Thursday, June 3, 2010

Liquid Layers-Rainbow in Tube

As part of our weather study, we had been learning about rainbows and discussing the layers of light.
We had also been doing some color mixing with colored water mixing.

A way to extend this activity was to mix various liquids with different densities that reacted in various ways to one another.

To make it even more exciting we used test tubes in trays so the center actually looked like a laboratory-and the discoveries were just as exciting.  I wouldn't be surprised if some of these children discover the cure for a rare disease some day!

Eye Droppers
Test Tubes or small cups
Cups for Liquids
Rubbing Alcohol
Dish Liquid
Karo Syrup
Cooking Oil
Food coloring or liquid water color

Color each liquid a color of the rainbow.  Our dish liquid happened to be orange.  The oil was yellow and we skipped purple, the rest is your choice.
Put the liquids in cups in the middle of the table with large eye droppers and let the children drop them into tubes.  The liquids will layer.  A rainbow will form in the tube.  If the child shakes the tube the liquids will mix and then after time will relayer.
If you do not have tubes, small clear plastic cups would also work.

It is a good idea to do a lesson on how to use eye droppers and how not to mix the liquids as best they can.  Buy a lot of liquids as they will get mixed up and they will need ALOT.  You do not want them worried about mixing them up, just replace them often.

Watch and listen.
Ask, "what do you notice?"
Do not be worried about them all doing it in rainbow order or using all the colors or all of the liquids each time.

This is experimentation in its truest form.  Put this out for several days.  Let them come back to it.  Let them ponder on what they did one day and come back and try it another day to see if it works the same way if they repeat it.  That is what real scientists do.  Think of it as a lab, not a project.  An area of discovery, not a single science experiment.

Write down what the children are saying as they notice things.  These are great comments to share with parents as you won't have any concrete paper to send home to document learning.
A poster board with photos and comments children have made can document amazing learning so much better than a project in a cubby.
Give it a try and have fun!!

No comments:

Post a Comment