Joey sorts pictures with his group during S.L.I.M.E. class
About ten years ago, I offered math and science labs to homeschooling parents. Since I had been a public school teacher with a love for science, a generous supply of manipulatives, and a relationship with the local math and science hubs, I just knew I had to share! What a blessing to discover another homeschooling mom (also a former school teacher with a love for science and great resources) offering the same opportunity all these years later! Since my youngest is surrounded by teenagers and adults all day long, it is important for him to get more hands-on experiences and healthy peer opportunities (a parent must be present during the class).
S.L.I.M.E. stands for Scientific Learning thru Investigation, Manipulation, and Experimentation. My son meets with this class twice a month for two hours with other homeschooling children within and near his age group. Scott took Joey to his first class about magnets and electricity, and we didn't think to take pictures. This next class, I brought my husband's phone (which takes better pics) so I could share the experience and great ideas with you! What a full and interesting two hours!
The teacher then cut the corner of the baggie for the child to "pipe" the mixture like cake icing into his mold. The molds were placed on labeled index cards with each child's name and relocated into another room to dry until the end of class.
Next, pictures of random animals were distributed to the kids.
Joey had a mouse. Could these be the tracks?
Nope. Here they are!
Back to the table to look at insects!
Each child was given an interesting preserved creature.
The instructor holds a large insect and reviews its characteristics.
The kids received a pile of pictures and a checklist to sort the butterflies from the moths. Which one makes a chrysalis and which one makes a cocoon? How else are they different?
The teacher added water to soften them up.
The bones are matched up to a chart to identify what the owl ate. Joey's ate a mole.
Do you know what the color red looks like through a few layers of blue cellophane? Black, like the deepest parts of the ocean. It was the best color for camouflage! The Lord must know what He's doing, huh?
Don't push too hard, there is still raw egg inside!
It's time to remove the animal track casts from the molds.
They turned out great!
Birthday cupcakes and Caprisun. What a fun class!
Simple Science Experiment: The Rubber Egg
By Steve Davala
“A box without hinges, key or lid, yet golden treasure inside is hid.” This is perhaps my favorite riddle from “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien. The answer is, of course, an egg; the largest cell in the world. (The ostrich holds that record).
So what can we do with an egg that is science-like and fun? Why, dissolve the shell with a mild acid and turn the innards to a rubbery substance, of course.
Without further ado, let’s go.
An egg (either cooked or raw… however brave you’re feeling), a tall drinking glass, white vinegar.
- Put your egg into a tall drinking glass.
- Pour vinegar into the glass until the egg is covered.
- Put the glass aside so no one drinks and/or spills it. It will smell a bit. Vinegar has a strong odor.
- Let the egg soak overnight. Make some observations! You should notice a lot of foam and bubbles. When it seems to have slowed, move on to the next step.
- Rinse the vinegar and foam out with water and then cover the egg again with vinegar.
- Wait for 6 days. That’s a long time but do it; you don’t want a half pickled egg in your hands.
- At the end of this time, rinse off the egg and pick it up.
- You should notice it feels slightly different than when you started… most noticeably it is missing the shell and has a weird rubbery feel to it. Shake it. Gently squeeze it.
- Test out your new creation in the sink by dropping it from a few inches and then some more.
- You now have a cool creation that can astound your friends and family. Place it back in the egg tray for some hilarity. The possibilities are endless.Explanation:A chicken’s egg is covered in a shell that is made of calcium carbonate. That’s a complex arrangement of carbons, calcium, and oxygen. Regular vinegar is made of acetic acid. You all know when you mix vinegar and baking soda what a strong reaction you get. The shell is made of the same “carbonate” and will react like soda, only much less extreme. The little bubbles you see in the water are made of carbon dioxide gas; just like the bubbles from your vinegar and baking soda volcano.Once the shell is gone, the vinegar will cross over the semi-permeable membrane (through a process called “osmosis”) and slightly inflate the egg. This process also “pickles” the egg, by hardening it up. The toughening of that membrane is what lets you bounce it on the counter, roll it along the floor, and whatever trickery (I mean science) you want to do with it!
And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand.