Science is learning about the world around us in a rational, logical fashion and it is important that it be encouraged as early as possible. What better way to do this than setting up fun and interesting science projects at home? What are some simple projects that are not only easy and affordable, but that demonstrate sound scientific principles in a fun way? Let's look at a few!
Project 1: Supplies needed: 10 inch Celery Stalk, water, blue food colouring, glass jar
Take the stalk and let it sit for around an hour, it should start wilting (this shows water depletion of the cells) then put water in a glass jar (1 inch should do) and add lots of food colouring. Just put the stalk with the large end in the water and let it sit, the dye will slowly creep up inside the celery! It not only shows the vascular system of the plant, but also demonstrates that the plant has created negative pressure and so the water flows up!
Project 2: Supplies needed: Chicken Eggs, vinegar, glass jar
Put the vinegar solution in the glass jar and the rest in the chicken eggs. Every few hours remove an egg and try to break the shell. It becomes easier over time as the acid dissolves out the calcium, after a few hours, you are just left with the shell membrane. Now everyone can see what the egg looks like "inside the shell", a giant cell with just the membrane. Demonstrates how acids are essential for dissolving calcium.
Project 3: Rocks, marbles, metal cubes, measuring beaker, millimetre ruler, water
Teach children about measuring and displacement. Measure the cube using the ruler and the put water in the beaker up to a known point. Drop the cube in and it should sink. The amount of water it displaces is directly proportionate to the size. Now have fun measuring items that you can't do using the ruler!
Project 4: Vinegar, Baking Soda, glass jar, candle
Do this one in the sink. Put the baking soda in the jar with the lighted candle; now slowly add in the vinegar. It starts spewing out gas. This is CO2 production and the gas will put out the candle! Great for demonstrating acid-base mixture, gas production, and how CO2 is invisible, but replaces O2!
These are just 4 simple, affordable and safe science projects that can be done at home. Others include building kites and paper airplanes to demonstrate air resistance, build sand filters for water purification, steam condensation, melting of ice for principles of water. Science is the study and observing of everything, reward yourself and your child by trying some of these!