Thursday, October 23, 2014

Science: Flying Ghosts

Over the past few weeks we have been exploring changing states of matter.  Today we tried to make "ghosts" fly.

-draw a ghost face on a plastic film container, 
(Thank goodness I saved old plastic film containers, from when I was very young)
-put cornstarch, water, and a 1/4 of an Alka Selzer inside the container, 
-placed it upside down and watch what happens.  

Once the children learned what happens to Alka Selzer when it is put in water, they made predictions as to what they thought would happen.  
-everyone agreed that the container would go up; estimations varied from 3 inches to as far as the tallest tree.  
-one child said it would make a "pop" sound.  The children discussed various sounds it might make.  

The next step was to test the theories. 

Here is what happened:

After observing what happened.  It was time to try again.  

The second time, each child  decided which of the 3 ingredients to put in the container.  They could have as much corn starch and water and up to 1/2 an Alka Selzer tablet.

The "more is better" theory prevailed.  Everyone wanted to fill their container to the brim, hypothesizing that the container would go higher. This theory proved to be false. The containers barely rose.  The children were bewildered. How could this be? One child came up with a theory: with more in the container, it was heavier and therefore didn't go up as high.  

Obviously, more experimenting is required to figure this out.

(If you would like to try this at home, click here )

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