The theme of the afternoon was COPPER SULPHATE.
I just happened to have a bag of the stuff in the tack room to use for the horses. When mixed with some vaseline it is an inexpensive and very effective treatment for the dreaded 'seedy toe' (bacterial infection in the cracks in the hoof usually caused by wet ground). So thats some science right there and we haven't even started!
We brought the bag of blue powder into the kitchen and naturally the first step was to build a fire. Huh? Well, copper sulphate powder sprinkled over a flame turns that yellow/orange burny beauty into an iridescent blue/green special effect right before your very eyes. The boys had great fun building the fire and playing magicians. It's a bit of a celebration when the weather cools down enough to enjoy a fire again...and all the better when you can do a little wizarding!
Then it was onto the next experiment and for that we went to the newly discovered internet pearl : www.instructables.com
Detailed instructions on making, well, just about anything! Lego jewelry, clocks, paper aeroplanes, card games and.....crystals! I'm looking forward to exploring this site. Finding exciting new home school activities is better than porn I tell you ;)
Mixing a saturated copper sulphate solution and building the 'seed' on which to grow the crystal was quite engrossing. We also used half egg shells filled with solution to hopefully create our own geodes. After lots of stirring and close examination to see if the liquid was truly 'saturated' and didn't allow any light through, the boy's future crystals are sitting pretty, quietly growing on the windowsill.
And now it's time for cake.