Friday, December 30, 2011

Magic Milk

Today we did our first official experiment. My daughter, H, was very excited. "A real experiment, right in our own house!" I decided to start off with a simple one; "magic milk". It was a great choice. We started our experiment by collecting the necessary supplies: 3 shallow dishes, food coloring, 3 different types of milk (we used half and half, whole milk, and 1%), q-tips or toothpicks and dish soap.
I also made my daughter a worksheet to go along with the experiment. It gave the directions, asked her to make predictions about the experiment, and then had a space for her conclusions. She loved the worksheet and it was very simple to make. I read through this site first and felt confident that even I, the least scientific person you will ever meet, could come up with some great "scientific" questions and explanations. Once we had our ingredients gathered we were ready to begin.
The first thing we did was pour some milk into each bowl. We poured in enough milk to cover the bottom of each container. H wanted to label the bowls so we made labels out of index cards. Once the milk was in the bowls we dropped 3 -4 drops of food coloring into the milk. The food coloring drops should be spread out, taking care not to allow the colors to touch each other. 

Now you are ready for the fun part. I had my daughter dip a dry q-tip in the milk first just so she could see what was causing the reaction then, we dipped the q-tip in dish soap and into the milk. Just lightly touch it to the top of the milk being careful not to stir. The food coloring will being to move. You can see what happens with the different types of  milk, and what happens when you place the q-tip in different locations in the bowl. We even tried dropping straight dish soap into the bowl. The kids had a lot of fun with this project.

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