff already out. And it isn’t even Halloween yet! This is all I have to say about that:

That is all. I will write more on the subject later. We now return you to the regularly scheduled blogging.

Fun Science Experiments September 25, 2014

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Welcome! As someone who studied physics, and is now a homeschooling mom of a preschooler, I have decided to begin sharing fun science experiments you can do at home with your kids. I hope to come up with experiments that will not only help teach fundamental science principles, but will also be enjoyable for children. It is my intention that most should be doable with common household supplies, and some will even be edible. 🙂 Each experiment will list the subject matter covered, as well as appropriate age range. Some will be of my own creation, and others will simply be experiments from old school books or videos I found online. And each will have been independently tested in my own laboratory (aka my kitchen) by not only me, but my husband, who teaches science at two local community colleges. My first experiment is in the works, and once tested at home, I will post it here. Enjoy! 🙂