Egg-cellent Egg Experiments: Egg Drop of Doom!

Egg drop of doom

If you liked the first Egg-cellent Egg Experiment: Rubber Eggs your little engineer is going to love this egg-speriment called the Egg Drop of Doom.

Egg drop of doom

*Materials Used:

4 hard boiled eggs
Styrofoam cups
Rubber bands
Pipe cleaners
Paper clips
Bathroom tissue
Egg Cartons
Foam packing peanuts
Corks
Yarn
Paper towels
Boxes (not pictured)
Plastic trash bags
Scissors
Duct Tape and clear gift tape (not pictured)
An old sheet or plastic table cloth to protect the floor from mess (if necessary)
Stop watch (to record ‘fall time’)
A Chart for recording data

*These are the materials I offered to build the ‘egg saving devices’. Not all of these materials were used by the student. You can add / subtract from this list based on what you have as recycled materials available. Bubble wrap, cardboard tubes, and plastic bottles are some of the materials I might include next time.

What you should do:

Discussion: We talked about the egg shell and how it is actually pretty tough to break if you are just squeezing the egg, but once you apply sudden pressure the shell cracks. We also discussed how this is important for a baby chick who may be developing inside the egg. The mother hen sits on the egg (that’s a lot like our squeezing the egg) and the baby remains safe inside. When the chick needs to get out of the egg (after it is developed) it uses it’s beak and egg tooth to crack the egg with tapping, much like we do when we want to crack unfertilized eggs to eat them.

Next we talked about some of the devices we use to keep us safe in case of sudden impact in the car and on an airplane. We discussed seat belts, air bags, and parachutes. We also discussed bike helmets and pads like elbow and knee pads.

Then I explained the purpose of the challenge was to build two devices that would save the egg from cracking when dropped from about 12 feet off of the ground using the materials displayed and gather data. Then we would build a third device (if necessary) based on the data we collected.

What we did next:
First we developed a system to record the damage that occurred to the egg as a result of a drop. My student developed a measurement scale from zero-five; zero was no damage and five was cracked all over / too many to count.

Then she dropped a control test egg from the 12 foot mark to see what an unprotected fall looked like.

Finally she started on creating her first ‘egg saving device.’

egg drop of doom parachute

I used a stop watch and recorded the time it took for the egg to hit the floor after it was dropped and she dropped the egg from the 12 foot mark which happened to be our second story landing. (You can use an outdoor jungle gym or a ladder too. We decided upon the height of the drop. Your height can be different.)

drop of doom parachute

After her first drop she recorded her results onto a chart.

She used a chart like this: (click the picture to download the PDF)

Egg drop of doom chart

Then she began to develop her next egg saving device. She had recently watched the Dumpster Diving Mythbusters episode and thought that a mattress style device might help to break the fall of her egg. She really did some critical thinking with this one. She put the cushioning pads outside the ‘mattress’ center to help protect the egg in case it bounced out of the center of the box. She also decided that the lid provided a nice ramp for the egg to roll down just in case it bounced in that direction.

egg drop mattress

egg drop of doom mattress

As luck would have it the egg bounced backward, not to the left or the right. So it was saved by the mattress but then cracked when it bounced out and onto the floor. She then evaluated all of the eggs to come up with another device.

egg drop of doom results

Her final device incorporated her original idea of a parachute and her second idea of a mattress with the added bonus of the egg being trapped within a cushion inside of two cups. The cups would insure that the egg would not be able to bounce out and crack on the floor. (I considered this to be an ingenious idea.) AND after testing she discovered that the egg did indeed fall without injury!

egg drop final

This experiment was so much fun that my husband even felt inspired and tried to make an egg saving device.

egg drop rubberband

His egg faired well until (like the mattress) it bounced sideways and cracked the egg. Never-the-less this egg-cellent lab was so much fun to do AND a great critical thinking STEM activity.
Ready for one more Egg-cellent Egg activity? Click here for one more science based activity to do with your kiddos that is a fun too!

Egg-cellent Egg Experiments: Rubber Egg

Rubber Eggs

Is it getting close to that time of the year when you are feeling a little ‘hoppy.’ It’s that egg coloring, basket making time of the year. Do your kids love to color the hard boiled eggs, but don’t like to eat them? So what do YOU do with all of the extra hard boiled eggs that you have around the house after Easter? Well at our house we get itchy to do some science!

Egg Experiments

Materials you will need:
1-2 hard boiled eggs
1 glass jar that is tall enough to contain your eggs while they are submerged in vinegar
White vinegar (enough to cover your eggs in the jar)

What you should do:

Carefully put your eggs into your glass jar and then pour the vinegar over them until they are covered. You may have to poke them with a spoon every few hours to submerge them back into the vinegar.

What is happening:

Almost immediately you will observe tiny bubbles form all over your eggs. The eggshell is made of calcium and carbonate. The vinegar which is acetic acid starts to break down the shell. The bubbles that you see are the carbon dioxide that is formed when the vinegar breaks down the shell into its basic parts, calcium and carbonate, the carbonate forms carbon dioxide bubbles on the eggs.

What can I do next:

If you wait 24 hours and carefully pull one egg out and put it onto a plate you will see that the shell has been completely dissolved and only the membrane is left to hold the egg together. If you cut the membrane with a knife the egg will ‘pop’ and you will see the liquid white and yolk inside the egg.

Wait about six days to pull out the second egg (you will want to switch out the vinegar once or twice during this time and store your jar in the fridge. At this time your egg will get a bit bigger and the inside of your egg will become more fluid and white. Why? Once the shell is gone, the vinegar will cross over the semi-permeable membrane through a process called “osmosis” and begin to ‘cook’ or pickle the inside while slightly inflating the egg. This egg will bounce, but do it carefully….one little puncture and it will explode into a watery mess.

Want MORE Egg-cellent Egg Experiments? Click through for another great egg-sperience!

Other resources for EGG-cellent learning:

Iowa Egg Council Activity Pages
School Tube: Magic School Bus – Cracks a Yolk
Scholastic’s Activity for Magic School Bus- Cracks a Yolk

Egg-cellent Egg Experiments: Sucking an Egg

sucking an egg

Yes, we are going to suck and egg–> inside of a bottle! If you have been reading our other Egg-cellent Egg posts — Rubber Egg and Egg Drop of Doom — you have seen that hard boiled eggs are a great science tools.

This egg-speriment involves air pressure and heat. When air is heated it expands rapidly, this is the reason a hot air balloon rises. When air is cooled it takes up less space, the reason why the lid of a hot jar gets sucked in a bit when the jar cools on the counter. We are going to use this concept to suck an egg into a bottle.

What you need:

1 Hard boiled egg
1 bottle (We used an old olive jar, but Starbucks frappuchino bottles work too. The mouth needs to be just a bit smaller than the diameter of the hard boiled egg.)
Matches or a candle flame lighter
Vegetable oil (if desired to make the opening of the jar more slick– we did not do this.)
1 tea light candle or strips of paper (we used the tea light candle.)

What you do:

First you peel your hard boiled egg. If you are using oil, now is the time to oil the mouth of the jar. We didn’t do this step. Next you carefully place the tea light at the bottom of your jar. (If you are burning strips of paper instead, you will light the paper and carefully drop the burning paper inside of the jar ***Warning: Fire burns, if you are a child ask a parent to help.*** Finally, quickly place your egg on the mouth of your jar and observe the egg getting sucked into the jar.

What is Happening:

When the candle is lit it causes the air in the jar to warm up and expand. When you place the egg on the mouth of the jar it creates a seal that prevents the expanding air inside the jar from escaping. The flame needs oxygen to burn and once the oxygen inside the jar is depleted the flame extinguishes. The air inside the jar begins to cool and contract creating a vacuum inside the jar. The egg gets sucked into the jar by the vacuum.

Here’s a video that I found on YouTube done by Home Science Tools.

I hope you have as much fun doing these Egg-cellent Egg Experiments as we did. Let me know what you discovered in the comments!

Multiplication Triads: How I taught my daughter multiplication

Anyone out there remember School House Rock? Well, I used the SchoolHouse Rock videos found on YouTube in combination with my new booklet, Multiplication Triads (affiliate link) and flash cards to teach my daughter multiplication facts. By using these three different strategies my daughter was able to memorize the multiplication facts to twelve in under two weeks. You can too.

Multiplication Triads

We got started by playing the Multiplication Triads game for the number one. Each number (1-12) has two pages in the booklet. The first page covers a number multiplied by 1 through 6 and the second page covers that same number multiplied by 7 through 12. On day one we did all of the multiplication facts for the number one. Then we wrote a flash card for each multiplication sentence (1×1=1 through 1×12=12.)

Multiplication Triads

The next day we reviewed facts for number one by playing the Multiplication Triads game again and reviewing the flash cards we made the previous day. Then we practiced the next number in the Multiplication Triads game (in this case, the number two) and completed the lesson by writing out flash cards for number two. We worked in this way through the entire Multiplication Triads booklet for twelve school days.

Multiplication Triads

We were able to integrate the SchoolHouse Rock videos when we did numbers three through twelve. (SchoolHouse Rock has no video for one or two, but they do have videos for zero and three through twelve. We found “Figure 8” one of the most helpful videos.)

By this time you may be wondering what is the Multiplication Triads game all about. Multiplication Triads associates the three numbers that work together to make up a fact family for each multiplication fact. There is a triangular work mat that is used to organized cards or dice that represent the numbers in the multiplication fact the student is trying to memorize. Each number has a set of two work pages that work through the multiplication facts 1-12 for that number. The student fills in the triads on the work pages to memorize the numbers associated with each multiplication fact’s family of numbers.

Multiplication Triads

Here’s what people are saying about my Multiplication Triads booklet:

  • Kate D. from Teacher Pay Teachers.com said: “I LOVE this product and I am SURE my kiddos will too!”
  • Maps and Charts and Webs OH MY (A Teachers Pay Teachers Seller) said: “Great resource!”
  • Jennifer Marlowe (A Teachers Pay Teachers Seller) said: “Love this resource.”

Here’s what the booklet includes:

This 40 page booklet is the perfect tool to teach your students multiplication fact families from x1 through x12.

The booklet includes:
– 24 work pages to play the game
– a work mat page
– a page with a template for a ‘make-your-own’ 12 sided die*
– 6 pages of number cards that can be cut out or reprinted for multiple students*
– a teacher’s guide

Work pages can also be used independently of the game for extra practice or homework.

*The die template and printable cards are included so you can choose how students play the game.

The game can be played with individual students, small groups of students, or an entire class.

*hard plastic dice are not included.

You can find your copy to purchase in two convenient ways.

Multiplication Triads Multiplication Triads
Amazon.com Soft cover(affiliate link) Teachers Pay Teachers (digital download)

Did you know that by using different strategies to learn facts (reading, playing a game, listening to music, watching a video) you are engaging more parts of your brain in the learning experience? Using different parts of your brain to learn a skill makes it easier to memorize the information and recall the information later. By employing the three strategies above (Multiplication Triads, SchoolHouse Rock and Flash cards) you are increasing your child’s ability to memorize multiplication facts and reducing the amount of time that it takes to do so.

I can’t wait to hear about your experiences with teaching your children multiplication. Comment below! 🙂

Father’s Day Tri Tip Tacos- Slow Cooker recipe

Tri Tip tacos main

Here’s an easy recipe that Dad will love for father’s day dinner! Tri Tip Tacos! Get this ready in the morning and you will have plenty of time to play with Dad all day! When you are hungry and ready to eat dinner you can pull the meat out of the crockpot with the onions and shred it all up for the tacos. I like to serve this up with diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and shredded cheese on top of corn or flour tortillas. With only a few ingredients, a grill and a slow cooker even the kiddos can put this one together. (A parent will have to help with the grill.)

First I dusted the tri tip with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Then I put it on my VERY hot grill (about 450F) for about 10 min. per side. While the tri tip was on the grill I sliced up the onions and put them into the slow cooker with 1/2 cup of chicken broth and 2 tbs of hot pepper jelly.

Tri Tip Tacos

Next I put the tri tip on top of the onions, broth and jelly, put on the lid and set it to cook on low for 4 hours.

Tri Tip Tacos 2

After 4 hours I shredded the tri tip with two forks and turned my slow cooker to warm while I prepared diced tomatoes, slice green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped lettuce. I also warmed some corn tortillas on the grill.

Shredded tri tip

When we were ready to eat we fixed up our tacos with the toppings and ate. This was the easiest ‘fancy’ meal to prepare because the slow cooker did all of the work. There was only about 20 min. of prep and cooking time outside of the slow cooker doing all of the ‘hard work’ for 4 hours. I used a 2 lbs. Tri Tip and this was a lot of meat. This recipe will make from 8-12 tacos at least depending on how much meat you put inside of each one.

The best part of this meal is that it is so easy and low maintenance everyone can have a great day with Dad AND still have a great family friendly Father’s Day Dinner prepared when everyone is hungry! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!

Tri Tip tacos main

Tri Tip Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2lb Tri Tip Beef
  • 2 tablespoons Hot Pepper Jelly
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Chopped Lettuce
  • Diced Green Onions
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Diced Tomato
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 medium Yellow or Brown Onion

Directions

1. Heavily dust tri tip with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
2. Grill tri tip on a VERY hot grill (about 450F) for 10 min. on each side or until nice grill marks appear.
3. While tri tip is grilling slice one medium onion into rings and place at the bottom of your slow cooker with 2 tbs of hot pepper jelly and 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
4. Place grilled tri tip on top of sliced onions, jelly and broth in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours until the meat easily shreds with two forks.
5. Serve on corn or flour tortillas with diced tomatoes, green onions, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, chopped lettuce and any other taco topping you like!
Tri Tip tacos main

Cute and Easy River Rock Garden Turtles

Handsonlearning4all

My teenager and her friends LOVE to make crafts when they are together. This river rock garden turtle craft was so much fun for them to make. It is so easy it can be done by kids of any age!

Materials needed:

6 River rocks for every turtle (Round rocks are best for the head and body, while oblong rocks are best for the flippers.)
Acrylic paint (various colors- we used green, black, white, and blue)
Clear spray paint (If you plan on putting these little guys outdoors the clear paint really helps with weathering.)
Water
Brushes

We just put our paint onto some paper plates and got to work. Little squares on the rock that is used for the back of the turtle really make it look like a turtle. Dots on the flippers added texture. Getting creative and having fun is MOST important with this craft so let your inner sea turtle out and explore other options! You can test out ideas on a separate piece of paper by tracing your rocks onto paper and painting the paper turtle first. Spray your freshly painted, dry turtles with the clear spray paint if you want to display it outdoors!

These little guys just made our summer outdoor area feel more ‘beachy’! We love them! I can totally see these little guys on the counter in an ocean themed bathroom too!

Healthy Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Hands On Learning 4 All -recipe

You don’t need a fancy schmancy ice cream maker to make gourmet ice cream that tastes like the expensive stuff at the stores. This recipe is easy, fast and HEALTHY with no added sweeteners or chemical junk! Add whatever you like to the basic ice cream recipe or make it like we did with chocolate chips and strawberry slices. I bet your older children will love to make this one and invent all new flavors for the family to try! One thing is for sure your family and friends will love it!

Healthy Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 6 medium Ripe Bananas (Cut into 1 inch pieces and frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Organic if you can)
  • 6-8 thin slices Fresh Strawberries (Organic if you can)
  • 1/4 cup Cream (Organic if you can)
  • 1/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips (Organic if you can)

Directions

1. Cut 6 ripe bananas into 1" circles and freeze. When frozen toss them into the food processor with 1/4 cup of cream and 3 tbs of unsweetened cocoa powder until smooth. Scoop out ice cream into a bowl. Cut 6-8 strawberries into slices and gently fold into the ice cream with 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips! Eat immediately as soft serve or put into a glass container with a lid and freeze for hard ice cream.

(I press plastic wrap right down on top of the ice cream before I put on the lid to prevent freezer burn.)
No added sweeteners, no chemical junk, no ice cream maker necessary--> All goodness!

Arts and Crafts: Chinese Lantern

Chinese Lanterns

Today we learned about Genghis Khan. We wanted to do an arts and crafts project, but let’s face it Genghis Khan wasn’t an ‘artsy craftsy’ fellow so, we decided to work off of the Chinese portion of the lesson and make some Chinese Lanterns.

I was surprised by the excitement of my children toward this simple craft! So I wanted to share this lesson with you.

Materials: (makes one lantern)
1, 11″x18″ piece of construction paper
1 Chop stick
2 pieces of string (approximately 18″ each)
Masking Tape
1 Flameless tea light

Preparing the paper:

First we took a standard 11″x18″ piece of construction paper and folded it in half ‘hot dog’ style.

Then we measured with our rulers and marked off 1″ increments along the long edge of the paper.

We made an additional line at the opposite side of our markings along the entire edge about 1″ in from the edge. (This would be the place to stop cutting.)

Finally we cut straight lines from our measured markings to the ‘stop line’.

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Assembly:
We opened up the folded paper and curled the opened paper into the lantern shape. Then stapled the two short ends of the construction paper together at the top and the bottom of the lantern.

We cut one small strip of paper and fastened it across the bottom of the lantern to hold our candles. (flameless tea lights)

We stapled the strings to the top of our lantern and attached them to a stick with tape.

That’s it. My children took their finished lanterns into a darkened room and bounced them up and down. They both remarked how much the finished lanterns looked like ‘jellyfish’ with the tea lights reflecting inside.

With Chinese New Year coming up I thought this activity also would be fun to share with some of our book club friends too. I hope your children enjoy this craft as much as mine did.

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At Home Science: Soil Layers

Soil Layers

Yesterday we sat down with our science books and read about soil layers. Well, if you have read any of my blog posts or even the title of this page you know that ‘reading’ about soil layers was not going to do at this house! So, I sent my children out with a spoon and a jar to collect some soil. I gave them a small list that read something like this:

Rocks and pebbles
sandy soil
bark and leaves

When they came back indoors with their jars 1/2 full we added some water and left a space at the top of the jar for air. Then we shook up the jars. I asked my children to draw a picture of what they saw and describe it. Frankly there wasn’t much to see it was pretty muddy in there.

20150113_100544

Then we let the jar settle undisturbed on the counter for a few hours and then made another observation. This one was much more descriptive. We were surprised to notice that the large rocks settled on top of the silt and sand at the bottom of the jar. We were also surprised by how clear the water became.

20150113_100512

What did we discuss? We talked about density and how the items that were more dense settled to the bottom of the jar while the items such as the bark and leaves floated on top of the water. We made connections with our history study of the Nile river and how it flooded and made the soil rich for the farmers to grow crops. Finally we drew conclusions on the importance of each layer in the jar in relationship to living things. How insects live in and eat the leaves and bark and break them down into smaller bits which enrich the soil with nutrients for plant roots to absorb. Healthy plant make the healthy food we eat. We discussed how the rocks provided shelter for the wood lice (rolly polly bugs) and ants and made additional connections about how those insects help to aerate the soil which is important for plants to grow.

Of course then my children went back outside to play in the mud….because….mud is FUN!

At Home Science: PH, Acids and Bases

At Home Science-PH

Materials:
PH test strips (We used these.)
coffee
windex
bleach
almond oil (any kitchen oil will do)
milk of magnesia
baking soda and water (2tsp baking soda 2 oz water mixed)
vinegar (we used rice wine but any vinegar will do)
hydrogen peroxide
small plastic cups (we used old medicine cups.)
notecards
marker
Protective eyewear
plastic or latex gloves
apron or smock
notebook or journal and pencil

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Procedure:
1. I laminated the PH reading card that came with our PH test strips so that any stray liquids that may spill on it would not damage the card and prevent us from using it for an accurate reading. I also printed a Testing for Acids and Bases-Background and a Testing for Acids and Bases Experiment Log.
2. We set up our testing station with our items for testing. We placed a labeled index card in front of each testing liquid to put our test strips on after we dipped them in the liquid. We poured a sample of each liquid into the small plastic cups and placed the samples in front of the larger item.
3. We put on our safety gear–> goggles, gloves and aprons.
4. We discussed what we already knew about acids and bases and read the Testing for Acids and Bases Background Document.
5. We began testing by dipping a PH strip into each solution about 1/2 way for about 1 second. Then we placed the wet strip on the index card marked with the liquid tested and observed the results. We continued this process for all of the liquids.
6. We recorded our results on the Testing for Acids and Bases Experiment Log.
7. We completed the Additional Testing section of the Experiment log by mixing the baking soda and water solution with the vinegar and testing the mixture with a PH strip and recorded our results.
8. We finished by writing about the experiment in our own words.

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This lesson was very exciting for the children and they came up with all kinds of new thoughts and experiments that they wanted to try. This lesson was also a great extension of our At Home Science: Make Your Own Fire Extinguisher (Learn about O2 and CO2) lesson.