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The Magic School Bus Science Club, Solids, Liquids and Gases kit

The Magic School Bus "Solids, Liquids, and Gases" kit

The Magic School Bus “Solids, Liquids, and Gases” kit

“Santa” brought Jenna(4) a subscription to the Magic School Bus Science Club this year. It was a 50% off deal through Homeschool Buyers Co-op. That comes out to $12 a kit, which is totally worth it.

A lot of these experiments you can do at home for free. The only drawback is that you won’t have the teaching script to read from. I’m not going to lie, the script is pretty nice because it’s so foolproof. But if you go to the library and check out some books, you’ll probably be fine.

Here are some titles to look for:

The Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake: A Book About Kitchen Chemistry

Solids, Liquids and Gases (Starting with Science)

Experiments with Solids, Liquids, and Gases (True Books)

Here are some experiments to get you started:

Dancing raisins. You need raisins and fizzy water.

Dancing raisins. You need raisins and fizzy water.

Drop the raisins in the water and watch what happens.

Drop the raisins in the water and watch what happens.

First the raisins sink because they are heavy. But then the gas bubbles (which are light) attach to the raisins and lift them up to the surface.

Blow up a balloon. You need at 2 liter bottle, vinegar, baking soda and a balloon.

Blow up a balloon. You need at 2 liter bottle, vinegar, baking soda and a balloon.

Drop baking soda and vinegar into the bottle and attach the balloon.

Drop baking soda and vinegar into the bottle and attach the balloon.

If we had used a 2 liter bottle this would have been better. What happens is that the baking soda and vinegar make carbon dioxide, which takes up room and forces the air out of the bottle up into the balloon. Our dinky little bottle didn’t have enough air in it to blow up the entire balloon. Note to self, buy 7-Up!

Fizzy tablets and water.

Fizzy tablets and water.

The citric acid and the baking soda inside the Alka Seltzer tablet react to produce the gas, which is lighter than water, so the bubbles rise to the surface.

Milk goop: you need milk and vinegar.

Milk goop. You need milk and vinegar.

Mix 4 parts milk, 1 part vinegar. Wait 10 minutes.

Mix 4 parts milk, 1 part vinegar. Wait 10 minutes.

The vinegar causes the protein casein to separate from the milk. The result is an ancient type of Egyptian glue.

More goop. You need cornstarch and water.

More goop. You need cornstarch and water.

Mix two parts cornstarch and one part water. Use your hands!

Mix two parts cornstarch and one part water. Use your hands!

This is an experiment you have to feel to understand. The result is not exactly a liquid, but not really a solid. It changes forms depending on how you squeeze it.

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That was a lot of  fun! We still have two more experiments to do before we finish the kit: making slime and a bouncy ball.

For more information about the Magic School Bus Science kits, visit the Young Scientists Club website.

Science Without a Net: Week 1

For all of the official (and free!) “Science Without A Net” lesson plans please see here.

Our Science Without A Net topic for this week is Energy. We had a lot of fun learning about the scientific definition of energy and all of its forms.

Here is the homemade book we made to help us remember what we learned about energy this week. For more on the how and why of homemade books, please see here.

Energy

This week we learned about Energy. We read Energy Makes Things Happen by Kimberly Bradley.

We made origami frogs out of paper. When the frog is just sitting there, it is full of potential energy.

When the frog is jumping, it is full of kinetic energy.

We put a ball at the top of the stairs. When the ball was at the top of the stairs it was full of potential energy.

When the ball was rolling down the stairs it was full of kinetic energy.

We built a magic can. The further away the can rolled, the more potential energy it had. The rubber band inside the can stores energy when the can rolls.

We made brownies. Stirring the brownies used kinetic energy.

Baking the brownies used heat energy.

Since they are a food, brownies are fuel for our bodies. Fuel gives us energy.

Milk is also a fuel which gives our bodies energy. The milk we drink with our brownies came from cows that ate grass. It takes solar energy from the sun to grow grass.

The last experiment we did was with sound energy. Crashing the cymbals together created sound waves. The sound waves made the salt bounce off of the plastic. Dad jumped too, because it was really loud!