Friday, February 1, 2013

Fireworks in a Jar

I've been excited about this weekend for quite some time.  It is sure to be filled with many meaningful moments beginning with tonight's science fair.

Last year Grace loved her hand sanitizer vs. soap experiment so much that the first day she could sign up for this year's she had the paper printed and filled out completely on her own, only asking me how I wanted to volunteer. :)  Then, she logged onto my pinterest (Yes.  It's true.  Only a first grader of 2013...) to find a "pretty" experiment.  Thus,

Since Grace was learning some basics about density in school and knew that the heavier stuff went to the bottom, we adapted this experiment to make it science fair worthy.  She formed the question

Which is the most dense: vegetable oil, food dye, or water?

And started in on the scientific method. 

To do the experiment she used a jar 3/4 full with water, a few tablespoons of vegetable oil, and 1 drop of four different colors of food dye.

First she poured the oil into the water.

The density difference was obvious.

Then she added the food dye one drop at a time. The drops slowly sunk through vegetable oil, indicating that they were more dense than the oil.

But once it made it to the water it formed "fireworks"


And then totally dissolved.

This surprised my little scientist who hypothesized that they would form three different layers.

Her discovery was that to form different layers it had to be different density AND different molecules.

Going into polar versus non-polar would be a bit much for a seven year old so I left the teaching there, but an older student could definitely expand upon the chemistry.

At the science fair tonight she did some live demos and excitedly shared all she learned in a cute, girly dress. 

We are so proud. :)  It was truly the perfect start to a family-focused weekend.

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