Saturday, September 7, 2013

Experimenting with Acids and Bases

"School Time" has been going well. I returned to the oh-my-gosh-I-waste-so-much-time phase of my life, and made myself a new schedule, (I know. I just did that a few weeks ago. It's a problem.) I generally find that what is missing from the day is my own relax time, which leaves me feeling overwhelmed and grumpy toward the end of it when I still need a few hours worth of patience. Hopefully I won't get distracted/guilty from my own bits of time again for awhile. We are all happier in the evening if I have had a few moments to read, or listen to some music and recharge without too many interruptions.

Delaney is such a good helper with Sophie. She loves to "school" her...haha. We have been working on rhyming, and after watching me for a bit, Delaney took over my part in the game Sophie and I were playing, and I got to just watch and help a bit.
I often find them like this...
Sophie can almost write her name now.

Delaney is blasting through memorizing her math facts, and I think she might be starting to enjoy competing with the timer.

Delaney has been asking lots of questions about acids. This stemmed from noticing that certain foods make her mouth sore, or a little swollen, and we talked about citric acid, and other types of acids. I borrowed a book from the library about acids and bases. I found a great video on YouTube from MIT that explains acids and bases, and how to test items around your house to see what they are.
 We decided to do the experiment. Delaney chose to test baking soda, bleach, glass cleaner, vinegar, hand soap and Tabasco sauce.

We boiled our red cabbage to make the indicator.

I made a chart for Delaney to collect her data.

She hypothesized whether the ingredient was an acid or a base, and what color it would turn, then pour the indicator in. Both girls thought it was really cool to see the colors change, and to be right on several occasions.

We will learn a little more next week about why these things are acids or bases, and how they work as such.

Before we began, we watched part of Crash Course Chemistry video in which the narrator had joked that chemists die earlier deaths than other scientists because they are adventurous with what they put together, and sometimes it doesn't go as planned. I had explained to Delaney that we had to be very careful with all of the cleaning products and not mix them, because some of them cause bad fumes when put together. While doing our experiment, we learned that you don't even have to mix them. Just having the Windex and bleach sit beside each other started to give us both a big headache.  I kicked the kids out of the kitchen, cleaned up, opened up all of the windows, and we all felt better soon. Ooops.

In the next few weeks, we are going to learn about atoms, based on some other questions that Delaney has been asking. If anyone knows of good kid-friendly resources for this big subject, please share! In the meantime, we will try to not blow up the kitchen or ourselves with our experiments. :)

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