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activities STEM

Science Camp in Your Own Backyard!

Welcome to Science Camp! Here are some great science experiments you can do in your backyard this summer!

 

Let’s think about biology. Today we will do an activity experimenting with plants, which will answer the question:

 

How do water and minerals get from the ground up into the leaves of a plant, flower or tree?

We don’t water a tree by spraying the water into its branches, so we want to understand how water from the ground makes its way up a plant.

flowers

Here’s what you will need:
4 glasses of water
4 food coloring dyes in red, blue, green and yellow
3 white carnations
A pair of scissors

STEP 1: Put 2 drops of each food coloring in separate glasses of water. You should have a glass of red water, blue water, green water and yellow water.

STEP 2: Take the three carnations and clip the bottom of the stems with your scissors. The third carnation should be snipped up the center of the stem, keeping it all in one piece.

STEP 3: Place one of the white carnations in in the glass of red water. Place the second in the blue glass of water. Put the glasses of green and yellow water next to each other. Take the carnation which has the stem snipped in half and put one of the halves in the green water and the other half in the yellow water.

STEP 4: Take them out of the light and let them sit overnight.

Conclusion: In the morning you will notice that the white carnations have turned the color of the water in each glass. Scientifically, this is known as “capillary action.” This is the scientific process of how water and minerals are brought up from the ground despite gravity to the leaves and petals of plants, flowers and trees.

* The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments by Tom Robinson

 

A second exciting science camp experiment answers the funny question:

 

Can a banana blow up a balloon?

Anyone who has seen a banana ripen, then turn brown, has witnessed the fruit dying and decomposing. While this is happening, bacteria (which are so small, you can’t even see them) flock to the dying fruit to eat it. When they eat, they give off a small amount of gas which is still large enough to inflate a balloon. Let’s now do an experiment to prove this is true!

Here’s what you will need:old bananas
A very ripe banana
A bowl
A small mouth empty bottle in either glass or plastic
A balloon

Step 1: Put the very ripe banana in the bowl, and smash it up to get rid of any lumps.

Step 2: Little by little put the mashed banana into the bottle using a spoon.

Step 3: Put the balloon over the top of the bottle.

Step 4: Place it in a warm, sunny spot.

Step 5: Wait several days, each day checking the progress of the inflating balloon as the banana keeps decaying.

Conclusion: And voila! You have just proven the theory that a banana can blow up a balloon!

For more fun science experiments check out the makerspace at https://www.happycamperlive.com.

 

Our third experiment will answer the question:

 

Can you peel a raw egg?

We know we can peel hardboiled eggs, but that left us wondering if you are able to peel an egg that has not been hardboiled.

Here’s what you will need:eggs
One raw egg
A bottle of vinegar
A glass

Step 1: Place the egg in the glass.

Step 2: Pour vinegar into glass until it covers the egg.

Step 3: Let it sit for a few days.

Step 4: You should return to see that the acid from the vinegar has eaten away the eggshell and the raw egg is being held together by a membrane.

Voila! You’ve just peeled a raw egg!

Conclusion: Eggshells are made from calcium carbonate which reacted to the acid in the vinegar. You may have even noticed some bubbly gases when the eggshell was being dissolved. That is because the shell turned into calcium acetate and carbon dioxide (which gave off the bubbly gas while breaking down).

 

We hope you had fun with these science projects at Happy Camper Live. Maybe some of you are now budding scientists?