Monday, March 4, 2013

Lava Lamp Experiment

The boys school holds a science fair each year for the 3rd grade to 8th grade.  So Cole being in 3rd grade this would be his first year doing a science fair.  I asked him what he wanted to do, I thought a volcano would be cool.  He liked the Lava Lamp the best.  So we got to work on his visual board, adding all our required items.  We spent a whole weekend making this just perfect.  I took pictures of him doing the experiment and we thought it looked wonderful.  

After making the board and the doing the experiment, the kids then had to stand in front of a board of high school kids telling about their project and what they did.  They picked the top 4 kids from each grade.  We had our hopes up and really thought we did an amazing job, sadly Cole did not make the top 4 in 3rd grade.  I could just see his heart drop and tears well up in his eyes.  I gave him a huge hug and let him know he was a winner in my book.  Rick and I took him out for ice cream.  


What you Need:
  • A clean 1 liter clear soda bottle
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Fizzing tablets (such as Alka Seltzer)
  • Food coloring

1. Pour the water into the bottle.
2. Use a measuring cup or funnel to slowly pour the vegetable oil into the bottle until it's almost full. You may have to wait a few minutes for the oil and water separate.3. Add 10 drops of food coloring to the bottle (we like red, but any color will look great.) The drops will pass through the oil and then mix with the water below. 
4. Break a seltzer tablet in half and drop the half tablet into the bottle. Watch it sink to the bottom and let the blobby greatness begin!
5. To keep the effect going, just add another tablet piece. For a true lava lamp effect, shine a flashlight through the bottom of the bottle.




So we didn't win but I still think this was a pretty cool experiment and our board was the best (even in my humble opinion).  For the 3rd grade his was the most detailed.  Looking at the other kids projects, it looks like ours may have been too simple.  Next year I think we have to work with worms or something :).

13 comments:

  1. Great minds think alike. I totally DID this project myself for my 4th grade science fair and have always planned on re-using it for one of my kids one day when they have a science fair.

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  2. I so knew we we're kindred spirits Robin. I so thought with our board and project we would at least place but NOPE. We so have to do something unpredictable I think is the key. The placing ones were how much dirt tracked in during a week, how long hand sanitizer and a pin whole camera from a shoe box. Yup I can be a sore looser ... lol. But I think he rocked it.

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  3. He did a great job and I'm sure he will do so again next year.

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  4. What a great project.... so sorry he didn't win. I hate when kids are put into situations like that... not a fun time.

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  5. Very nice science project. I was so happy when those years of science products were over with! It's fun in the beginning....

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  6. That is just the coolest project and doggone that it didn't win. He'll still remember it forever though!

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  7. Awesome project and such a fantastic board to go with it! Glad you guys celebrated his job well done with ice cream :)

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  8. I think it is pretty awesome for 3rd grade!

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  9. Well gang I must say I'm VERY disappointed! I just got Cole's results from the teens that graded him for his presentation and board. NOW I expected the presentation would be tough Cole has a hard time focusing and looking at people (part of the ADHD).

    BUT when I saw some gave him 0 for neatness and quality of board! I was SHOCKED to say the least!!! Given a 0 for ask a question ... HELLO did you READ the big BLACK letter at the top of the board?? 0 for chart ... HELLO it's right there in the exact spot we were told to put it from the sheet sent home!!

    THEN the kicker was one teen wrote and I quote: "Needs to do more of the project" ... pradom me but WTF?? if you look you see pictures of EVERY step of him making it!

    I am so disappointed these teens would be so tough on a 3rd grader! He was almost in tears when he handed this to me this morning. I sent a note to the teacher it was very harsh and I understand it's a project that is graded but really it has to be that way?

    I end my rant with MOST of the boards where plain white with barely anything on it or just a bunch of hand written things? But they got A's and placed in the competition. Sorry to be that parent but I'm very upset!

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  10. I think Cole did amazing! And it seems like the perfect project for a 3rd grader! I feel terrible for him that the whole thing didn't go better...maybe the teachers should be doing the grading since that's what they are there for...or at least make sure the high schoolers are grading fairly. ((HUGS)) to both of you! :-)

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  11. The agony of defeat is A FANTASTIC life lesson! And the important thing is he went out there and DID HIS BEST! :) I think it was cool. Disappointment is a hard pill to swallow... sometimes moreso for the parents than the kids... ice cream always is a winner in my book!

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  12. What a neat experiment! I need to try this with my kiddos! I'm sorry your son's project did not get chosen..I think it looked fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing this at the FESTIVE FRIDAY FIESTA Link Party! Hope you have a great weekend! =D

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  13. Brilliant stuff, this is some great sciency/arty fun for the kids!

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