Over the years something we have always encouraged with the children is stem activities. been something that all of the children have enjoyed doing. It helps having a granddad who is a science teacher as he has always found fun stem activities to help entertain the grandchild with.
Science Mad offer a range of real experiement kits that you can do at home. They are based on proper chemistry, physics and biology, and will help you enjoy, understand and explore the world of science. Each set will help you develop your scientific knowledge and get to grips with undertaking your own experiments. Science Mad also have a range of scientific equipment from telescopes to Metal detector which will also help you get hands on and explore.
We were kindly sent the Science Mad Crystal Growing Lab to try out. E was the first to get stuck in and give it a go and over the last few weeks has started growing her own crystals. Each Science Mad kit contains everything you need from the apparatus to the chemicals.
Each kit comes with a handy experiment booklet full of experiments you can conduct with your kit. E decided she wanted to try the moulded crystals as her first experiment so followed activity 8 from the booklet.
There is a range of experiments in the booklet from easy all the way up to more complex. I did try to get E to start with the basic and build on it but she was adement she want’d to do the shaped crystals first. So I read through the instructions with her before she got started to make sure she knew what she needed to do and then assured her I would simply supervise as she was very keen to give it ago on her own and as she is 10 and the age on the kit is 10+ I felt she would be capable.
While E was getting everything together she needed I took the opportunity to look through the experiment booklet. I like the fact there is space to record what you see in the experiment at various points in the booklet. There is also space in the back of the booklet to make notes.
E spent a good fourty minutes following the instructions and mixing the crystal solution together. We decided to put the shaped dishes inside a foil container incase they were knocked accidently during the evaopartion process. There was some crystal solution left so E decided that rather than pour it away she would leave it in the mixing bowl and see if any crystals formed.
E was supposed to leave the crystal solution stand for four to five days so it could evaporate. She kept a close eye on them daily so she could see the changes. After five days she could see that all the liquid had evaporated so she tried to remove the crystals from the shaped containers. Unfortunetly the ones in the shaped containers had evaporated too much and the crystals did not keep their shape when removed. E was disappointed but was glad she had lef the remaining mixture in the bigger mixing pot. When she removed it she was thrilled to see the formed crystals and proudly put it on the display stand.
After E had finished clearing everything away, we sat down together to talk about her experience. E told me she really enjoyed the experiment and although it was disappointing that the smaller shaped crystals had not worked this time, she wanted to try again. I explained to her that sometimes experiments don’t work as you had hoped but this is part of the process. You simply try again and make adjustments, for example maybe she needed to remove them sooner from the container or maybe they needed topping up with solution after a day or two. It could simply be that where they were left to evaporate was too warm or cold. But that’s the joy of science, it’s trail and error. E is now trying to decide which crystal growing experiment to do next. She wants to leave it until half term to do so she will be able to keep a closer eye on things. I’m pleased she is keen to try again and I am looking forward to seeing what experiment she trys next.
The Science Mad Crystal Growing Lab retails at £29.99 and is available now from Smyths Toys along with other items from The Science Mad collection including The Science Mad Chemisty Lab and Science Mad Planetarium Star Globe are availble from Smyths Toys here
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