Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Some Science-y Stuff

While we don't homeschool, per se, we do engage in some (very informal) "supplemental" schooling. And, since there's an interest in science from the household small person, we're trying to encourage that. A few science-y things from the past week or so:

- We watched the solar eclipse on May 20. Poked a hole through a sheet of white printer paper and held it over another, intact, piece of paper until we could see the glowing dot of the sun -- and the shadow of the moon moving across it. My mom was visiting that weekend, so she, Nora, and I were all outside doing this for a while -- we kept having to move to slightly different spots around the yard/neighborhood due to trees and the process of the sunset. We also got a neighbor girl involved for a little while after she came home from dinner with her family while we were all standing outside.

- When I repotted the ever-bearing strawberry we purchased at this spring's plant sale into a larger pot, I found ants herding aphids within the soil it had come with. While we had a brief discussion of the concept of ants herding aphids -- like the uncles in our family raise cows (sort of; the uncles raise beef cattle, while the ants drink the aphids' excretions -- which would be more the equivalent of dairy farming), the upshot is: we want to eat the strawberries. Not feed them to aphids. Which led to some methods of natural pest control: spraying the plant and the soil for a few days with a mixture of warm water, dish soap -- and cayenne pepper. (So far, it seems to be working.)

- We discovered, as a result of a 5-year-old kindergartener performing self-designed experiments with the equipment from the science kit she received for her last birthday, that
a) one good reason to have hummus containers (and their well-fitting lids!) on hand in the "plastic containers" cupboard is that they are clear, so they make a decent substitute for test tubes in which to grow the polymer crystals that have been mixed into a solution of water, red cabbage juice, citric acid, baking soda
b) regular spray stain remover will not remove red cabbage juice from a pale purple shirt; you need to use something like "Goop" -- or possibly another enzymatic cleaner
c) when the 1 tablespoon measuring spoon is missing from the kitchen, perhaps Mommy should check the baking soda supplies in the science kit

No comments:

Post a Comment