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SCIENCE (fair 2014)
posted by John : March 28, 2014

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Let's get salty!

It's Spring and that means SCIENCE is in the air. This year we had two and a half projects.

Henry wanted to use his copy of Star Wars Science Fair Experiments so we decided to "make clouds." The pictures made it look like we were going to recreate Bespin. Having done this one before with the kids, I knew that wasn't really where we were headed, but he was dead set on that experiment. He was mildly satisfied with the mist that appeared in the bottle when we rapidly decreased the pressure.

Lilly needed to discover if you could separate salt from water by freezing it. The big learn was that sometimes experiments don't go the way you think they will. When we pulled the containers out of the freezer we found the plain water and the cup with one teaspoon of salt were both frozen solid. Four teaspoons was mostly frozen and eight teaspoons was about two thirds frozen. Both the four and eight teaspoon solutions had a block of salt on the bottom. Wait, what?

It looked like the salt did separate from the water while it froze. Or perhaps the excess salt in the supersaturated solution precipitated out as the water temperature dropped. We did set up a secondary experiment, but didn't have time to include that in the board presented at the Fair.

Clara chose to investigate the correlation between the amount of water in a wine glass and the tone produced when she ran her finger around the top. Amy's iPad came to the rescue with a tuner app and Clara found the more water the higher the tone produced. It wasn't that much of a surprise and no surprise the judges liked Clara's work. She won her first medal, though she didn't get to collect it in person. She was at ballet. (Of course.)

Next year we'll be working only with Henry and Lilly's projects since Clara will be in middle school, but I'm sure she'll have something to contribute anyway.

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