Monday, April 14, 2014

Prairie Primer: Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Prairie Primer, by Margie Gray, is taking us through Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder; and this time it is all about science.  

During the first week, we did an easy experiment that Almanzo Wilder did as a boy.  He took two same size cups and filled one with popcorn and the other with milk.  Then he put all of the popcorn into the cup of milk and watched the popcorn soak up all of the milk without displacing any of the liquid.  This is because the popcorn is light and filled with air, and the liquid takes up the space in the popcorn, pushing the air out.  

Two cups, same size, filled to top: one with milk, one with popcorn.

 Slowly fill the cup of milk with kernels of popcorn.

All of the popcorn fits nicely into the cup of milk.

Another experiment we did involved learning about solids, liquids, and gases.  We discussed the three states of matter first.  Then we took an ice cube and placed it in a zip lock bag.  That was the solid.

Next, we put the bag with ice in the sun and waited for it to melt.  That was the liquid.

And finally, we added extra doses of powdered antacid to the water and zipped up the bag quickly, allowing a gas to form.  

You can see the gas expanding inside the bag.  My kids held their ears because they expected it to pop; but it did not.  It is good to keep the bag inside a container just in case.

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