Posted by: tpsciencefun | November 18, 2009

Entering the World of Change!

What’s the matter??  No, no, no…WHAT IS MATTER??  And for that matter, where is matter?  MATTER is everything and everywhere!!  Starting  December, all science classes will focus on the three states of matter* and how they CHANGE.  Our world and universe never rest, but instead, are always in motion.  Even solid  rocks and minerals are never stagnant; they are all always changing.  Every time we cook a meal, we are causing chemical and/or physical change!  Every time the leaves turn colors, there are physical and chemical changes (reactions) taking place. 

*(Scientist now know there are more than three states of matter, as we have learned from some of our remarkable scientisit parents.  Plasma is the fourth state which you can learn more about through parent guided research. Let me know what else you find out!!!)

The science of matter and how it changes is Chemistry. This is a very action-packed area of exploration.  I higly recommend going to the website  www.chemistry.about.com for a wealth of  ideas.  My favorite is the silver polishing experiment which I need to do right away at home.

Below are fun holiday activities covered on the above website.  “There are a lot of fun and interesting chemistry projects that you can do that relate to the winter holidays. You can simulate snow, design holiday decorations, and make creative gifts. The best part is, these projects use common household materials so you don’t need to be a chemist to try them out.”

By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., About.com Guide

1. Make Fake Snow

Fake snow is made from sodium polyacrylate, a water-absorbing polymer.
Do you want a white Christmas, but know it won’t snow? Make artificial snow! This is a non-toxic snow made from a polymer. You could buy it in a store, but it’s easy to make fake snow yourself.

2. Make Holiday Tree Preservative

Keep your tree alive by using a tree preservative.Martin Poole, Getty Images
If you celebrate Christmas and have a real tree, chances are you want the tree to still have all of its needles by the time the holiday arrives. Making your own Christmas tree preservative can help keep your tree from becoming a fire hazard while saving you quite a bit of money over buying commercial tree preservative.

3. Crystal Snow Globe

Snow GlobeScott Liddell, morguefile.com
The snow in this snow globe come from crystals that you cause to precipitate out of the water in the globe. This is a fun and educational chemistry project that produces a stunning snow globe.

4. Grow a Snowflake Crystal Ornament

Borax crystals are safe and easy to grow.Anne Helmenstine
You can grow this crystal ornament overnight in your kitchen. A snowflake is an easy shape to produce, but you could make a crystal star or bell or any holiday shape you like.

5. Make Silver Polishing Dip

You can use chemistry to remove the tarnish from your silver without even touching it.Mel Curtis, Getty Images
Do you have silver that has some tarnish? Commercial silver polishes can be expensive and can leave a nasty residue on your silver. You can make a safe and inexpensive silver polishing dip that will remove tarnish from silver using electrochemistry. No scrubbing or rubbing is required; you don’t even have to touch the silver.

6. Make Your Own Holiday Gift Wrap

If you use scented shaving cream, you can make holiday-scented gifts.Anne Helmenstine
You can learn about surfactants while making your own marbled paper, which can be used as holiday gift wrap. One of the interesting features of this gift wrap is you can make it scented as well as colored. Peppermint, cinnamon, or pine would smell particularly seasonal.

So, as we whined down the year , take  time to look around for the three states of matter.  See  which classification  is most abundant!! Think about and observe what makes the three states of matter change.   Can they change back and forth???? Can some matter be more than one state of matter at the same time………..??

to be continued………………

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