January 30

Cold Day STEM Challenge!

Hope everyone is staying warm on the super cold day.  Since I will be missing some of my Enrichment classes this week, I am posting a few STEM challenges for you to try at home.  If you complete one of the activities, make sure you snap a photo and post it in the comments or send it in a message on Class Dojo.  I cannot wait to see what you create!

#1:

Build the tallest tower out of materials you have at home.  Record y0ur measurement in inches.

#2:

Create a vertical column using ONLY paper (you can use glue or tape) and stack as many books on top of the column as you can.

#3:

Make overnight crystals… here’s a video Crystal Video that shows you how.  You will need the following materials:

• Epsom Salt
• Clean Glass jars
• Food Coloring  (optional)
• Hot Tap Water
• Bowl or glass measuring cup
• Spoon
• Pebble or sand
• Microwave (optional)

Instructions:

• Step One | Measure You will be using a ratio of 1:1 water to Epsom Salt for this project. Add 1 cup of Epsom salt to your jar/votive.  If you are working with larger jars feel free to add more salt but be sure to make a note of how much so you can add the same amount of water.
• Step Two | Heat the Water Add 1 cup of water to a microwave safe bowl. Heat the water in the microwave for 45 seconds. Alternatively use very hot tap water and skip the microwave.
• Step Three | Add Color If you are using color, add a dash of food coloring to the water. Stir.
• Step Four | Combine  Pour the water into the jar with the salt.  Stir the salt and water for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the salt.  Don’t worry if some of the salt remains undissolved at the bottom of the jar.
• Step Five | Cool Drop in a pebble or a few grains of sand. Crystals need something to grow on and one little impurity in the water like grain of sand will should help ensure they have a place to nucleate.
• Step Six | Cool Place the jar in the back of your refrigerator. Alternatively, quick cool the mixture for 10 minutes in the freezer and then move it to the refrigerator. Cooling in the freezer first yielded crystal growth in 90% of our experiments. We had just a slightly lower success rate going straight from mixing to the fridge.
• Step Seven | Let ’em Grow Leave the mixture overnight in the fridge.  Crystals may start forming in as little as 3 hours but we got the best results when we made the gardens in the evening and left them to sit undisturbed overnight

I’m going to leave you with Mr. Farhat doing his own Cold Day challenge.  Be careful if you decide to try this because the water is very HOT!

Mr. Farhat’s Cold Day experiment