Tornado Tube Fun!

The Science Party YouTube Channel

Okay so I am not a video- buff- but I know that people like to see a quick video of different science things…. So I’m trying some video! I am definitely not expert and there is no editing here, but you get a good view of what the tornado tube should look like when it is all attached and ready to go.

Check out the video here: Tornado Tube Fun!

If you are wanting to get your own Tornado Tube connector, you can get one sent to your house quickly by amazon! I recommend planning to do the Mentos Geyser Experiment first with two 2-Liter bottles of diet soda. I always use diet because it is not sticky! Pull your materials out onto the lawn or sidewalk and have your kids help pull the trigger and then run away! So fun and cute! Best on a warm day- the warmer the soda the more vigorous reaction with the Mentos!

Fun with the Mentos Geyser Tube

 

Here’s your Amazon.com shopping list!

These are all products I’ve used or a product similar to one I’ve used:

 

 

For more activities to try with the Tornado Tube and Geyser Tube, check out this blog post Throw a Science Party!

Take lots of pictures- and you’re done!

Feel free to post pictures, comments, or questions!

Hope you have a great Science Party!

Thanks guys!

Jen B, the Science Lady

jenbthesciencelady@gmail.com

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to amazon. If you purchase any of these items, I will get a certain percentage of the purchase cost.

 

 

 

Science Playdates:

Slimey – Ooh, Ah, Ohhhhhh….

Slime is always fun at a playdate!

This is the first edition of my Science Playdates series!

For the past three years, I have been running some really fun classes in local park districts. I’ve felt like some of the stuff we have been doing is so cool that it should be shared with the masses- so here you go! I love the idea of hosting a playdate with a science purpose! So here’s to inspiring you to organize some activities for the kids in your lives and to the reward of seeing them super excited about science!

If you are a parent, a teacher, a camp counselor, a babysitter, or someone that just likes science, I started these playdates for you; so that you can do these fun activities at home, camp, or school with your own kids or groups of kids!

Here’s the plan! It is structured like a class. You can of course adjust the class to suit your own playdate’s needs! Just have fun with it!

 

General Course Plan:

If you are going to do this playdate with more than a few kids- I highly recommend getting an assistant. I usually ran these classes with up to 14 kids. I would often hire a local teenager or another teacher that would help with set up and clean up. This particular class is VERY messy, so helpers are key. I ran my classes in park district venues that were great because I didn’t have to mess up my own house!  You can certainly do these activities at home, just be ready for the mess!

Before kids arrive:

Set up the activities (listed below) with all of the materials ready to go. Have name tags (if needed) pre-written, and a roster ready to check off (if there will be many kids). Note location of bathrooms for hand-washing and bathroom breaks. Goggles are preferred for this class.

Love these: Link:  http://amzn.to/2rEzen1

Have water pitchers or water source ready for experiments and rinsing.

Start the playdate:

If you will be having a group of kids, I recommend being formal with them and treating the playdate as if it is a class. You will have more engagement from the kids if you are acting as a teacher.

  • Introductions-What is slime? How does it work? Talk about polymers, cross-linking, etc…
  • Introductions- names, age, school attending
  • How is science used for slime? What is slime? Talk about polymers and how liquids flow and when you mix certain things together they get caught in each other and slow down the flow…. this will happen in several of the slimes.

Move to table(s):

Pre-assign 2-3 groups- talk about messes and clean up. Talk about fun and responsibility! Each time you make a slime you will clean up in between and they can help each time. Talk about not making this mess in their house, they get to do it here, and that we still have to respect the home/park/facility by cleaning up.

For each slime, get at least one bin to make it in and then a place to throw waste in and rinse it out. I like the simple white bins from the dollar store. These would also work and be very durable and reusable: http://amzn.to/2smfuUZ

The activities:

Here are the slimes that you can make with your group. There are many more slimes out there! Here are a few that are tried and tested by me, Jen B, The Science Lady!

1. Snow– water and snow. Do this one in a plastic champagne glass- do in 3 batches so each group has enough to play with. Use the white bins to contain the mess!

Here is the snow that I like: http://amzn.to/2sqiBMv

You can make your snow into a ball!

2. Moon dough– flour and baby oil (8:1)- one small bag of flour to about 1 cup of baby oil – I buy these items at the dollar store!

Moon dough- Flour and baby oil. Cheap and fun. Very messy- great for outdoor playtime!

3. Fluffy stuff- 2 boxes corn starch: 1 can shaving cream- also buy at dollar store!

Fluffy Stuff is cheap and easy too- corn starch and shaving cream. Great for outdoor fun!
Fluffy Stuff Rules!

4. STEM activity: Ooblek- water and corn starch- what makes the best batch? Give each group a bin with a pile of corn starch. Tell them to add (some number) of dixie cups of water- what happens?

Then have them change the formula. Tell them to add water slowly (in some number of dixie cups) to see what gives the coolest Ooblek. Usually you need less water than you would think. If they go too far you can add a little cornstarch to their bin. Ooblek should flow but get hard when you push on it. It is a non-Newtonian fluid. I guarantee this is an easy, safe, and awesome slime. I use this slime with kindergartners and high-schoolers- every one loves it!

Ooblek- messy and awesome! From pre-school to high-school, this experiment never gets old!

5. Gak- Borax- free slime. I usually do this one as a “take-home” slime. Kids get a Ziploc or a Tupperware container to take their creation home with them. I posted a similar recipe on a recent post: https://the-science-party.com/slime-time-slime-thats-fun-and-easy/ 

Here’s a great Gak with some orange food coloring added.

Here’s the recipe I’ve used with my class: In a dixie cup, take a blob of glue and a glug of liquid starch (clearly these are not exact amounts- and don’t need to be!). I have them stir with a Popsicle stick. Once a slime has formed, they pour off the extra liquid into a waste bin and then they can keep their slime in their cup- or they can transfer it to a container to take home!

Getting ready to make a big batch of slime with friends.

You can dress up the slime with glitter, food coloring, or start with glitter glue. Even add tiny sytrofoam balls to make it super cool and awesome.

Here’s a link for some slime additives: http://amzn.to/2smaDTK  

Styrofoam balls to add to your slime!

Have fun with it!  It’s very safe and fun to play with!

6. Dinosaur dig– Frozen snow. You need to make this slime at least a day in advance because it is frozen. I buy disposable pie plates, baking soda, cheap objects from the dollar store, and water droppers for this experiment. Kids will be digging for treasure like a scientist would! Basically, I add a layer of small toys from the dollar store- like jacks, little cars, mini-dinosaurs, etc…. Then I cover them with baking soda, carefully add water, add more baking soda to make sure everything is covered, then put the pie plates in the freezer. When frozen, they are ready to excavate!

Here’s the pie plates set up the night before the playdate!
This one can get a little cold!

Set up cups of water and cups of vinegar- probably one cup of each for each group. They should have some sort of dropper to melt/react the frozen pie plates. They get a pie tin with the buried treasures and then get to have some fun digging! Popsicle sticks could be useful too to pick out their artifacts. They get to keep their treasures- they can be put in a Ziploc or Tupperware container to go!

Cold, but it’s still really fun!

It’s a Wrap!

At the end of the play-date, I would have the kids help clean up and then vote on their favorite slime. You might be surprised by which one is their favorite! Take some pictures and post them!

Here’s your Amazon.com shopping list!

These are all products I’ve used or a product similar to one I’ve used:

 

  • I like this liquid starch:  http://amzn.to/2qANclF
  • These mini dinosaurs would be great for your Dinosaur Dig activity: http://amzn.to/2rppT2Z
  • Pretty much all of the other materials needed for this playdate can be found at the dollar store or grocery store.

Final thoughts:

So setting up all of these activities is A LOT OF WORK! I’m not going to lie! But, the reward of your kids loving all of them should pay the price for the work!! My kids have loved helping me set up these slimes and have loved playing with all of these slimes. I’ve been lucky to see the joy of many other kids loving these slimes- and I know your crew will love them too! And who knows- maybe they will be inspired to be the next cutting edge Polymer Science Engineer (cause that’s what all of this is really all about- right?)!

If you are looking to plan a complete science party, check out this post from my blog: 

https://the-science-party.com/throw-a-science-party/

If you are looking for another simple slime idea, check out this post from my blog:

Slime Time! Slime that’s fun and easy!

Take lots of pictures- and you’re done!

Feel free to post pictures, comments, or questions!

Hope you have a great Science Party!

Thanks guys!

Jen B, the Science Lady

jenbthesciencelady@gmail.com

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to amazon. If you purchase any of these items, I will get a certain percentage of the purchase cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fun party!

I’ve done a lot of parties! Parents have sent me some great pictures after the parties- I will certainly post a lot of them soon!

This particular party had one of my favorite settings- it was summer, it was outdoors, and it was a great science party! The parents were super cool, and, very artistic- with photography skills to boot….

So not only was the party great, but it also came back with some awesome pictures.

This is the giant air blaster! It’s so easy to make. Requires that you have a fog machine on hand. But once it’s done, it’s done and ready to blast!
Mentos Geyser Tubes
Here we used the Mentos Geyser Tubes. Our little scientist got a little too close upon detonation! He took it well though!
Mini air blaster
Here’s the mini air blaster that I like to use at parties. Pop a cup on top of the kids’ head and blow it off! Super fun- a little scary too!
Tornado Tubes
Of course we have tornado tubes at most parties. They are so easy to put together! Bust them out any day of the week for some fun with the kiddos.

When the weather is good, I highly recommend doing science activities outside. Kids love being outside and love doing experiments outside. The upside for the parents- the mess is way easier to clean up!

 

Here’s your Amazon.com shopping list!

These are all products I’ve used or a product similar to one I’ve used:

 

If you are looking to plan a complete science party, check out this post from my blog: 

https://the-science-party.com/throw-a-science-party/

Take lots of pictures- and you’re done!

Feel free to post pictures, comments, or questions!

Hope you have a great Science Party!

Thanks guys!

Jen B, the Science Lady

jenbthesciencelady@gmail.com

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to amazon. If you purchase any of these items, I will get a certain percentage of the purchase cost.

Slime Time!

It seems like the slime craze has taken over! I’ve seen lots of posts of teachers saying they’ve even had to ban slime from the classroom (kind of like those fidget spinners). But summer is a great time to make slime- at home!

For the past few years, I’ve run a really fun slime class every summer. I have my kids make about 6 different types of slime. They are really cool and fun! I will do an entire post on all those slimes soon.

Before I post all those slimes, I wanted to talk about a slime party that my kids just went to. Our neighbor decided to have an after-school slime party- genius idea! She set up a big table on the front lawn, put out the supplies, and let about 10 kids make up their own slime concoctions! I love that design/STEM aspect of the slime party. I talked a little bit about slime in my last post about how to throw a science birthday party, check that out here if you want to do a whole bunch of experiments with kids: https://the-science-party.com/throw-a-science-party/

I thought I’d share some pictures as inspiration of how easy and cool putting together a batch of slime can be! The recipe is below all of the pictures. Enjoy!

Slime Time!
It moves!
Slime Time!
Big ball of slime…
Slime Time!
One of the magic ingredients of this fantastic slime!
He got the blue glitter glue!
Slime Time!
Blue glitter slime is totally cool!
Slime Time!
Hmmmm… it stretches….
Slime Time!
Whoa- it’s tall!!
Slime Time
You can see through it!
Slime Time!
It keeps stretching….
Slime Time!
Blow a bubble in it? Why not!
Slime Time!
Killer bubble….
Slime Time!
And even roll it into a ball!
Slime Time
Happy slime-maker!
Slime Time!
Busy slime-makers…. so fun!

Want to make it?

This was a great recipe- so easy and made a big amount for each girl. Each kid got a medium Tupperware container with a lid. Then they each got a bottle of glitter glue, they had a container of Sta-Flo liquid starch, and some contact solution. Adding the glue and starch together makes a good slime; the contact solution makes it less sticky. Basically you are making a polymer from the original materials. There are no exact amounts required- but I would go about 1:1 with the glue to starch mixture and then add a few drops of contact solution as needed. Have fun, let them experiment, they will love it! This group did!

Purchase supplies:

I have to admit that I love Amazon! I buy everything for my household there, including science supplies (for home and work). So I’ll write up the shopping supplies here, and you can make your own list, or buy them directly from these links below:

Glitter glue in a variety of colors: http://amzn.to/2seexOE

Liquid starch– you can get a grocery store, but I always like to buy everything on Amazon! This seems like a good deal: http://amzn.to/2seF1Ql

You can pick out any Tupperware, but here’s a good size if you want to do it all in one stop: http://amzn.to/2s27TeK

And contact solution (if needed): http://amzn.to/2seHXw6

 

Let me know if you make this slime! I’d love to see your pictures in the comments!

Thanks guys!

Jen B, the Science Lady

jenbthesciencelady@gmail.com

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to amazon. If you purchase any of these items, I will get a certain percentage of the purchase cost.

Throw a SCIENCE PARTY!

One of my first science parties- they loved it!

A friend of mine from school was asking what kinds of activities we do at a science party…

I figured since I’m not doing science parties this summer, I’d share a good ‘set-list’ in case you wanted to throw your own science party this summer. I’ll post separate instructions soon for the individual parts- but thought I’d give an overview to start!

General Science Party Plan: Here are some of the materials I gather up before hosting/throwing a science party. The Dollar Tree has great cheap supplies.

General supplies:

  • Name tags
  • Lab coats or aprons
  • Plastic table cloths
  • Plastic bowls for mess
  • Food coloring
  • Dish soap
  • Wipes
  • Clean trays
  • Other supplies/toys are listed- many with affiliate links where you can find them and purchase them.

The Party- Start up: I usually make sure I have an open area for kids to sit when we do some demonstrations and then a big table to do hands-on activities.

  • Kids enter party, get goggles.Birthday child gets special lab coat. Everyone gets name tag.
  • Need long interactive table and space for floor semi-circle.

Introductory demos: Semi- circle: These are done on the floor/ground. Then kids get up for interactive activities. 

  1. Bubbles if outside- make homemade bubble mixture (recipe below)- can make bubble snakes like these (I’ll post directions in a separate post):

  • This recipe is great: Measure 6 cups of water into one container, then pour 1 cup of dish soap into the water and slowly stir it until the soap is mixed in. Try not to let foam or bubbles form while you stir. Measure 1 tablespoon of glycerin or 1/4 cup of corn syrup and add it to the container. Stir the solution until it is mixed together

2. Science toys to get the party started- Parachutes- let birthday kid throw it, ask questions to the group.  Try an energy stick.Here are the affiliate links for products:

Getting ready to throw a parachute.

 

 

3. Tornado– why is this like a tornado? How does it work?

Kids love the tornado tubes- and they are so easy and cheap!

 

4. “Toast the birthday kid!” – Density column- Why do the layers happen? Why do some things float and some things sink? Talk about solids, liquids, and gas. Layer your liquids and amaze the kids!

Layer liquids for a cool effect!
  • Champagne glass
  • vegetable oil- yellow
  • tap water (with food coloring) red
  • dish soap- blue
  • bolt/money

5. Cloud in a bottle- this one is so cool and so easy!

Use a bike pump to pump air into a bottle…
Pull the top off and you have a cloud in a bottle!
  • Use about a cap full of alcohol, spread around the inside
  • cap with the stopper
  • pump three air pumps into it, pull stopper off
  • should make a cloud

 

Interactive Demos: Have a helper set these two up while you do the beginning demos.

  1. Milk-dye lab – Why does the soap cause the colors to move?
This one combines science and art!
  • Set up milk at beginning of the party. Add food coloring too if time. Soap dishes with cotton swabs. Tell kids the procedure ahead of time! Tell them to take their time!!
  • food coloring/glitter
  • white Styrofoam bowl/pie plate
  • whole milk
  • soap and cup
  • cotton swabs
  1. Slime/Gak- Why do the two things added together make a slime? You are making polymers, chains get caught together.
(This is not a slime picture- but I love this picture)

 

This is the slime you’ll get with this recipe- and its so easy!

 

  • Set up baggies with place for name- set up before, Elmer’s glue- blob in cups when arrive, liquid starch ready to go…
  • plastic cups to share (8 oz)
  • wooden sticks for stirring
  • Add starch when ready, stir, and Voila! Slime….
  • More slime recipes to come!  This one is very basic and easy and works!
  • I buy a big gallon of glue: Link:  http://amzn.to/2qAS3Ua

 

Closing demos:

Dry ice demos

  • dry ice in cooler (Seek out well in advance- some ice cream shops sell it)
  • tongs
  • warm water
  • graduated cylinders:  Link: http://amzn.to/2sedHyO
  • big bowl 
  • liquid soap

Demos to try:

Dry ice + soap + water= awesome touchable bubbles!

 

  • Quarter- hold the quart to the dry ice, makes cool noises
  • Add to warm water, can add food coloring in large plastic graduated cylinder or vase
  • Add soap to the water, watch as bubbles up- kids can each hold bubbles, can reload with warm water and ice once it slows down
  • Alien bubbles- try it out! Use the bucket with the funnel attached. bubbles can land on towel or gloved hands. I’ll post a separate directions entry on this one- it requires some DIY setup. 
Alien bubbles- you can hold them without popping!
Crystal ball with dry ice…

 

Closing demos – Rockets:

Mentos Geyser- Why does the candy make the diet coke erupt? Catalysts

  • 2 Liter diet sodas- diet is better b/c it doesn’t leave a sticky residue. 
  • Tray for mess or do outside
  • Mentos candy
  • Geyser Tube: Link: http://amzn.to/2rFcuTU

Closing- things with air

Kids love the air blaster!
The Science Ladies at White Sox Weather Day- Air Blaster in hand!

Small air blaster. These are really fun: 

 link: http://amzn.to/2qBaDLJ

Giant smoke ring blaster. Need to construct with large garbage can- I have directions in a previous post!

A little girl enjoying a smoke ring from the giant air blaster!
Me demonstrating the air vortex from the giant air blaster at an outdoor science party.

 

Stomp rockets: These are a great way to end a party- every kid gets at least a turn and you can make it a competition to see who gets their rocket the highest. Discuss the science behind the rocket blast.

We like these: Link: http://amzn.to/2qBiokK

 

Take lots of pictures- and you’re done!

Feel free to post pictures, comments, or questions!

Hope you have a great Science Party!

Thanks guys!

Jen B, the Science Lady

jenbthesciencelady@gmail.com

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to amazon. If you purchase any of these items, I will get a certain percentage of the purchase cost.

White Sox Weather Day: More do it at home!

We’ve been entertaining science fans at White Sox Weather Day for the past 4 years! When they asked me to do it in 2014, I was so excited! Now it’s become an annual tradition. We’ve done on-field demos, Jumbo-Tron spots, and concourse entertaining for kids. We do a combination of visual experiments and hands-on experiments to get kids involved!

Here’s an outline of what we do- that you can do- at home!

The concourse: These are the activities that we do under the concourse at Guaranteed Rate Stadium. 

We started with a bunch of demos and then whittled them down to what we thought were the best and most interesting so that kids could come, try something, and go on to another one. Here are the experiments that have stood the test of time and how you can do them at home:

Tornado Tubes

  1. Product info:  http://amzn.to/2pwTpyA or http://amzn.to/2qoIZoK
  2. Directions: These are a great, cheap toy, to talk about tornadoes and the efficient shape of a funnel cloud… buy a couple and reuse the 2-Liter bottles from the Mentos experiment below and you’ve got a tornado.

Cloud in a Bottle

Product Info: Just a simple bike pump will do, but here’s one that has simple pressure gauge that would be cool to read! http://amzn.to/2q1PHQx

What you’ll need: 

  1. Rubber stopper w/hole in it- to fit water bottle
  2. 1 L Water bottle (labels removed)

Directions: This is so cool and so easy! Put about a capful of alcohol in the water bottle, swirl it around to coat the inside of the bottle. Insert the stopper. Fit the bike pump nozzle over the stopper (so that when you pump air into the bottle you are creating a sealed system). Pump three full pumps (you will feel the bottle get tighter). After three, pull the stopper out and you get an instant cloud! It’s so cool!

Why does it work? You are putting a lot of pressure on the alcohol when you pump air into the bottle. When you pull out the stopper you release all that pressure and the alcohol evaporates instantly- creating the appearance of a cloud!

  • Parachutes- these are a great way to demonstrate how air and drag work together to save lives! 

Product info: This is my favorite parachute and this is a 6-pack. These would come in handy for a birthday party or playdate- many kids can use them at a time. Surprisingly- they last a long time too! http://amzn.to/2q0IQGF

Directions: Simple and easy- kids have fun throwing these up into the air and talking about air and drag and how these things can actually save lives! Turn it into a STEM activity by having kids make a better parachute, figure out the best method to throw it into the air, measure how long it takes to get to the ground from different throwing styles, or figure out from what heights does the thrower get the best results

Mini-Air Blaster

Product info: These are good cheap fun. I have this one from Amazon and it also has lasted over three years with many uses.  http://amzn.to/2q0Fjs9

Directions: This is a fun toy to just have around the house. If someone is being too wild and crazy- blast them with a little air! If you want to talk about science, make it about air vortexes. Your kids will enjoy the blasting and feel smarter explaining air vortexes.

Stomp Rockets 

Product info: These stomp rockets are a common backyard toy- but they are a little more useful with adult supervision. These are inexpensive and last a long time too! http://amzn.to/2q1zPxs

Directions: I use these in my Rockets class too. They are a great way to talk about how something as simple as air can power a rocket into the air! Of course the rockets that get into space use more than just air- but on a simple level- they are very similar. If I have a group of kids who want to stomp the rocket, I make them stand in a line and have them stomp in order- retrieving their own rocket. I know a lot of people have these in their backyard toy box. Bust them out and talk a little about science and then have some fun!

  1. When I want these to stay in good shape, I keep a separate set for when I want to do rockets with the kids- otherwise all the rockets end up in the trees and all the tails get broken. This is life with kids!
  2. Also- make sure to keep your head away from the base- otherwise you will get a rocket in the eye. It hurts!

Here’s how you make a giant smoke blaster so you can entertain your kids or your students!

The On-Field Demonstration

We’ve had the fun of going onto the field at White Sox Weather Day and demonstrating a giant air blaster that shoots out awesome smoke rings.This is the concept that allows planes to fly and rivers to have those cool ripples running through them. The best part- is that you can make a giant smoke blaster at home!

Here’s how:

  1. I used stevespanglerscience.com to learn how to make an air blaster and here’s what I did:
    1. Get a giant garbage can, a drill bit to carve a circular hole in the bottom of the can (or borrow from a handy neighbor), bungee cord, and a clear shower curtain. That’s all you need. Oh wait—- you also need a fog machine! You can buy one pretty cheap and you need fog liquid. This will be a good investment…. Kids love this demo and you don’t have to do it only to talk about weather. Halloween is a great time to bust out some scary smoke rings too… And why not Valentine’s Day?  Maybe you can do heart-shaped smoke rings- there’s a STEM challenge for you!
    2. Once you have your blaster set up, all you need to do is fill it with fog, stand away from your target, aim and slam the shower curtain. It takes about 5 practice hits to know what direction you’ll see the best rings- and if you’re outside you need to determine which way favors the rings based on the wind.
  • Let the kids try it; just have them stand back from the blaster…. They always end up right on top of it for some reason!
  • Here’s a fog machine that would be great: http://amzn.to/2pSJtAw

Let me know how it goes in the comments below!