Posts Tagged ‘elementary’

#6 Atomic Cookies

Monday, September 8th, 2014

atomic-cookiesThis post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

Let’s bake some atomic cookies to learn about the parts of an atom! We are using Christian Kids Explore Chemistry by Bright Ideas Press. The book recommends making the cookies 4 inches across so that the electrons fit on your cookie. You can bake the M&M’s into the cookie, or you can do what we did, which is to frost the cookie and then decorate it with the M&M’s to represent the protons, neutrons, and electrons.

baking-with-childrenBegin by mixing together your favorite cookie dough recipe. You can buy pre-made sugar cookie dough if you want to skip this step. Then place wax paper on the counter, and plop the cookie dough down onto the wax paper. Place another piece of wax paper on top.

Grab the rolling pin and roll out the cookie dough until it is flat. Now remove the wax paper. My daughter shows you how to do this in the video at the bottom of this blog post.

cookie-doughUse a lid or small bowl as a cookie cutter. Make sure the diameter is at least 4 inches, but also keep in mind that the cookies expand a little bit in the oven. Bake the cookies and let them cool.

sorting-m&msWhile you are waiting for the cookies to cool, sort the M&M’s into three bowls:

  • red for protons
  • blue for neutrons
  • brown for electrons

Go ahead and eat the other colors, since you won’t need them anyway.

Now frost the atomic cookies with white icing, smoothing it down with a table knife.

frosting-cookiesIt’s time to decorate the atomic cookies. For the carbon atom, you will want 6 protons, 6 neutrons, and 6 electrons. Place the red protons and blue neutrons in the center of the atomic cookie. Grab some black icing gel and draw 2 rings around the nucleus. These are electron shells. Place 2 brown electrons on the inner shell, and 4 brown electrons on the outer shell. Your atomic cookie is now complete.

atomic-cookieTake a look at how we made these atomic cookies:

#1 Chemistry Tools

Monday, August 4th, 2014

chemistry-toolsThis post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

Today we are starting a new series of blog posts about Elementary Chemistry using Christian Kids Explore Chemistry by Bright Ideas Press. Each of the chapters has a fun hands-on activity as well as a simple explanation of chemistry concepts. Don’t panic if you flunked out of chemistry in high school. This book will help you to understand chemistry concepts if you’ve never understood them before.

In the first chapter we examined the ingredients of common household items to see that chemicals are everywhere! We eat chemicals all the time. Sucrose, for example, is sugar. You will find sucrose in many cereals and desserts.

We were astonished to discover that my hair spray listed alcohol before water in its ingredients list! This means that the hair spray contains more alcohol than water, since the ingredients are listed in order, with the first ingredient being the most abundant.

introduction-to-chemistry-toolsBecause I am teaching high school chemistry to my older two sons, I ordered all this cool chemistry equipment. I describe each of the chemistry tools in the video at the bottom of this blog post, explaining what each tool is used for. You do not need any of these tools for the elementary chemistry, as long as you have a glass measuring cup with measurements on the side. Most people already have this in their kitchens.

Let’s use a couple of these chemistry tools to learn how to measure liquids. We are using a graduated cylinder and a beaker for this simple activity from the book. All you do is pour the liquid back and forth three times.

chemistry-tools-elementaryLook at the markings on the side of the beaker to measure how much liquid is in the beaker. Now look at the markings on the side of the graduated cylinder. If you are doing this experiment at home, use smaller amounts of liquid so your kids don’t have to interpolate (or make an educated guess) about how much liquid is in the graduated cylinder. The orange juice went above the highest measurement, but this might happen in real life as well. My kids guessed that it was the same amount of liquid.

chemistry-tools-2If you pour a liquid back and forth too many times, you might get smaller readings for your liquid. Why? Because some of the liquid has stayed in the container, along the sides and bottom of the container. We noticed a slight change, but it wasn’t a big enough change to matter much.

Take a look at our chemistry tools and our simple measuring experiment: