07 Apr What Are Some Cool Kid-Friendly Science Experiments?
Can you help your child to appreciate science while at the same time achieve better grades during his or her exams? The answer is an unequivocal yes! Since science is the study of life and forces around us, what better way to enrich your child’s study of science than to test out what is mentioned in textbooks.
Why Test Scientific Concepts?
When first encountered in textbooks, science concepts can be highly abstract and hard to visualise. By conducting real life experiments, you would be helping your child to demystify what is mentioned in the textbook.
Different Learning Styles
Every child has his or her own learning style, your child is no different. By conducting experiments, your child would be exposed to an additional form of learning. At best, it could truly unlock a concept and be memorable for future texts. At worst, it acts as a fall back that they could recall and rely on should their primary form of learning fail them during exams.
Science is a Wonder With Contextualisation
Science is a wonder when people apply the scientific concepts to conjure new inventions to raise productivities and improve lives. It creates magic when students gain interest in the subject and with it, potentially future areas of study or careers. So many specialisations and interests are based on fundamental science, making it such a critical subject. As such, it is important that you help cultivate your child’s love for science and an inquisitive mind for why the world functions as it does.
Science Experiments to Perform with your Child
When we think of science experiments, complex processes, ambiguous events and sophisticated labs come to mind. However, this need not be the case at all. Since the beginning, science experiments and observations have been conducted in all sorts of environments. Think no further than Sir Isaac Newton’s observation of gravity. Likewise, there are many simple science experiments that you can conduct with your child within the comforts of your home.
Ice Fishing Experiment
To perform this experiment, you will require: a bowl, a freezer, an ice tray, a string, water, a stick and salt.
Steps to follow:
- Fill your tray with water and place it in your freezer to get ice cubes
- Place the ice cubes in a bowl of water – at this point, the ice cubes will float at the surface of the water
- Place one end of the string on top of an ice cube, sprinkle salt on top of this spot – the water will melt slightly before refreezing
- Wait for 10 seconds, before pulling the other end of the string upwards – the ice cube should be lifted up from the bowl
- You now would have a fishing pole and have caught ice!
As you would have learnt in school, water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius. However, mixing salt into it lowers the freezing temperature ever so slightly. During which, the ice cube with salt now melts a little, allowing the string to sink into the newly formed pool on top of it.
At the same time, the melting of the ice cube produces water that dilutes the salt mixture. This allows the ice cube to refreeze quickly, thus trapping the string. Once fully hardened, you would be able to lift the string and the ice cube together.
To perform this experiment, you will need: a pinto bean, a Ziploc bag, a paper towel and a water spray bottle.
Steps to follow:
- Dampen the paper tower using the spray bottle
- Place the wet towel within in a Ziploc bag
- Place the bean on top of the wet paper towel
- Close the Ziploc bag and place it in a sunny spot
- Regularly add water to the paper towel
- Wait 3 to 5 days to observe plant growth!
This experiment demonstrates textbook germination which is the process by which a plant emerges from its seed. The first step of which is the sprouting of the plant’s roots in order to take in water from the surroundings.
Typically, you would not be able to see this as seeds germinate underground, in soil. However, in this experiment, with a clear Ziploc and paper towels, you can see germination as it occurs.
Floating Egg Experiment
To perform this experiment, you will need: 2 eggs, water, salt and 2 tall glasses.
Steps to follow:
- Fill a glass with water and lower an egg into it. Observe what happens. Set it aside.
- Fill another glass half full with water
- Stir in 6 tablespoons of salt
- Pour water into the glass until it is full – do this in gentle fashion, being careful not to disturb the salt mixture
- Gently lower the egg into the water
- Observe what happens
Comparing the two glasses of water and eggs, you should find that in one, the egg floats at the half way mark while in the other it sinks to the bottom. This occurs as salt water is denser than ordinary tap water. Similar to how you would see tourists floating in the dead sea, the denser the liquid is, the easier it is for an object to float in it.
In this cool experiment, in the salt mixture, the lowered egg would have dropped through the normal tap water (a less dense liquid) until it reaches the salt mixture. At this point, the mixture is sufficiently dense for the egg to float. Provided that you were careful to not stir or mix up the two liquids, the egg would now be amazingly floating right in the middle of the glass.
Creating an Enriching Environment for Learning Science
Other than having your child study their textbooks and trying out experiments for themselves, you can consider further enriching their knowledge by sending them for primary school tuition Singapore. Tuition offers extra time and attention to be devoted to your child’s learning. Rather than rushing through syllabus and concepts, tuition allows your child to fully explore a topic and to question all aspects of it.
It is truly important to inculcate a level of appreciation and love for science in your child. Having them exposed to alternative forms of learning would create a better mindset. This also benefits them during larger exams such as the PSLE, which has multiple application-based questions.
If your child is struggling with PSLE science syllabus, close up their gaps with the Primary 6 science tuition classes. With more time and attention, your child will be able to explore concepts more thoroughly and master the effective skills of answering both the MCQs and structured questions. In turn, this could help them, to make sense of the different scientific concepts, and to readily apply them.