Inquiry in Action Chapter 4 part 2 -- Dissolving gases.
Exciting thing number 1 for this week -- both my adult helpers let me know at the last minute that they couldn't be there. As it turned out, though, Annabeth's science class was cancelled, so she came in to help me. Also, I managed to coerce another adult to stop by for about half an hour for crowd control.
To look at how gases dissolve in liquids we messed around quite a bit with carbonated water. Which fizzed all over the place when opened. We had towels on hand, though, which is something I'd highly recommend for most of this course.
We poured carbonated water in plastic cups, then dumped in various things and watched what happened -- granulated sugar, M&Ms, pipe cleaners. I think the pipe cleaners were supposed to bobble up and down like raisins or lemon seeds (oddly, no one in the class has ever put either raisins or lemon seeds in a carbonated beverage before).
We also put carbonated water in glasses, then put those glasses into other containers of cold water and hot water so we could observe whether they de-fizzed more quickly in one than the other. I had taken the hot water in Thermos containers (which I then left closed the rest of the day, including one that was still full of water, thus making a dandy home experiment on what happens when the water cools down and you try to unscrew the top).
For our finale, we tried to figure out a good way to make a carbonated beverage that had lemon juice and sugar added. We brainstormed as a class to figure out how to get both ingredients in the carbonated water without having much of the fizz leave -- the problem being that when we add granulated sugar we lose carbonation. I did numerous tests of theories the kids had of what to add when. One of the students sorta gave the answer -- mix the lemon juice and sugar together first, then pour them in together -- so groups of kids made their own batch using this methodology. Many kids wanted to taste it, which wasn't particularly surprising -- I had taken little Dixie cups along for that purpose.
The kids then wrote up a booklet about their experience. These will be displayed on our table at our final Open House of the year.
The remainder of the time was spent trying to get all the stickiness off the tables, as this ended up being much messier in a crowd than at home.