Herrman & Herrman July 2017

Grow Crystals With Your Kids

Keep Your Child’s Mind Active With This Fun Summer Experiment!

A mentally sedentary summer can cause your child’s learning to stagnate and backslide, erasing the equivalent of as much as two months of in-school learning. But you can have fun with your kid this summer and help them learn at the same time. Try this project from sciencebob.com, which demonstrates how geodes are formed and gives a primer on the science of crystals. The results are stunning! All you need are some clean eggshells, water, several different soluble materials (salt, sugar, baking soda, borax, cream of tartar), coffee cups, spoons, food coloring, and egg cartons. First, crack the eggs as close to the narrow end as possible. Then, clean the eggshells in hot water, which allows you to pull the skin out of the inside. Place the shells in an egg carton lined with wax paper to hold them upright. Boil the water and pour half a cup into each coffee mug, followed by ¼ cup of one of the soluble materials, stirring until it dissolves. Keep adding the solid slowly until the water is supersaturated — this simply means that the water has absorbed all it can and any additional solid won’t dissolve.

Then, add food coloring to the solutions. See what creative color combinations your child can come up with.

Carefully pour the solution into an eggshell, filling it as full as you can without the solution overflowing or the egg tipping over. As the water evaporates (be patient!) crystals will begin to form inside the eggshells.

But how? As the water is heated, it expands, allowing more space for the dissolved solution. When it cools and evaporates, that space goes away, and the solids are forced to become solid again. See, science is fun and educational! Check out further science experiments on sciencebob.com, sciencekids.co.nz, or redtri.com/ classic-science-experiments!

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