Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Science: Sticky Static

Static electricity is an electric phenomenon that is well known.  It is where charged particles are transferred from one place to another.

Here's something fun you can try when you are learning about static electricity and is great as an introduction to electricity.

When you rub a balloon against your hair or a jumper, charge transfer happens, this is when static electricity is made; when you rub a balloon against your jumper or hair, the balloon steals electrons (negatively charged particles)  when this happens you leave the jumper, or your hair in a positively charged state and the balloon is negatively charged.

The balloon will be attracted back to the sweater because opposite charges attract like opposite pole attract with magnets. 

The reason that the balloon will stick to the wall is because the negative charges in the balloon will make the electrons in the wall move to the other side of their atoms (because like charges repel) and this leaves the surface of the wall positively charged. Because opposite charges attract, the negatively charged balloon will be attracted to the positively charged surface of the wall.

Something else you can try:

Try using different materials to negatively charge your balloon.  Which material works best?

Scientific words learnt through this experiment:

  • Static electricity
  • Protons
  • Electrons
  • Negative charge
  • Positive charge

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Science: Experimenting with Copper Sulphate

First of all Heating copper...
One of my friends who come along to my science groups back in 2012,  asked me if we could do some experiments on heating materials.  She said she had tried heating a copper coin and couldn’t get it to spark green and didn’t know why.  Well, this is why it didn't produce that green flame...
If you heat a modern copper coin it will go black, no green flame.  This is because you have formed copper oxide; the black formed during the heating of the coin in flame is the copper oxide. 

When it is cooled down obviously, you can clear away the copper oxide.

Then I was left with the question: how could I make a green flame using copper?  How I did this was not using a copper coin But I did use  copper sulphate.  Using a spoon and an alcohol burner I heated it and voila green flames!  Fab.  Be sure that you’re in a ventilated area when you do this.
What else can we do with Copper sulphate? 

We could put an iron nail in it.  What happens?  The liquid turns from blue to green.

When an iron nail is placed in a copper sulphate solution, iron displaces copper from copper sulphate solution forming iron sulphate, which is green in colour.

Therefore, the blue colour of copper sulphate solution fades and green colour appears.

When we take an iron metal nail and dip it into a blue solution of copper (II) sulphate, firstly it changes the solution to iron sulphate which is green in colour.  If you leave it the nail becomes covered with a reddish substance. This reddish substance is metallic copper. The equation for this is:

Fe(s) + CuSO4(aq) -> FeSO4(aq) + Cu(s)

This is what is known as a redox reaction, or otherwise known as a oxidation reduction reaction.

This post was first written 11/07/2012 revised: 11/02/2016

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Science: How to make glue from milk

This is a fun experiment, it does involve heat so you do have to be careful and have a responsible adult when carrying out this investigation.

As you can see in this photo the glue we made was strong enough to stick two boxes of eggs together and hold the weight of the six eggs in the bottom box!  Pretty impressive!


For this scientific investigation I will take you through step by Step explaining the science behind it as we go.  First you will need:

Monday, 11 January 2016

Science: How to make Carbonic acid

When carbon dioxide is added to water, the gas adds acidity to the water.  The reaction between the Carbon dioxide and the water is a synthesis reaction, sometimes known as a combination reaction, and creates an acid known as Carbonic acid.  

In this post I will talk you through Step by Step on how to make Carbonic Acid and the Science of the reaction as we go...

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

One thing I REALLY love about home education...

So what is this one thing I love most about Home Education?


  • Flexibility with when we learn and when we play.
  • Flexibility of what we learn.

  • The flexibility to look deeper into a subject that sparks interest!
  • The flexibility to study topics at different levels allowing for family bonding time while learning!
  • The flexibility to stop when things get intense - after all my aim is to keep learning fun. 

Our Home Education Journey has been just that, a journey...

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Science: How to make a Geode

So this is how to make your own geode!  

Ok, it's not a real geode but this simple but fun experiment can help kids understand they are formed. To be honest, how geodes are formed is still a phenomena but scientists have a couple of theories one of these theories is lava!

First here's how to make your own geode...

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Chemical Reactions: combustion of iron

In this experiment we are going to look further into what happens when the combustion of iron occurs...

The definition of combustion: The process of burning something.

Combustion is a chemical reaction.

Have you ever thought of what somethings weighs before and after it's burnt?  Well in this experiment that's exactly what we are going to do!

When doing this experiment please be careful as it does involve fire.  Ensure there is nothing like paper or cloth or anything else that can easily catch fire around.  Also it is very important that you wear goggles for this experiment.

What you will need:

  • A bunsen burner, or chefs torch - you could try an alcohol burner if you have one
  • Steel wool - like you use to scrub the pans
  • Tongs
  • Weighing scales
  • A metal baking tray
How to do this investigation...

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

HEAT ENERGY: A Convection and Conduction experiment

This is very simple demonstration of how conduction and convection heat energy works.  It involves fire which usually fascinates children.

For this experiment, you will need...

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Conduction: The magic balloon!

This is a really simple experiment and one that I've done loads of times before, I've just never blogged it.

Last week I showed the kids at Science Crazy Club how heat energy works and how it can be useful.

To demonstrate conduction I used a couple of experiments and this is one of them,

All you will need for this experiment is

  • 2 balloons
  • A candle
  • Some water
  • Goggles!

Now, I will fully explain the science of what is happening as I take you step by step through this very simple and easy experiment...

Friday, 28 August 2015

Through Rain and Shine

What a lovely weekend!  Saturday was so beautiful. 

I am child free every Saturday afternoon.  At first it was the weirdest thing.  They're always with me so it was so odd to be apart from them.  Now, about 9 months later, I am getting used to it and actually enjoy, not just having adult only time, but to have me time.  Quietness.

I took some photos, the Sky ride in Ipswich was running right near me and I thought it a great opportunity to take photos, especially with all that Sun...

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Human Anatomy Projects for Kids

Here I have compiled all my experiments and science projects that teach kids about how their body works using hands on fun activities!

First DNA as it's the recipe instructions to what makes us us!


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Science: Make your own Spool Car

This post was first written 1 June 2013 17:51

Did you ever wonder how a wind-up toy works? 

Well, if you open it up you will see all the components that make it up.  You will notice a spring inside too.  It looks more like a ribbon but it's still a spring as when it tightens up it stores potential energy that when released it is what moves the wind up toy!

Potential energy
Potential energy is stored energy that is ready to be used.  There are many different types of potential energy…  Gravitational potential energy, electrical potential energy, heat potential energy and there are more, like mechanical potential energy which we will be the first things we get hands on with in this chapter. When energy is stored up waiting to be used we call it potential energy.

When we wind up our toy we create potential energy.

Kinetic energy

When the stored energy, the potential energy, is released and used to do something, we call this kinetic energy.  Kinetic means movement, and this is because when energy is released it tends to make things move or something to happen!

When we let go, the potential energy is transferred to kinetic energy and the car moves along the table or the ground!

These are our spool cars...

They work in the same way as a wind up toy except our elastic bands are used in place of the spring inside our wind up toy.  We tried sitting them up so it looked like a propeller and we had it on its side when it turned into a spool car.

How do you make one? This is how we made ours...

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Science: Make your own Whirlpool tube!

This is a wonderful visual demonstration of how centripetal force works.  First lets make our Whirlpool tube! 

Supplies needed:

  • Two empty bottles, 1 litre
  • Water
  • Food colouring 
  • Washing up liquid
  • Glitter (Optional)
  • Electrical tape
  • Sticky tack
Here's how to make your whirlpool tube!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Science experiment: Diffusion

In short, diffusion, involves molecules moving from higher concentration to lower concentration.  This movement is known as the concentration gradient.

This happens with liquids and in gases.  As gases are more difficult in an experiment to show children how diffusion works I will use this experiment which involves liquid, in this case water.

We will also experiment with temperatures in the experiment and talk about how temperature effects the rate of diffusion. 

First the experiment...