Science @ Home: Pop, Fizz, Expand–Kitchen Science With a Kick!

When you’re a kid it seems like everything messy is fascinating. The bigger the mess, the better the time. The same could probably be true for adults if they weren’t partially responsible for helping clean up. Well, at the Boonshoft Museum we are all about making a mess in a safe environment, especially if we can learn something from it!

This month’s Science @ Home experiment turns your kitchen into a chemistry lab by mixing some delicious confections! We’ve all heard the “explosive” urban legend about drinking a pop while guzzling Pop Rocks. While that is not entirely true (no, your tummy won’t explode!), the combination does produce a lot of gas. Try this classic experiment to see for yourself!

Pop, Fizz, Expand – Pop Rocks and Soda

You Will Need:

  • A Few Packs of Pop Rocks
  • Balloons
  • 12-16 oz bottle of pop (if you want to expand on the experiment, try a variety)
  • A Notebook and Pen to Record Your Observations

Experiment:

1) Open the first bottle of pop and pop rocks. Pour out a little soda to make room for the fizz.

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2) Empty the entire contents of the pop rocks pouch into the bottle of pop.

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3) Immediately place the balloon over the opening of the pop bottle.

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4) Observe what is happening to the pop and the balloon.

5) Optional: Repeat the experiment with different types of pop.

What’s Happening?

Infamous for the popping sensation in your mouth, Pop Rocks contain pressurized carbon dioxide gas. Once the saliva from your mouth wears town the candy shell the carbon dioxide is released from it’s shell, creating a popping sound. The same is true for pop, a carbonated drink that gets it’s bubbles from pressurized carbon dioxide. The mixture of the pressurized carbon dioxide in the candy and combined with the pressurized carbon dioxide gas from the pop creates so much gas, it needs to leave the bottle so it fills the balloon.

Take it further:

Try using different flavors of pop rocks and different kinds of pop. Are there different reactions? Does the balloon fill up faster, slower, or the same?

To see more experiments watch our full segment on Living Dayton below:

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Make sure you don’t miss a Science @ Home experiment by signing up for the Boonshoft Museum’s E-Newsletters and be sure to follow us on Pinterest.

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Makers Are Getting Things Moving! Join In On All The Fun!

From problem solvers and upcyclers, to DIY robotics newbies—the “Maker Movement” is something everyone can get excited about. To be a “maker” is to be a visionary, a builder, an engineer, a creative, and much, much more. Makers across the country are getting things done in amazing ways—like Brittnay Wegner, who took home the Google Science Fair’s grand prize for developing computer programming technology that accesses tissue samples for breast cancer with 99% accuracy. Brittnay was 17 at the time she developed her invention. The organization, Girls Who Code, has myriad of testimonials from young girls, who, through training in computer skills, have built, modeled, coded their way to create wonderful things:

On graduation night at Google, I was approached with my first ever job offer. Today, at 15, I have two web design jobs to help make ends meet at home. I am teaching my dad to code. He’s now working to become an IT professional to replace his substitute custodian job. My sisters are next on the list.

Moms and dads are using “lifehacks” to kick-start their cleaning, home, and personal projects, teens are upcycling furniture for their dorm rooms and creating apps, and children are engineering robots and programming using their own open source hardware (like the very popular Raspberry Pi).

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FIRST LEGO League Teams create and program LEGO robots.

Even the White House has taken notice of how important makers are to the economy and the world! During the White House’s Week of Making, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Springfield will be hosting public programming themed around “making”—and don’t forget, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Springfield has a designated Maker Space that is filled with creative ways to complete projects. MakerMovement While diving into “maker” activities may seem intimidating, one of the best way to encourage your children to tinker and create is to complete a project with them—and because we at the Museum are huge Astronomy fans (I mean, we only have the coolest Planetarium in the region!) we recommend this DIY Constellation Light Box featured in Make Magazine. Not only do you get to paint, light, and measure, the end result is a beautiful night light for your little one’s bedroom!

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Credit: Makezine.com

To complete the DIY Constellation Light Box Project click here. To learn more about the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Springfield click here. To learn more about the White House’s Week of Making click here.

Helping Your Child Beat the Summer Slide!

This week we are exploring the infamous “summer slide” and what parents can do to combat it. Guest blogger and Boonshoft Super Educator, Blaire (pictured below), will be sharing a little bit about the regression that students experience in the summer and how the Museum’s awesome summer camps can stop the summer slide in it’s tracks!

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Having a blast in the Museum’s Do-Lab

Click here for some must-know facts about the summer slide!

To read Blaire’s post, click the “Read More” link below!

Continue reading

Celebrating Earth Day With “Green” Family Fun!

It’s no secret, every day is Earth Day here at the Boonshoft Museum. From learning about water conservation in Splash!, to becoming a recycling pro in our new Landfill exhibit, one of the biggest take-aways from a visit to the Boonshoft Museum is learning how every single person can make a difference when it comes to our Earth and the impact we have on it.

Today, instead of just remembering to turn off the lights and take out the recycling (not that those aren’t wonderful, helpful things) make Earth Day a true celebration by participating in fun Earth-friendly activities with the whole family!

Here are five fun and creative things you can do to celebrate Earth Day:

1) Camp In – Though it may not be quite warm enough to camp outside, there is a great alternative! Pitch a tent, grab a few sleeping bags, or build a pillow fort inside. Unplug your devices, turn the lights out and the flashlights on for some quality family time that saves energy.

Simply turning your lights off and abstaining from electricity consumption for one hour can make a huge difference! In fact, during Earth Hour, a worldwide movement encouraging communities to turn of non-essential lights for one hour, places like Bangkok decreased energy usage by 73.34 megawatts – which is equivalent to 41.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Imagine if everyone “camped in” for just one evening a year, which would save an amazing amount of energy in addition to creating a ton of awesome memories!

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Credit: blog.sheaapartments.com

2) Plant a buzz-worthy garden! Did you know that honey bees play a huge roll in pollinating the food you eat every single day? In fact, one out of every three bites of food that Americans eat is directly or indirectly derived from honeybee pollination, so why not help our flying friends out by proving a safe place for them to explore free of pesticides?

Lavender, geraniums, and zinnias are beautiful, while fennel and cilantro can spice up your meals—and the best part? They can all be part of a bee-friendly garden that helps to conserve the honey bee population. To learn more about planting a buzz-worthy garden click here. To test your honey bee knowledge, take the quiz linked below.

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Click here to Take the Quiz

3) Trade in your Subaru for a Schwinn! Just for the day, see what it’s like to take a family outing to dinner, the movies, or to get ice cream. Not only do you treat yourself to some family time while getting some exercise (a 140 pound cyclist can burn up to 400 calories in an hour), you are making a greener choice by using a mode of transportation that does not require fossil fuels, therefore reducing your carbon footprint!

Who knows! Maybe you will get the biking bug and participate in National Bike To Work Day on May 15.

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4) Calculate your Carbon Footprint! Sit down with your family to see how you measure up to your national peers when it comes to energy consumption! The calculator, linked below, estimates your footprint in three areas: home energy, transportation, and waste.

After you have taken the quiz, find small ways to adjust your footprint; hang the laundry out to dry instead of running the dryer, adjust your thermostat, and change your power settings on your computer to save energy and money. Not only can you see how much money and CO2 you will save by making these small adjustments, you can turn it into a family challenge with a goal that you can work towards.

Click here to Calculate Your Carbon Footprint

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Credit: cleveland.com

5) Candid Chats About Climate Change! Climate change is not only real, it’s happening as we speak. The implications of a warmer Earth effect everything, from the smallest plants to the largest animals. Discussing climate change and the role that human beings play in it can not only help children understand the gravity of the situation, they can feel empowered to help—even at a young age.

Hop on to nasa.gov to with your kiddos to play climate kids computer games; your child will not only learn about climate change, but what they can do to make big difference!

Click here To Play

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For more ideas on how to become a conservation champ visit our Pinterest board, or stop by the Museum. Today, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. the Southwest Ohio EPA will be here sharing tons of wonderful Earth Day tips and providing interactive, hands-on opportunities for guests!

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Hands on learning at the Boonshoft Museum with the Southwest Ohio EPA