Easy Crystal Experiments

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Easy Crystal Experiments

Postby fwizard » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:32 am

Easy Crystal Experiments
You Can Share With Your Kids
By Aurora Lipper, Supercharged Science

This article teaches kids about the Crystal Farming and gives a handful of totally fun activities to experiment with for their homeschool science learning (including rock candy and homemade geodes). It’s also good for boy scouts working on a badge, or for any kids that love science experiments. These experiments are part of a homeschool science program that I teach, and I promise your kids will love it.
Crystals are formed with atoms line up in patterns when the substance solidifies (or the liquid evaporates and leaves the rest behind). There are crystals everywhere – in the form of salt, sugar, sand, diamonds, quartz, and many, many more. But how do the atoms know how and when to line up (in a crystalline structure)? Let’s take a closer look at atoms while teaching homeschool science:
Suppose we have a drop of water. If we look at it very closely, we’ll see a drop of water, nice and smooth. If you grab your microscope and magnify it roughly 2,000 times (the drop is now 40 feet across, the size of a large classroom) and look very closely, we’ll still see relatively smooth water, but there are wiggly things floating around (paramecia). We could stop here and study these interesting little critters, but then, we’d side-track ourselves into biology. So let’s focus more on the water.

Let’s magnify the water 2,000 times again, so it’s roughly 15 miles across. When we look at it very closely now, we see what looks like a teeming mob of Super Bowl fans making their way to the nearest exit – lots and lots of movement, but it’s still fuzzy and hard to make out. Now we’ll magnify it another 250 times (for a total magnification of roughly 1 billion times), and we’ll see two kinds of “blobsâ€
As a teacher, homeschool science teacher, engineer and university instructor Aurora Lipper has been helping kids learn science for over a decade.
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