Dirty Laundry Lessons

Science at Home:  Dirty Laundry Lessons, Part 1

It shouldn’t have come as a shock to my family that I went to college and majored in a scientific field.  After all, I showed an early proclivity for experimentation, long before the days of chemistry class or science fair projects.  At the ripe age of 9, I conducted an “experiment” to see what types of materials burn faster.  (NOTE:  Do NOT try this at home, or at least not without extreme adult supervision!!)  All went well until I tested a Kleenex…which I promptly had to drop into the metal trash can…filled with Kleenex…well, you get the picture.  A few seconds later and after a mad fire stomp by several members of my family (Metal trash cans get hot when engulfed in flame and cannot be carried out of the house; that was my mom’s take home lesson), my first science lab was finished.  As was the carpet.  Not a stellar start to my science career, but it didn’t slow me down.  Much.

However, I would like to suggest some fun and SAFER “science-y” things to do at home.  These ideas can be used as a simple introduction to the scientific method, or you can take it further and use it as a starting board for a full-blown science project.  First off, we’ll start in the laundry room, since I seem to spend a large portion of my life there!

1)  What are the effects of hard/soft water on detergents?  Or, what are the effects of certain salts on detergents?  To do this experiment, create a universal stain on several cloth strips(all made of same material).  Be sure to leave some material unstained as a point of comparison.  To create a consistent stain, consider soaking in something like grape juice or coffee.  Stain all the material at the same time for the same amount of time.  Start with ½ liter of purified water in several 2 Liter bottles (this will be your washing machine).  Leave one “machine” as purified water only.  This is your control.  To each of the other two liters, add salts.  You can try different salts (Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium), OR try using different amounts of the same salt in different two liters.  Add a cloth strip and the same amount of detergent to each “machine.”  I recommend using only a teaspoon of detergent.  Count the number of shakes (do whatever your arms can handle; but do your best to shake each two liter the same amount of time/number of shakes).

Oh, my mind races with the possibilities with this one:  comparing detergents, amounts of salts, lather, time, etc.  However, try to keep it simple.  Only test one thing at a time.

Well, tune in next time for more laundry lab.  Who knows, if nothing else, you might get Suzie or Johnny interested in science and the upcoming science fair.  Or, at the very least, maybe they’ll do the laundry for you next time!

Yours in Science,
Cecilia
PS:  Want more details on a quick, easy science project….

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Science Projects for Sixth Graders

Finding the right science project for 6th graders can be a bit difficult. It has to be something they can understand and do mostly for themselves, but also be able to hold their interest, and teach them something. You can help find the perfect 6th grade science project for your student by using some of the resources you have readily at your disposal, including your child’s science teacher, the library, and even resources on the internet. 

Consult with your child’s science teacher when trying to find a good science project idea, especially at the 6th grade level. This way, you’ll be sure to know what the class is currently studying to keep the project relevant but not redundant, and clarify any requirements or deadlines that some 6th graders might not quite know how to manage yet.

Science project books, easily found at the public library, are reliable and easy to use resources for finding and executing a science project. Trying the library is a great way to teach your child to search for books by subject matter, in this case looking for science projects or the subject matter that interests them, and to ask for help from the librarian if you need it. 

Also, the internet is a great place to find huge amounts of 6th grade science project ideas, but you have to know where to look to save yourself time. While you can begin with a general search for science project ideas, it might be a good idea to search more specifically for websites like http://www.akronlibrary.org/DBS/SFDB/Default.aspx that are searchable by subject matter or grade level, so that you aren’t finding projects that are too easy or difficult for your student. Another great tool is the free project guides found at http://www.middle-school-science-projects.com/guide.pdf .

Visit 24 Hour Science Project

today and get your science experiment!

Sixth Grade Science Projects on the Internet

One of the greatest tools at your disposal when trying to find a great 6th grade science project is definitely the internet. No matter what your student’s interests, you are sure to be able to help them find an educational and fun science project idea  that will satisfy their school science project requirements. The trick is just knowing where to look. 

 You can always start with a more general search for a project in your child’s area of interest. For example, “6th grade science projects, marine biology” or “6th grade science projects, earth sciences.” This route might yield some useful results, but you may be at risk of becoming overwhelmed with too many results, or too many projects that don’t suit your child’s curriculum or interests. 

 If you are having difficulty narrowing down your results, or if you’d like to browse several subject areas at once, you can try searching for websites that contain large inventories of science project ideas. Very often these databases, like the ones found at http://www.akronlibrary.org/DBS/SFDB/Default.aspx or http://www.youth.net/nsrc/sci/sci.index.html, are capable of being searched by grade level or subject, and have reliable science projects that are age appropriate for your student. This might be a better strategy than finding a project idea on an independently run website that might not be trustworthy. You can also find a free online 6th grade science project guide at http://www.middle-school-science-projects.com/guide.pdf

Check out 24 Hour Science Projects

and get your child’s science experiments now!

Science Projects for Eighth Graders

One of the best strategies for finding the right science project for your eighth grader would be to consult with their science teacher, especially if the science project was assigned through school. By asking for some ideas from the teacher, you’ll be able to clarify all of the project guidelines and requirements, and be able to find a project that is relevant to your student’s course work. 

Another great place to find good eighth grade science projects would be your local library. At the library you’ll find lots of science project books with helpful project ideas and explanations, all of which are from a reliable source. Additionally, if you need any help finding something suitable for your eighth grader, at a library you can always ask for the help of a librarian to point you in the right direction. 

Finally, the internet is a great way to find eighth grade science projects, but with so much information out there, you have to know where to start. You can do a general search, but it might be wise to be more specific, looking for “8th grade science projects, earth sciences” or “8th grade science projects, physics,” depending on what your student is interested in. You can also find great online guides, often for free, that are loaded with science projects, directions on what materials you’ll need and how to complete them. To get started finding a science project idea, you can try the free project guides at  http://www.middle-school-science-projects.com/guide.pdf

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24 Hour Science Project!

Middle School Science Projects – They’re Here!

Need middle school science projects? A whole new set of science project has just been developed – with science fair topics that are perfect for middle school! In fact, the projects are called just that: Middle School Science Projects. There are five fabulous topics:
science fair topics for middle school
1. How does hair change as a result of different hair care products?. Girls are especially interested in doing a science project about hair. In this project, we treat hair, then test its strength.

2. How does the type of soil affect water flow? This experiment involves doing a soil analysis – which is fascinating – and then seeing how water flows – or drips – through.

3. What makes yeast grow best? This yeast project finds out what that little fungus likes to eat best. Balloons are involved – and gas.

4. What’s the best model for a solar heater? You can scavenge through the trash to find the elements to build this solar heater that really works!

2. Does the amount of Vitamin C in Orange juice change over time? This is a slightly more advanced version of the popular Vitamin ‘C’itrus’ project.

Check all these projects out today at the Middle School Science Projects site!

Kayla Fay

PS You don’t have to wait for the new package. Get a free science project guide here.