The Scientist’s lair

A scientist is an explorer who goes on expeditions with his mind and knowledge and in those adventures experiments play the most crucial part ! let us dive deep in three experiments where you unleash your inner scientist as you log the growth of plants, understand density and create colourful fireworks. let’s get started !

Growing Saplings

In any environment across the face of earth we see plants growing. Whether it’s the cacti of deserts or the fir trees at the poles, plants are integral to the survival of life on our planet and thus they are omnipresent . But are all kinds of plants able to grow in a given area ? every plant requires a set of conditions to grow optimally .. let us perform an activity to observe this in real time !

What you need :

Three plastic Glasses , Cocopeat Soil / mud  , Salt ,Sand , Seeds ,Tissue  and a Spoon 

How to do it : 

  1. Take 3 glasses and put coco peat soil in the first and second glass and sand in the third . fill each glass halfway with the designated soil type .
  2. In glass number 2, add salt and mix well. 
  3. Now in all three glasses add water 
  4. Plant seeds (just like how we plant trees.) and cover it with some soil. Sprinkle water and keep all three glasses in one place. 
  5. Observe the plants everyday and see how much they have grown. 
  6. You can make a log sheet where you measure the growth of your plants , how much water and time in the sun they need !

What  happened there : 

Plants need proper conditions to grow which include soil, water, sunlight and air. We often ignore the importance of the right soil for plants. 

Soil plays an important role in :

NUTRIENT UPTAKE: The nutrients need to be held in soil for the plant to pick 

WATER HOLDING: The soil needs to hold adequate moisture to help seeds to grow and also not a lot of moisture because excess water leads to fungal growth. 

MICROBIAL GROWTH: A soil needs to have the proper amount of elements that can allow required microbial growth which will further breakdown fertilizers for our plants to take up and grow better easily. 

Now we used three different soil compositions: 

Sand- has least water holding and nutrient holding capacity 

Soil- absolutely good water and nutrient holding 

Soil with salt- The salt will hold water and make it unavailable for plants to absorb. Also, excess salt will take water from the plant and make it shrink. 

Colourful Fireworks

Fireworks in the sky are always beautiful to gaze at but have you ever seen fireworks underwater. Let us use density to create some colourful fireworks underwater !

What you need  : 

Water ,Oil , Food Coloring (Any color of your choosing) , two transparent  glasses , A Stirring stick

How to do it :

  1. Fill the transparent  glass almost to the top with room-temperature water.
  2. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a bowl.
  3. Add 2 drops of food coloring to the oil.
  4. Stir the oil into the food coloring using a fork. Stop once you break the food coloring into smaller drops.
  5. Pour the oil and coloring mixture into the tall glass.
  6. Now watch! The food coloring will slowly sink in the glass, with each droplet expanding outwards as it falls. Looks like fireworks! Right!!

What just happened :

Food coloring dissolves in water, but not in oil. So when you pour the oil and colour mixture into the water the oil floats whereas the colour begins to sink and dissolve in water. Because the colour is broken into small colour droplets the effect of its dissolution looks like tiny fireworks exploding in water !

Density Tower

Towers can be super fun to build , but not just with legos or blocks we can make a tower with different liquids ! but won’t they mix ? Let us use the property of density to make a long tower of fun !

What you need : 

Long Clear container ,  Three to four tablespoons of each of the following liquids : Honey ,Water,Food coloring ,Vegetable oil , Corn syrup / Maple syrup , Dish soap , Milk (whole milk is preferred) , Rubbing alcohol. Other liquids can also be taken.

Objects of varying densities such as: Ping pong ball , Dice , Pony beads , Coins , Metal nuts or bolts , Popcorn kernels , Cherry tomato , Grape etc, 

How to do it : 

  1. First add the honey to the bottom of the clear container, being careful not to get it stuck on the sides as it is poured.
  2. Then slowly pour the corn syrup on top of the honey, again being careful not to get it stuck on the side of the container.
  3. Then slowly pour the maple syrup on top of the corn syrup, also being careful not to get any stuck on the side of the container.
  4. Next, add the milk. 
  5. Next is the dish soap layer. 
  6. The next layer is colored water. Add a few drops of food coloring to your water and mix it together before adding this layer to the density tower. Next, is the vegetable oil. 
  7. Last is the rubbing alcohol. Mix in a few drops of a different food coloring to differentiate it from the other layers. 
  8. Now gather your objects of varying densities 
  9. Slowly drop your objects into the density tower. Which items sink to the bottom? Which items stay on the top? 

How it works

Objects will sink or float depending on their density as it relates to the layers in the tower.

A metal bolt has more density than any of the liquids, so it sinks all the way to the bottom. A ping pong ball has less density than even the rubbing alcohol, so it stays afloat right on top. The other items will settle in at various layers according to their density. The cherry tomato usually lands in the dish soap, and the popcorn kernels usually end up in the maple or corn syrup.

Items may vary depending on their density, and on the density of the liquid you used (if you used skim milk instead of whole milk, for example, your layers may end up in a slightly different order.)

Density of objects allows them to float or sink in more or less dense media ! That’s why we see the different layers of  liquids due to their decreasing density and the different objects floating or sinking for the same reason 

We hope you enjoyed performing these three scientifically charged activities ! See you next week !