A Chemistry Experiment

Science kits

I was a chemistry major in college, and my husband Mark majored in engineering. So like the dorks that we are, we got Isaac some simple science kits for Christmas from Target. His Auntie Aliyah also bought him the “Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book”, so lately he has been very interested in doing experiments.

Unfortunately, these last couple weeks have been rather hectic. All weekend he has been begging me to do an experiment with him. I had to work this weekend, so there just wasn’t much time.

Finally, just before bedtime tonight, we had about 30 minutes to spare. I asked him what kind of experiment he wanted to do. “Chemistry!” he said. Be still, my heart!

He went through his chemistry set and pulled out the plastic test tubes. “I want to do something with these,” he said. One problem: although the chemistry set included test tubes, none of the experiments in the instruction manual included them! So we turned to good old Google. We found this neat website and decided to try “The Liquid Rainbow”.

Getting all set up

It turned out very well, and he really enjoyed it!  The liquid rainbow only works if the liquids are put in the test tube in order of decreasing density.  I explained this to Isaac.  Since we started out with approximately equal volumes of each liquid, I asked him to guess which was heaviest or densest.  He tried picking up each container of liquid.  “Can you tell by picking them up?” I asked.  “No,” he said, “I’m too strong.”

Isaac experimenting

I told Isaac that every good scientist needs a lab notebook (or used to, anyway, when I was in college):

Lab notebook

Here are our end results. If you look closely, the tube on the right has our “liquid rainbow”:

Our fantastic results

I know I should probably have him wear safety goggles, but we don’t have any yet. I’m sure I can find some online for future experiments. And maybe I can find him a small white labcoat. I told you I was a dork.

Isaac has already asked me if we can do another experiment tomorrow night!


12 Responses to “A Chemistry Experiment”

  1. Sonia Says:

    Those kits look really cool! It must be exciting for you for him to show interest in your field. white lab coat and goggles would probably make it more exciting for him as well. Glad you had fun…

  2. Lara Says:

    COOOOOL!!! I keep thinking that I would love to do science stuff with Matthew as well.

  3. Dawn Says:

    That is so cool. And, you can probably pick up kids’ sized safety goggles at Home Depot (if you are not too concerned about style). Don’t know if they do the same thing, but that’s where Dan got ones for the boys to help him with home repair projects.

  4. mark - in my own defense Says:

    …home repair projects? And how far away is the closest hospital?

  5. Dawn Says:

    About 17 minutes, as we found out on Sunday afternoon when Ian had to go to the ER for a head injury sustained while sled riding down hill, head first, on his back (that’s right folks, staring at the sky, with no concern that he couldn’t tell where the heck he was going, let alone steer).

    Helmets are now required.

  6. Misty (mason's mom) Says:

    how fun for him!! you’re a fun mommy!! future scientists in the making..i need to get one of those for jaiden!!

  7. Lawrence Says:

    Helmets Dawn? Helmets? That spoils all the fun now dosen’t it….I mean, who in their right mind would trade a 17 minute trip to the ER for a dumb helmet. Boys will be boys I always say….no helmets for my sons’…EVER!

  8. lisa leonard Says:

    i think you might just be the coolest parents. now if you keep making him do experiments when he’s 15, then you really will be dorky! xoxo L

  9. Karen Says:

    Dawn: we will have to look for those safety goggles, but will probably have to get the white coat on ebay. I hope Ian is feeling better, poor guy!
    Lawrence: it’s not the 17 minute drive, but the 4 hour wait. Helmets for all!
    Misty: Thanks, but I’m really not all that much fun. It seems like I’m never home these days. 😦
    Lisa: When he’s 15, we hope to be doing quantum mechanics!

  10. Lawrence Says:

    Four hour wait? Hold on….don’t you guys live in a first world country? LOL…I thought those sorts of waits are for third world hospitals only???

  11. ariel Says:

    I am seeing here a future scientist like me …its so nice to see kids highly intersted in science especially chemistry at a very early age…

    You are so blessed …

  12. Suzanne Says:

    That is so cool!

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