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At Home Science: Educational fun for kids at home

Ms. Covey Denton presented experiments virtually on WITN News at Sunrise Thursday that you can recreate at home.
Ms. Covey Denton presented experiments virtually on WITN News at Sunrise Thursday that you can recreate at home.
Ms. Covey Denton presented experiments virtually on WITN News at Sunrise Thursday that you can recreate at home.(Covey Denton)
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 10:04 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - As kids get ready for a unique school year, there are many ways to keep them learning at home. One option: science experiments! Covey Denton and her daughters, Bethany and Lydia, have some ideas to bring the science lab to you.

Ms. Covey Denton presented experiments virtually on WITN News at Sunrise Thursday that you can recreate at home.

Be sure to watch the attached videos!

Descriptions from Ms. Denton:

Lota Bowl

A Lota Bowl is a “magical container” which filled with water. The water is poured out of the container until it appears empty.

In a few moments, more water naturally appears in the container and it is also poured out. A version of this bowl has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks. The secret is the small hole near the lip of the bottle. This allows air to enter the outer shell when the bottle is upright, equalizing the pressure and allowing the water to flow into the interior tube. Without that hold, most of the water would stay in the outer shell.

This is a great experiment to get those brains thinking. Demonstrate the “magic trick” and give your kids some materials and challenge them to try and figure out how to make their own.

Aluminum Foil

How can a ship made of steel float? If you drop a steel bolt in a bucket of water, the bolt sinks to the bottom. How can a steel ship carry a heavy load without sinking? It seems pretty crazy that something so heavy doesn’t sink when you put it into the water.

The secret has to do with the density, or the mass per volume, of the ship (and its cargo) compared to the density of water. In this science activity, you will make little “boats” out of aluminum foil to explore how their size affects how much weight they can carry without sinking.

An object will float on the water if it pushes enough water out of the way--this is called displacement. An object floats when the weight force on the object is balanced out by the upward push of the water on the object. The ability to float is not affected by the depth of the water or the amount of water.

For a fun twist, try floating your boat in salt water. Is it more difficult or easier to do the challenge? Adding the salt changes the density of the water, which affects the ability of objects to float.

Bubble Juggle

A bouncing bubble is amazing because most people have never seen a bubble bounce! Bubbles are very fragile because they are so thin. They seem to pop when they touch just about anything. Why? A bubble’s worst enemies are oil, dirt, and evaporation.

A bouncing bubble will bounce off of a surface if there in no oil or dirt, those things would normally cause a break in the thin soap film of the bubble.

This experiment actually works best on very humid days. Evaporation causes the bubble to get very thin and on humid days, the evaporation is slower. Evaporation causes the bubble to get very thin (down to a millionth of an inch) on the top surface. It finally gets too thin to hold onto itself and the wall collapses completely--causing the bubble to pop!

Our Recipe:

3 cups distilled water

1 cup Dawn Dish soap (any soap works, but Dawn seems to work the best)

1 tsp glycerin (this is in the cake decorating aisle)

Mix well and let it sit overnight for best results

Covey Denton is an award-winning science teacher at the Greenfield School in Wilson, NC. She and her kids make regular appearances on WITN News at Sunrise.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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