Water, mud and science from the Kitchen Pantry Scientist

10:26 AM, Jul 26, 2011   |    comments
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The Kitchen Pantry Scientist on the science of sun and water

If your kids are getting bored, send them outside.  While they're getting some fun and sun, be sure to include some science.

Liz Heinecke, The Kitchen Pantry Scientist, asks kids to imagine themselves stranded on an island with no water.  She has a way they can purify water using the sun, a couple of containers, and plastic wrap.  (Yes, the plastic wrap might be a little hard to come by on an island.)

Fill a bowl with water, and add food coloring, or salt, or vinegar.  Put a smaller container with the lip higher than the liquid in the center of the bigger bowl.  Put a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl, and a marble in the center to weigh down the center of the plastic.  It creates a slope so the water can collect and drip directly into the smaller bowl.  That happens when water condenses on the plastic in the heat of the sun.

After a few hours, you will collect enough water in the smaller bowl to sample.  Your purified sample should be free of the salt, vinegar or food coloring you put in the larger bowl.

Heinecke offers up another experiment for people who have access to a pond, and some time.

For immediate gratification, Heinecke suggests kids can have hours of fun with pond water and a magnifying glass.  You should be able to find many small organisms swimming in the water.

For those willing to take some time, a longer experiment involves growing organisms that live in the mud of pond water.  These organisms are attracted to magnets, so you'll need one of those, too.

Be patient.  It takes about a month for enough organisms to grow to complete the experiment.

Watch the video for instructions, and you can also learn more at The Kitchen Pantry Scientist.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All rights reservded.)

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