Thursday, February 4, 2010

More Science

The boys usually love science, especially since we're doing a LOT of experiments this year, thanks to a generous "grant" from Gramma and Grampa Grasshopper.


And let me tell ya, you can have a lot of fun with an assortment of bottles and jars, a bit of plastic tubing, some clay, and alka-seltzer.  We wrapped up our lime-water experiments by cleaning all the limestone deposits off our containers with vinegar, and decided to do a little test on the effervescent abilities of alka-seltzer.

First, we filled a small jar with ordinary water, and put about an inch of water in the bottom of the green bottle.  Using some plastic tubing (left-over from Tate's hospitalization last fall) we dropped one end into the jar of water and wrapped clay around the tubing about 2 inches from the other end.

As Gunnar dropped the alka-seltzer into the bottle, Tate quickly shoved the clay 'plug' down, and Wyatt started the timer.

There was a delightfully entertaining fizzing frenzy for the first 60 seconds that was oh-so-fun to watch.  (That's the purpose of running the tubing into the water, btw, to we can see the bubbles rising -  so we can know how long the stuff keeps effervescing.)

I'm tellin' ya, that stuff goes on and on and on!  The bubbling slowed down after the first minute and eventually became intermittent.  But I just checked on it, 50 minutes later and there were still bubbles forming.

I'm not sure the boys are actually aware that people take this stuff internally.  And I'm keeping that information from them, for the time being.  I can just imagine the glow on their faces as they imagine the awesome potentiality, right at their finger tips.  But that would lead to a whole range of other experiments on gasses and out-gassing that I have no desire to be part of, thank you very much.

 What they don't like, is writing up their experiments.  But, being the cruel and sadistic mother that I am, I force them to the grueling task of filling out this simple form:

Because, you know, I enjoy being mean. *eyes roll*


leah said...

What a great experiment! And hopefully there will be no self-gassing experiments in the future, haha!

Now, if you were a really mean mother, you'd make them all read Francis Bacon's Novum Organum. I think only college professors are that mean, though. :-)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Good gracious, Leah, I had to google that up :0)

I'm really, really not that smart!

Tina Marie said...

You could discuss urban legends for a lesson on folklore and then have them discover the effervescent qualities of PopRocks and Coke. Come on! They're boys. They'd love it.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

HA HA HA! They would LOVE it!

mommyx12 said...

Actually, we do still live right by the Wolf River. Only a different house. No longer on the river house but I can still see the river from my back window. Just yards away. This house was near a place called Gil's Landing. Does that ring a bell?