7 Awesome and Easy Science Experiments for Gifted Students

Curlee Girlee’s Got Talent, (“CGGT”) the next book in the Curlee Girlee series,  tells a story, (which I won’t give away), that ends adorably with empowering Curlee Girlee in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering Math).  Like the character in CGGT  I too have always loved to experiment; with clothes, hairstyles, new projects and what my mom liked to call “wacky ideas”.  As a child, I could frequently be found in my room cutting, building, mixing strange ingredients to come up with body lotions, face creams and soaps.  In that way, I also loved to do science experiments. I can vividly recall the annual school-wide science fair and the excitement and endless possibilities that fair would engender in my mind.  What would I make? How would I showcase it? Would it explode or would it ignite and how exactly would I make it work. The possibilities were endless.

Despite my fascination with science it never occurred to me that I could enter the field of science and actually chose this as a career path.  Perhaps I had other areas that interested me more but I simply cannot recall science being an avenue that was encouraged for girls in my world either by my parents or by school teachers.

Sneak Peek of Curlee Girlee’s new adventure in Curlee Girlee’s Got Talent, available now for pre-order on amazon!

Today as a mom of 3 children, 2 of whom are girls, I want to make sure the world remains limitless for them and possibilities exist everywhere in all corners of the universe and in all subjects that may spark an interest.  We have come such a long way in empowering girls and young women, but science and STEM in general, as a career, continues to lag behind other more practical or safe choices for girls. Statistically many more boys are filling the advance science classes than girls are.  Very coincidentally, or perhaps because somewhere I hadn’t realized until I began writing, the next book in our Curlee Girlee series takes Curlee Girlee and her friends on a journey through the world of talent and science.   

Here at Curlee GIrlee, our mission is to empower curly girls to become whoever they want to be in a world of limitless possibilities and fulfillment of endless dreams.  We recently wrote about Billie Jean King and her fight for women’s equality in sports, which continues many years after she won very first tennis titles.  Now Curlee Girlee with her love of experimenting, her fierce determination, and endless imagination, is taking on the fight for girls’ equality in the field of STEM. Here are seven science experiments that your curly girl will have fun doing and foster an interest in the field of science in a fun, interactive, and colorful way!

1. Making Rock Candy

With this super fun experiment, kids can learn about science while also making a sweet treat! Rock candy is a kid favorite and it can easily be made at home with this interactive experiment—with some adult help! To begin, you will need three cups of sugar and one cup of water; pour both of these into a pot heated on the stove. Mix until the sugar is entirely dissolved and should look clear with no sugar granules visible. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then cautiously have an adult pour the mixture into a glass jar. If your child wants the candy to be colored or flavored, this is now the time to mix in a few drops of food coloring in fun colors and about one teaspoon of extract of their choosing, like these classic flavors. Take a slim lollipop stick and wet the end with water and coat in a layer of sugar. Then place this end of the stick into the jar of the warm sugar-water mixture, using a clothespin to hold it in place. Now, over the next few days, crystals will begin to grow. Why do these crystals form anyway? It’s because when we mix the sugar into the water, there is so much more sugar than water, the mixture becomes “supersaturated.” The hot water dissolves the sugar faster than cool water would, but as the water begins to cool down again, the sugar crystals will come back out of the oversaturated water and will cling to the sugar coating the stick instead. 

2. Color Changing Flowers

This cool color-changing flower experiment will show kids just how flowers take in water and how it affects them. Firstly, you will need white flowers such as carnations or roses. Place out as many jars as colors you want and fill them all with water. Mix a few drops of food coloring into each jar and stir. Then, place each flower into its own jar. You can even go a step further and cut the stem of the flower in half (or more) then stick each end of the stem into a different jar of colored water; this will result in a multi-colored flower! Over the next few days, the flowers will continue to grow more saturated with the color they have been placed in. 

3. Walking Water

This next experiment is similar to the previous experiment, but also very different and just as fun! To begin, you will need six short plastic cups such as these. Place the cups in a loose circle, and fill every other cup halfway with water so that there is one empty cup between each filled one. Take blue food coloring and mix it into one of the cups of water, then repeat this with yellow and red in their own cups. Next, take six squares of paper towels, making sure they are not too thick. Fold each square to form a strip, then place each end into adjacent cups; one end should be in a cup of water while the other should be in an empty cup. Do this until there is a paper towel connecting every cup. Slowly, the paper towels will soak up the colored water, and over time, the water in the cups will transfer into the empty cups via the paper towels, and the colors will begin to mix, forming a rainbow! This experiment takes some time to complete, so if your child is eager to learn more in the meantime, check out more of our experiments below!

4. Color Changing Milk

This is the color-changing milk experiment, and it is super simple and easy and the reaction is instant! To begin, get a plate and pour in enough milk so that the bottom of the dish is covered. Then, put in one drop of each color of food coloring, making sure that they are all near the center. Then take a Q-Tip and dip it into any liquid dish soap. Once the end is coated in soap, place that end to the center of the plate of milk, and watch as the colors all begin to mix and move on their own! This is a great example of chemistry, but why do the colors move because of the soap? That is because the fat molecules found in milk do not dissolve in water—we call this “non-polar.” The non-polar molecules in the soap break off and begin collecting the nonpolar milk fat molecules. As this is happening, the polar—water dissolving—molecules of the soap do the same thing to the polar molecules of water, causing the nonpolar molecules to move with the polar molecules and making the colors all move and mix as the milk and soap react to one another.  

5. Elephant Toothpaste

Elephant toothpaste is a super unique experiment kids are sure to have fun with. Start with a large container such as a 2-liter bottle of soda—make sure it is clean and dry! This next part is best with adult supervision or help. Pour in half a cup of hydrogen peroxide, followed by one tablespoon of liquid dish soap, then swirl it around so they are somewhat mixed together. Afterward, have your child add in about ten drops of food coloring, but do not mix. In a separate cup, mix together 3 tablespoons of warm water and one tablespoon of dry yeast for about 30 seconds. Then pour the yeast mixture into the peroxide and soap solution. Watch as the mixtures react to one another, and a colorful foam begins to form and spout out the top of the bottle, looking like a giant tube of toothpaste fit for an elephant! This is another great and easy experiment to get your kids interested in chemistry! The foam occurs because the yeast reacts to the oxygen molecules in the peroxide, and as it removes those molecules very quickly it creates lots of bubbles!

6. Erupting Volcano 

If your child enjoyed the elephant toothpaste experiment, they will surely love the erupting volcano experiment as well! This experiment is a classic, and can be done easily at home! To begin, you will need a container such as another empty 2-liter bottle of soda. If you child wants to go the extra mile, here is a video on how to create a paper mâché volcano to be used for this experiment using a plastic bottle, or you can use one of these amazing volcano kits. Pour into the bottle 400 ml of vinegar, 100 ml of cold water and 10 ml of liquid dish soap. Add in yellow, red or orange food coloring if you want the result to look more like lava, then mix it all together! In another cup, add in half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of water and mix together. Now pour this mixture into the volcano and quickly step away! Your child may also want to wear science goggles for added safety with this step. The two mixtures will react immediately, and in seconds you’ll have foamy lava erupting from your volcano. This eruption occurs because the vinegar and baking soda react to one another, creating carbon dioxide, which causes all the bubbles to form. 

7. Rainbow in a Jar

Our last experiment is the most colorful yet! This rainbow in a jar is an excellent way to teach kids about densities, especially of liquids. To begin, you will need a tall, clear jar. In a separate cup, pour in a quarter cup of honey and mix in enough drops of red food coloring until the honey appears red. Pour it into your tall jar. Next, you will need orange dish soap; since this is already the next color we need for our rainbow, we do not need to add food coloring, but you can add some if you want the color to really pop! Pour a quarter cup of the soap on top of the honey, but do this cautiously so the colors do not mix! For best results, tip the jar slightly, and pour the soap in carefully, taking your time. Next, take a quarter cup of water and mix in several drops of yellow food dye. Once mixed, pour the water into the jar on top of the dish soap, being just as careful. Next, take a quarter cup of olive oil, and add in a few drops of green food coloring. Stir together, then slowly add to the jar on top of the water. Now, for our last layer, take a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol and mix in blue food coloring. Once mixed, add on top of the oil layer. If done successfully, the layers should form a rainbow in the jar! Each layer is less dense than the last, causing the liquids to sit on top of each other without mixing. Experiment with the densities by dropping items into the jar to see if they will float, such as Ping-Pong balls, beads, popcorn kernels, and coins. 

 

We hope these activities have helped your curly girl embrace her science side, and encourage her to try new things. Girl empowerment is what we stand for! And be sure to check out the second book in the Curlee Girlee series, Curlee Girlee’s Got Talent, coming soon in Fall 2019.  Curlee Girlee finds her talent, and without intending to or even realizing it, becomes a role model for girls in STEM!

 

Atara Twersky, Author of Curlee Girlee is a TODAY Show Style Icon. Her mission is to teach girls to embrace the beautiful curls they have with power and confidence. Join us as together we change the “coarse” of curly hair. Don’t forget to check out our recent article on What to Do or Say if Your Daughter is Showing Signs of Hating Her Curly Hair.

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