Wednesday, 21 October 2009

This watched pot did boil (Unplugged Project of the week)

Here's our unplugged project (yay! we''ve finally done one, AND a week early!). The theme was


We didn't do a craft activity, we did a science observation

wait for it...




We watched a saucepan of water boil!

Whoo Hoo!

What's that got to do with change? Well, changing states of water, of course!

Ok, so we pinched the idea from someone else. The video is here with all the scientific explanations (Hopefully you'll be able to access it through my link)

There aren't really any written instructions for our unplugged project because, well, it's as simple as watching a pot boil. Try it out, but check out the happy scientist's explanations.

And do you know what we learnt? Well we learnt

a) what we call steam isn't steam at all

b) that those little bubbles that first cling to the bottom of the pan aren't a sign of the water boiling, they are gases coming out of solution

c)why the bubbles pop really quickly when the water is just starting to boil.

d) and that our saucepan handle conducts heat (ow!)

Go watch a saucepan of water boil!
[If you haven't done so I would seriously recommend going to website and registering to recieve their email newsletter which gives an experiment a week for free (or for 20$ - approx £12 - a year you can have access to all the videos and stock of science experiments on the website).]

And here are some videos about the changing states of watering water.

First The Water Cycle song:

And what about this one?

And here, my kids' all-time-favourite:

And this one, showing what happens when you throw boiling water into the air in Saskatchewan during a typical mid-winter, -40c day (wouldn't recommend it for a grey day in England!)

Happy Boiling!


Today we made a version of the bottle game inspired by this blog post here It took a few attempts to get it right. I think the string needs to be fairly slippy and not too long. We used curtain rings and reels of sellotape as handles.

If sibling arguing was an olympic sport then my kids would get a gold (I love the way ds1 flinches at the end in anticiaption of the kick/hit he might receive):

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