Studies have shown that what children learn at home has a greater impact on their intellectual abilities and stays with them for longer than what they learn at school and other educational institutions. Even though children are unable to go to school due to the pandemic, there intellectual growth and learning shouldn’t stop.
Focusing on STEM subjects is important as it encompasses a broad range of skills, from numerical reasoning and problem solving to fine motor skills and cognitive engagement. Hands-on experiences such as science experiments allow children to learn through trial and error. Science experiments are also a great way to bridge the gap between their and practical application.
Check out some fun experiments to familiarize children with the basic scientific concepts and engage their prefrontal cortex:
The Ever-Popular Lava Lamp
The lava lamp is one of the most fun and popular science experiments among kids. The experiment can be attempted using everyday household items and only needs:
- A bottle
- Some water
- Vegetable or mineral oil (baby oil is also a popular choice due to its transparent color)
- Fizzing tablets such as Alka Seltzer
- Food coloring to add some fun
To begin the experiment, fill the bottle a quarter of the way with fresh water. Add oil to fill up the bottle until it’s almost full. You’ll notice that the oil floats on top of the water, which explains the concept of density of various liquids. Pour in a few drops of food coloring which will float past the oil and into the water. Once you add the fizzing tablets, they will also float down to the water and release air bubbles. The air bubbles combined with the colored water will float to the top. Once the air is released, and the water becomes heavier than the oil, it will go back down, creating the lava lamp effect.
Coke and Mentos Volcano
This one’s a bit messy, so you might want to move the science lab outdoors. The coke and Mentos volcano is a fun and simple experiment and teaches a couple of important scientific principles. All you need is a coke bottle that you can place on an even surface, add a couple of Mentos, and get out of the way. The reaction is called nucleation, whereby the gelatin and Gum Arabic of the Mentos breaks down and causes the formation of excess carbon dioxide. All that fizz looking for a way to escape pushes out of the bottle, and the pressure causes it to explode.
Yeast Air Balloon
The yeast air balloon experiment requires four things:
- a packet of yeast
- a bottle
- some warm water
- a small balloon.
Fill the bottle with some warm water (a couple of inches will do) and add the yeast. Cover the top of the bottle with a balloon and use a rubber band to secure the balloon in place. Once the yeast dissolves in the water, it releases carbon dioxide, which starts filling up the balloon. To make the process more fun and add another scientific concept, you can add some sugar to the water and yeast mixture. The sugar gives the yeast an energy kick (ever heard of the sugar buzz?) and speeds up the process allowing for the release of more CO2 in the balloon.
Enrichment Programs for Children From COMPUCHILD
At COMPUCHILD, we offer several STEM-based programs, after school program franchise for a holistic learning experience for children in the United States and Canada. You can browse through the locations to find COMPUCHILD programs and classes near you.
You can also become a COMPUCHILD Business franchise under 20k and provide quality STEM education for children through enrichment classes and after-school programs.
Get in touch with us today to learn more!