Science is my son’s favorite subject; math is his second. He wants to be an engineer (preferably robotics) when he “grows up.” People have told me that he is on the right track with liking and doing well in both of those subjects. He loves science and doing science experiments is his favorite part of homeschooling. In the early years, I discovered that he is a kinesthetic learner and so I try to make learning in any subject have as many hands-on opportunities as possible. Understanding your child’s learning style and allowing them to learn in that way is important whether it is in a traditional school or homeschool.
Over the past weeks, we have been studying chemistry. Our last chemistry experiment was to make borax crystals. I was surprised with how quickly we saw crystals form, by the next day. In our experience with making salt and sugar crystals, it took at least a few days to see crystals form.
The experiment is from 501 Science Experiments.
It is a very simple and easy experiment. All you need is:
- borax powder laundry booster (3 tbsp.)
- hot water (1 cup)
- glass jar
- 1 popsicle stick
- cotton string (I used floral wire)
- pipe cleaner/chenille stick (I used ’eyelash’ yarn)
- food coloring (optional)
1.Dissolve 3 tablespoons of borax powder in 1 cup of boiling water. We did this in a small pot on the stove. Remove from heat and add a few drops of food coloring and stir. My son used yellow food coloring.
2.Tie the string or wire around the center of a popsicle stick. Allow a few inches to hang down into the water. Bend the pipe cleaner or floral wire into a star, circle, or shape you prefer. Using floral wire, I wrapped the yarn around the wire and bent it into a circle. Attach the shape to the wire hanging down from the popsicle stick.
3. Pour the solution into the jar and place the popsicle stick across the top of the jar so your shape hangs into the borax water. Place in a location where it is undisturbed. Wait for the crystals to grow.
Doing crystal experiments is very common, and everyone can get different results based on what kind of material they use. So far, we are very pleased with our results. I am really glad I used the ‘eyelash’ yarn rather than a pipe cleaner or chenille stick. I think the crystal formations are most impressive because they formed on the loose strings.