Monday, March 16, 2009

Oil and Water Don't Mix Continues

Again I placed the Oil and Water Don't Mix tray in front of myself as I began the day's lesson. After repeating the lesson, I placed several other items before me including a large pitcher of oil, a pitcher for water, food coloring, Alka-Seltzer, a baby food jar and lid and a sponge. Because this work includes using an Alka-Seltzer, it is not meant for a child to do as an independent work. It was a class / group project. I placed the pieces of the tablets into the children's jars myself. They never even touched them. We were making a vary simple version of a lava lamp. It did not include or require electricity. However, I did warm up a lava lamp for the children to view after we constructed our own.

First I made mine. I filled a small, baby food jar with enough water to equal 1/4 of the jars volume. Then I added oil until the jar was almost full, leaving a little bit of space at the top. Instantly, the separation between water and oil was visible. After a few seconds for the children to view the oil and water not mixing, I added a few drops of green food coloring. At first the colored drops looked solid and like they were floating. Then they broke down and the color ran through the water/oil liquid.

Next, I put an Alka-Seltzer broken into several pieces into the baby food jar. The liquid began bubbling and bubbling. It was amazing. After several minutes the liquid settled. The green colored oil settled on the bottom and a seltzer like liquid settled on the top.

I put on the lid of the jar and carefully moved it side to side. The oil mixture moved like a slow wave. Visually, it was a perfect science extension.

Then I pointed out the plugged in lava lamp.

The children became mesmerized. They looked almost hypnotized or as if they were paying respect to some ancient, sacred figure. It was, for me, intoxicating to simply watch their faces as they watched the lava lamp.

And while they watched the lava lamp, I super glued all of the lids onto the baby food jars so that they could enjoy them at home. Also, I thought parents would appreciate the baby food jars not spilling in their child's school bags.

1 comment:

Marianne said...

Thank you for these clear instructions, my children enjoyed this very much!