Thursday, November 7, 2013

Science fair day!

Yipee! The boys were so excited to hear that it was finally the day of our science fair.

We loaded up the car and double checked for any last minutes items needed.  Ian made up some hot dog mummies  and cooked them up just before leaving so they'd stay nice and warm.  We were all set to leave when I suddenly remembered Ian's apple mummy experiment.

Ian's full display
Last Thursday we spent a portion of the morning cutting up apples into even slices and using different household items to try and mummify them.  We had a total of 8 apple slices and labeled each cup according to what we used-- table salt, Epson salt, baking soda, and various combinations of two or all three of those ingredients.  We had to set it out of the sun in a dry place for a week and then we were supposed to check them. For complete instructions check Science Kids At Home.   We almost forgot them completely!

While Alec and Evan were waiting in the car Ian and I started fishing out the apple slices and comparing their states of decay.  The two apple slices in the salt and Epson salt actually looked pretty good.  They were very white still but definitely dried out.

His mummified apples

We placed everything in the car and headed to a local library where other homeschoolers were already setting out their projects. 
  
Ian set up his display board, his apple slices (which we laid out on a tray complete with labels), his hot dog mummy snacks (complete with plates, mustard and ketchup), his toilet paper tube mummy craft and a bunch of books about mummies.  His table was a big draw but Evan's drew a very large crowd. 


Hot dog mummies


A close up picture of his display board

HIs toilet paper tube mummy

Evan set up his bubble books, his display board, his "bubble" donut holes and then we set out a tray of water/ Joy dish soap with a bunch of bubble wands.  The kids had a ball trying to blow bubbles and all the moms were pretty surprised to hear that we just used a mixture of Joy and water to make such great bubbles.

Evan's display all set up
I had thought ahead and brought a large piece of felt cloth to lay on the floor and it was a good thing I did.  The cloth was soaked by the end of the fair!  We were lucky enough that many of the bubbles didn't pop right away when they landed on the cloth either so the kids were extra entertained. 


Let's blow some bubbles

our "bubbles"

More of a close up of his display board

We found lots of great books about bubbles
Alec's table consisted of a bunch of books about giant pandas and lesser pandas, his display board with all of his panda facts, a fun panda mask craft and some delicious panda cookies we found at Target of all places.

Alec's table all set up

His board that he worked so hard on

Alec's panda mask craft

We found these adorable panda snacks at Target
Once the boys had their own tables set up they started wandering around to check out all the other projects.  One little girl did a report on rocks and minerals complete with samples of rocks to look at, magnifying glasses and a box of those fake rocks that the kids could break open and search for gems.

Earth science study of rocks

Breaking up the rocks

There was a boy who studied electricity and had a few snap circuit kits on his table for demonstrating.  His craft project was his snack too.  All the kids had so much fun drawing a diagram of a circuit and then recreating it using candy and graham crackers. 

display about Electricity

an edible circuit

One of the girls did a report about horses, complete with a barn and toy horses.  We were all impressed with the horse cake that she made and decorated! 

All about horses including a 3-d model of a horse

Isn't her horse cake amazing?  She's only 8! 

Two little girls experimented with putting white carnations into different colored bottles of water and watched them change color.  They had books and activity papers about the parts of all the flowers. 

A girl researched crocodilians and put together a display that included a rather large fake crocodile to look at up close.



There was another girl who looked at the science behind glass bottles of water and how they make music.  The kids had a ball trying to play Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star on the water bottles of water-- it sounded really good too!


 There was a high school boy there who had studied DNA.  He had a report on his computer, a really neat Gummy Bear craft/ snack project and, best of all, this boy did a live demonstration for us all showing how to extract an DNA strand from a strawberry! 


DNA model/ snack





extracting DNA takes time and patience
Sorry, my camera couldn't really pick up the fine strands that banded together. 

    
Another high school boy looked at trajectory, speed and velocity of objects.  He had a bean bag toss game set up where the kids could win various snacks as prizes. 

 


A few brothers worked together to put together a whole display on the human body.  They had tons of diagrams of the internal organs of the body as well as an eye and eye chart set up.  Everyone had fun seeing how far away they could stand and still read the letters.  Evan loved their eyeball snacks (mini nilla wafers covered in white chocolate with frosting and a chocolate chip pupil). 




One little boy looked at the difference in animal teeth and compared carnivores to herbivores and omnivores. 


Another little boy looked at how the lungs worked and had a working representation of a lung and diaphragm.  
     

We ended the fair with some participation awards for all the presenters.  The kids all talked a bit about what they learned and the mom presenting the awards talked about some of the things she learned walking around looking at all the projects.  

It was a great day!  

I asked the boys to tell me a few things they learned and I was impressed with some of what they remembered.  Most amazing was Evan's response that when you are crushing strawberries if you add a bit of dish soap and salt to it that helps break down the cells!   He was so taken with the demonstration he told me that we should have done that for his project.  Perhaps when he's a bit older we'll have to get a bit more scientific with our projects.  

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