Education Help: Home School Science Experiments For Preteens

These science experiments are educational and fun. Use them as part of a home school science curriculum or to enrich the education of your curious preteen.

Whether you are home schooling or looking for enrichment for your preteen, science is an important part of education. But, science can be fun, especially when you do these experiments in your own home with commonly found household objects.

Both of these experiments should be done together with a grown-up!

VOLCANO IN A JAR

Create a volcanic reaction in your own kitchen with this easy science experiment.

What you'll need

- A medium sized jar (a jam or pickle jar works nicely), no lid required

- A large bowl or tray with sides

- White (household) vinegar

- Warm water

- Dishwashing liquid

- Baking soda

- Food coloring (optional)

Make your volcano

Fill your jar about halfway with warm tap water. Mix in a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Add 2 heaping spoonfuls of baking soda to the water and soap mixture and stir thoroughly. If you would like to make your eruption more colorful, add a couple of drops of food coloring to the water.



Place the jar in the bowl, on the tray or in your sink -- when your volcano "erupts" it will make a foamy mess and you want to catch it with the bowl or tray to make cleanup easier. Slowly add white vinegar into the mixture, and watch your volcano erupt!

What happened?

The baking soda and vinegar combination creates carbon dioxide gas in a chemical reaction. Carbon dioxide is the gas bubbling in real volcanoes! When the gas bubbles build, they run out of room in the jar and force the liquid or lava out and down the jar's sides.

BAKED ALASKA

Baked Alaska is not only hot and cold all at the same time - it is delicious. Learn how to bake ice cream in the oven, without it melting!

What you'll need

- Whites from 3 eggs

- ½ cup of sugar

- 1 large scoop (about a cup) of really cold ice cream

- 1 slice of poundcake or a large and firm cookie

- A cookie sheet

- An electric mixer

Make your Baked Alaska

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the egg whites in a bowl, and use the electric mixer to beat them until they are stiff. It should take about five minutes. Keep beating, and slowly add the sugar to your egg whites until it is all blended. It should look shiny now.

Place a slice of poundcake (or your cookie) on the cookie sheet. Now, scoop your ice cream onto the top of the poundcake. It should not touch the tray at all.

Scoop the egg white mixture - called meringue -- onto the ice cream and poundcake and cover it entirely with a thick coating. There should be no ice cream or poundcake exposed or your Baked Alaska will not work!

Place it in the oven for five minutes, or until the egg white is a light, golden brown. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Use a spatula to put your Baked Alaska on a plate and eat immediately!

What happened?

How did the egg whites get warm and toasty, while the ice cream stayed frozen? The egg white acted as an insulator, and kept the heat from getting to the ice cream. How does the egg white insulate? When you whipped the egg whites with the electric mixer, it added a large amount of air to the egg. The air forms little pockets that prevent cold air or hot air from moving through the mixture very quickly; air does not conduct heat very well because its molecules are so far apart from one another. Puffy down coats keep us warm in a similar fashion; the feathers trap air pockets and prevent the heat from leaving the inside of the coat and our body.

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