Monday, March 12, 2018

Saint Patrick's Day Science Activities

Saint Patrick's Day is coming.  Rainbows, Leprechaun Traps, green food, and more.  Holidays are a great way to integrate science into your teaching.  Hands-on fun and learning at the same time.  Crafts are great, but when you can integrate it with the magic of science it is much more memorable.  Here are few of my favorite Saint Patrick's Day science activities.

Rainbow Milk 

Whole Milk     Dish Soap     7 inch dessert plates     Eye dropper or pipette
Liquid Food Coloring:  Blue, Yellow, Red, Green     Measuring cup  
1. Pour 80ml of whole milk into the plate.
2. Place one drop of each color of food coloring near the center of the plate.  Try not to let the colors touch.
3. Using the eye dropper carefully place one drop of soap into the center of the colors.  You can also dip a cotton swab in soap and hold it in the center of the plate.
4. Observe the colors swirling.
6. Try again and make some changes.  What will other types of milk do?  Does the type or amount of soap make a difference? 

Leprechaun Trap
This is a fun STEM activity.  I have done it at home with my kids for years.  The idea is simple.  The Leprechaun is coming the house or classroom.  To get him to come we leave out shiny items, because Leprechauns love shiny things.  Coins, dollar store coins, and anything silver or gold works great.  

The kids than create a trap.  These can be made a variety of ways.  The trap needs to fall or catch them when they go in to get the shiny items.  Here are some examples.  The Leprechaun falls into a trap, but can't get out.  Kind of like the Pitcher Plant.  The standard box with a stick.  The leprechaun walks under a box trips the stick and it falls over him.  A sticky floor he gets stuck too.  That one seems a little cruel.   Check out my Pinterest board for ideas.  I remind the kids are goal is to catch him so we can see him and become friends.  We don't want to hurt the leprechaun.  

 Color Separation
This activity is a favorite of mine.  Simple supplies.  You could even take the colorful filter paper and use it to decorate the Leprechaun traps.
Coffee filters     Wet erase markers     Water based markers     Shallow plate     Water
1.  Choose one of the markers.  Draw a circle around the outside of a coffee filter. Leave about an inch of space from the edge. Be careful it may bleed through onto the table.
2.  Fold the coffee filter into a tee-pee.
3.  Pour a little water in the dish.
4.  Place the bottom of the coffee filter into the water.  Make sure it can stand up on its' own.  You also want to make sure the water does not touch the marker.  You want the water to travel up to it.
5.  Observe the water traveling up to the marker.  You should see the colors start to separate.
6.  Try other kinds of markers.  Some will separate and some will not.  The wet ease markers work best.  They separate into a rainbow of colors.
7.  Let the coffee filters dry and then use for crafts.

Check out this great experiment for teaching about Rainbow Milk.  It follows the scientific method.  great for science fairs too.

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