Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Perfecting "Blowing the Cork!"

I've been having a fantastic time meeting early childhood educators and professionals all over the U.P. of Michigan! One of my most popular training sessions this summer has been "It's Not Rocket Science, but Sometimes It Feels Like It!" We have been working to break down the fear barrier that is sometimes associated with science, and to build confidence in scientific exploration.  One of the great things about this training is that participants walk away with this great kit from Learning Resources: (courtesy of the Great Start Regional Child Care Resource Center)

As much as I am loving presenting, sometimes I think that some of the children enrolled in my care could do just as good, if not a better job in teaching this topic!  They have mastered the science kit, and have been having a great time exploring extension activities.
We LOVE to play with vinegar and baking soda! One of the fun extension activities with the science kit is to blow the cork off of the flask. Now, it took me a little while to figure out how to perfect this technique..... but we finally have it down to a science ;).
First, you use the funnel to pour some vinegar into the flask. We haven't been the greatest at measuring, so just pour some in so that you have about an inch in the bottom of the flask.
Then fill the cork about 1/2 way with baking soda.
Then..... here is the most important step..... place a cotton ball in the top of the cork. This is going to keep the reaction from happening too fast and will allow you place the cork on the flask before the reaction starts.

Place the cork on top of the flask. Gently tap it until the cotton ball falls down into the vinegar. Step back and wait......

Of course, our "playing" with vinegar and baking soda did not end with cork blowing......

We made quite a few baggie bombs..... and another giant dinosaur volcano........
Each and every dinosaur needed to be placed just right before the volcano erupted!
 The oozing lava looked so inviting.... that.....  the children wondered..... what does it feel like?
I don't know..... let's find out!

What kind of explorations have you been trying with children?


Anonymous said...

Love this! Looks like such fun; they are certainly enjoying themselves!

Ticia said...

I loved the dinosaur volcano, what a great way to change the traditional volcano experiment.

When we did blow the cork off we wrapped the baking soda in a small thing of toilet paper.

Amy A @ Child Central Station said...

Abbie- they had SOOOOOOOOOOOO much fun! We go through vinegar and baking soda by the case around here

Ticia- What a great idea with the toilet paper! I bet that would work great too! Our dinosaurs are never far away from anything we do. The children love to incorporate them in any way that they can!

My friend died

 I learned a hell of a lot from Dan Hodgins.  He was mentor, a friend, and a "bone shaker" for many of us in the field of Early Ch...