5 Easy Science Experiments for Kids to Try at Home
These easy science experiments for kids can help address the worrying decline in STEM skills among students in Australia.
According to the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, Australian standards have declined in maths and science. This trend points to problems with higher order thinking skills.
You can help your child develop an understanding of the scientific method by having fun with science at home. Fun science experiments teach kids how to form a hypothesis, conduct an experiment and analyse the results.
Here are 5 easy science experiments for kids that will get them thinking scientifically and making connections.
1. Solar Oven
A solar oven is an enjoyable way to learn about science at home. It is easily made from a pizza box, aluminium foil, plastic wrap and black paper. The sun’s rays bounce off the aluminium foil into the box’s opening, teaching kids about reflection and the transfer of thermal energy.
The inside of the box is lined in black paper to absorb energy. The air beneath the plastic wrap is trapped, causing it to heat up and preventing the process called convection. In addition to learning about these processes, kids can use their oven to cook yummy snacks such as nachos, hot dogs and chocolate sauce.
2. Rock Candy
Rock candy is one of the favourite easy science experiments for kids. It is formed when sugar and water are mixed and stirred over heat, creating what’s called a supersaturated solution. This means there are more dissolved sugar particles in the solution than the water is able to contain at a lower temperature.
When the mixture begins to cool, the sugar particles fall out and connect with each other causing crystals to grow.
3. Giant Bubbles
Bubbles form as a result of water molecules with negatively charged hydrogen atoms and positively charged oxygen atoms attracting and clinging to each other. This creates a surface tension. This easy science experiment requires adding dish soap to water. The dish soap stabilises the water molecules, enabling them to be stretched into huge bubble shapes.
Soap molecules prevent quick evaporation, which stops bubbles popping immediately. A dry hand stuck into a bubble will cause it to pop due to dirt particles and oils on skin, but a hand dipped in soapy water won’t have the same effect because the film clings to the solution, not skin.
4. Ice Cream
When conducting cool science experiments at home, you can’t go past ice cream. This requires only a few household ingredients such as milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. When mixed with ice, salt creates an environment low enough for ice cream to form. This is because water freezes at 0 °C, but the freezing point is lowered when salt is present.
All the ice cream ingredients are placed in a small bag inside a larger bag of ice and salt, the mixture is cold enough to change the liquid ingredients to solids. To test this out, get kids to shake the same ingredients inside a bag containing ice cubes only and ask them what role they think salt plays in the process.
Slime can teach kids about concepts such as polymers, states of matter, elasticity, viscosity and cross-linking. This substance forms when borate ions in sodium borate, boric acid or borax powder mix with PVA glue to create a stretchy material through the process of cross-linking.
Slime develops because PVA glue is a polymer which means it is made up of duplicate strands or molecules that are in a liquid state until borate ions are added. The borate ions bind them together to create the rubbery consistency kids love.
The Next Step
These easy science experiments for kids will get them thinking and learning about science at home. If your child requires more help or you want to boost their STEM skills further, a tutor can make a significant difference.
Our science tutors specialise in all areas of this discipline, from basic principles through to advanced subjects. We understand that students who excel in some areas may struggle in others, and we are equipped to help students at all levels.
Contact us for a free consultation today!