Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Crystal Star

How To Make A Crystal Star

What's in the box?

We gave our 4th grader this science kit called Zany Crystals.

He is kind of ZANY too. Great kid with a fun sense of humor! Check out those styling goggles and the miniature magnifying glass on the lapel of his shirt. He was trying to look as nerdy as possible and loves to make me laugh.

The kit comes with an instruction manual that has lots of pictures.

It has instructions and materials for 9 different experiments making different kinds of crystals. If you use this kit in your student's workbox, it could last for nine days of science, or they could do it all in one day, or break it down and do a little each day. We broke it down and used this for two experiments a day, and included it in our learning about snow flakes, and crystals this winter.

One of the experiments teaches him how to create a crystal star.

The kit is nice because it allows you have everything at your fingertips, except for a few household items.

But you don't really need a kit to do this experiment. If you would like to repeat the crystal star experiment with your student, here is what you will need:

Hot water ( always use wisdom and monitor for safety). Two glass jars. Baking soda. Food coloring. Measuring and stirring plastic spoon. Pipe cleaner. String. Craft stick.

Basically the steps involved:

1. Pour very hot water into a glass jar. We preheated our jar so we didn't break the glass.

2. Pour in baking soda slowly, and stir until the mixture is saturated and no more dissolves but starts to accumulate on the bottom.

3. Pour off the saturated water into another glass jar, leaving the undissolved baking soda in the bottom of the first jar.

Here is a picture of jar 1 and jar 2 after pouring off the saturated solution.

4. Add a few drops of food coloring to jar 2 and stir.

5. Bend pipe cleaner into a star shape.

6. Hang the star with string from a craft stick.

7. Place star into the colored liquid solution.

8. Observe over the next 2 hours to 24 hours the crystallization process. Basically you are watching crystals "grow" on the rough surface of the pipe cleaner.

9. Remove star from the solution carefully.

10. Reveal your crystal star. Use magnifying glass to see crystals up close. Have your child describe what the crystals look like and how they think they got there.

Fantastic! Great job!

Another crystal experiment that is easy to repeat is the ice crystal.

Step 1. Pour a small amount of cold water into a glass.
Step 2. Place glass in freezer.
Step 3 Let stand for 30 minutes (or longer) in freezer.
Step 4 Remove from freezer.
Step 5 Observe ice crystals on the sides of the glass with a magnifying glass.

What did you observe? Ice crystals have 6 sides.

Thank you to Melinda for today's guest blog post. Melinda is a wife of 20 years and mother of 5, plus one waiting in heaven. She enjoys sharing her love for God, homeschooling, cooking, singing, gardening, researching, and more at http://www.weiseracademy.com
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