Science/Math

Science Fun: Water Balloon in a Bottle

It’s still warm — ok, hot — in our part of Southern California, so this experiment from Steve Spangler Science was a fun way to cool off. We used it to discuss how air is “stuff” even though we can’t see it.

Air takes up space in a one-liter bottle, which you find out when you try to blow up the balloon inside the bottle. You can’t do it because the air already in the bottle has nowhere to go. When you poke a hole in the bottle, the air filling the bottle can escape as you blow air into the balloon. Really, the water balloon part is just for fun.

The boys enjoyed the final part of this experiment the most. The Steve Spangler team shows you how to splash your friend as he or she looks at your water balloon in the bottle. The boys got to splash Daddy, which they found hilarious. File this one away for April Fool’s Day.

The experiment requires only a few household items:

  • One liter bottle
  • Duct tape
  • Balloon
  • Tack or pushpin
  • Water

You can watch the how-to video…..here.

Homeschool, Science/Math, Travel

Earthwatch: Hands-on Learning in the Field

Stock photo. Unfortunately, I can’t get hubby’s pics off his phone.

Long story short: my husband recently returned from an archaeological dig in Tuscany where he discovered pottery and human remains at an Etruscan necropolis. While the thought of being married to Indiana Jones is appealing, hubby isn’t a whip-wielding academic. But through Earthwatch.org, he plays one on vacation.

Earthwatch.org pairs scientists from a number of disciplines with volunteer vacationers, who conduct science in the field. Study elephant behavior in Thailand. Protect sharks in Belize. Journey to China to help giant pandas. Oh, and here’s one of my favorites…study vineyard ecology and biodiversity in Bordeaux.

Even better, Earthwatch has special expeditions designed for families and teens. For family expeditions, children must be at least 10 years old and accompanied by adult family members. But children can work side-by-side with archaeologists to explore Roman England or with marine biologists to track marine mammals off the coast of California, for example. Yes, I am already counting how many years until we can do something like this for our family vacation.

Check out Earthwatch’s 40th anniversary video here to learn more about this fantastic organization.

Have you ever engaged travel experiences with your kids focused on hands-on learning? I’d love to hear about them!