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Summer Science Experiments to Try at Home

“Then I realized summer adventure was the best way to learn…”

Summer is here, bringing with it a world of sunshine, adventure, and endless opportunities for children to explore. While they may be looking forward to a break from testing, it’s important to keep their young minds engaged and active during this time. 

The good news is that learning at home can be an enjoyable experience, especially when it involves STEM experiments! By incorporating hands-on activities into their summer routine, you can ensure that your kids stay educationally curious while they have a blast discovering the wonders of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

So, get ready to unleash your child’s inner scientist, embark on a journey of discovery, and make this summer one filled with learning and excitement!

Here’s an exciting world of summer STEM experiments to try at home:

#1 Experiment: DIY Lava Lamp

Create your own mesmerizing lava lamp using common household items! Fill a clear plastic bottle or glass container three-quarters full with vegetable oil, then add water and a few drops of food coloring. Break an Alka-Seltzer tablet into small pieces and drop one of them into the mixture. As the tablet reacts with the water, bubbles will form and carry the food coloring, creating a visually stunning display. 

This experiment explores concepts of density, immiscibility, and chemical reactions. Watch as your homemade lava lamp comes to life, providing an engaging and educational experience for young scientists in the making!

#2 Experiment: Solar-Powered Oven

This experiment introduces the concept of solar energy and its practical applications. Begin by cutting a rectangular opening on the top of a sturdy cardboard box and line it with aluminum foil to maximize sunlight reflection. Cover the hole with clear plastic wrap creating a transparent “window” to trap the sun’s heat. Place a dark-colored pot or dish inside, filled with food. Position the solar oven in direct sunlight and watch as the sun’s rays create heat, cooking your dish, all while learning about renewable energy and heat transfer. 

Fun Tip: It’s a great way to cook a baked potato!

#3 Experiment: Eggshell Geodes

This experiment explores crystal formation and introduces kids to the wonders of geology and chemistry in a visually striking way! Transform ordinary eggshells into stunning crystal geodes with this captivating STEM experiment. 

Start by carefully cracking the tops off clean eggshells, leaving them as intact as possible. Rinse and dry the shells thoroughly. Mix warm water with craft glue or liquid adhesive in a plastic cup. Use a small paintbrush to apply a layer of adhesive inside each shell. Sprinkle various colored rock salt or sugar crystals onto the adhesive-coated shells. Let them sit undisturbed in a safe place for several days, allowing the crystals to grow and form beautiful geode-like structures. 

#4 Experiment: Bottle Rocket Launch

Witness Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion in action as the escaping gases propel the rocket skyward. It’s an exciting and educational experiment that combines science, engineering, and the power of STEM in action.

Gather an empty plastic soda bottle, duct tape, 3 unsharpened pencils, a cork, paper towels, baking soda, and vinegar. Create a baking soda packet by wrapping baking soda in a small square of paper towel. Pour vinegar into the bottle, leaving about two inches of space. Quickly insert the baking soda packet and tightly secure the cork. Flip the bottle upside down, place it on a stable surface, and stand back. As the vinegar reacts with the baking soda, a chemical reaction builds pressure, causing the bottle rocket to launch into the air. 

#5 Experiment: Magnetic Slime

This experiment explores the properties of magnetism, polymer science, and material interactions. Have fun playing with your magnetic slime and discovering the fascinating world of magnetic forces. 

Get ready for a gooey and magnetic adventure with the Magnetic Slime experiment! Gather materials such as school glue, iron oxide powder (magnetite), liquid starch, a mixing bowl, and strong neodymium magnets. Start by pouring the school glue into the mixing bowl. Add a teaspoon of iron oxide powder and stir well. Slowly add liquid starch while continuing to stir until the mixture reaches a slimy consistency. Knead the slime with your hands until it becomes stretchy and less sticky. Now, it’s time for the magnetic magic! Take your neodymium magnets and hold them close to the slime. Watch in amazement as the slime comes to life, attracting and wrapping around the magnets. 

At Beth Emet School, we believe in fostering a love for STEM education and providing students with exciting opportunities to explore and discover. By encouraging children to participate in these experiments, we aim to cultivate their curiosity, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving abilities. 

Let this summer be a time of thriving STEM education, where students can have fun, learn, and prepare for a future filled with endless possibilities. Together, let’s inspire the next generation of innovators at Beth Emet School!