Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weather Experiments

It is always fun to add experiments to your homeschool science lessons. First graders learn best when they can see and do, so go ahead and have fun with the following two science experiments.

Egg in a Bottle

· glass bottle with a long, narrow neck (an apple cider jug works well)
· boiled egg
· matches (adult supervision required)

Put the empty bottle on a table. Peel the boiled egg. Light a match and drop it into the bottle. Repeat about three or four times. Quickly put the egg over the mouth of the bottle.

The lit match heats the air inside the bottle. When air is heated, it expands and takes up more room. As the heated air expands, some of it escapes out of the bottle. When the matches go out, the air inside the bottle cools and contracts, which takes up less room. This creates a lower pressure inside the bottle than outside the bottle. The greater pressure outside the bottle forces the egg to get sucked into the bottle.

*To get the egg back out of the bottle, tilt the bottle and blow air into it. Make sure you get out of the way, because the egg will shoot out.

Blowing in the Wind

· a few plastic lids
· petroleum jelly
· magnifying glass
· paper punch
· yarn
· windy day

Punch a hole at one end of each lid. Thread each hole with a length of yarn and knot the ends of the yarn together to form a loop for hanging. Spread petroleum jelly over one side of each lid. Take the lids outdoors on a windy day and hang them in various areas.

Leave them outside for about an hour or two to collect what may be blowing in the wind (we have left ours outside for a few days). Retrieve the lids and see what they have collected.

Some of the items that may have been collected include insects, dirt, seeds, and leaves. Use the magnifying glass for further observation.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Windsocks are a great way to learn about the wind. Add a bit of fun to science today by making your very own windsock.

· sleeve of a large, old long-sleeved shirt
· needle and thread (adult supervision required)
· string
· wire (adult supervision required)
· small rock
· scissors (adult supervision required)

Cut one sleeve off an old long-sleeved shirt. Bend the wire into a circle. Make sure it is the same size as the top of the sleeve. Place the wire into the top end of the sleeve. Take the needle and thread, and stitch it so the wire will stay in place. You have just now made the mouth of the windsock.

Now, place the rock in some cloth on one edge of the wire. Sew it on tight to hold it in place. Tie the string onto the wire opposite the rock. Tie the other end of the string to a branch where it can move freely. The rock will keep the windsock facing into the wind.

Now that your windsock is working, grab a compass to find the direction of the wind.