Night of the Scientist

Robbie watched Bill Nye's Do It Yourself Science on youtube the other evening and got inspired to investigate.  These are not all of the experiments he conducted, but they are the ones I where I managed to snap a photo.


Air pressure kept it dry
While waiting for another experiment, RockerDad placed a crumpled paper towel into the bottom of a glass.  He then had Robbie guess what would happen if he pushed the upside down glass straight into the water.  When he pulled the glass out, the paper towel was dry.  Robbie learned that the air in the cup didn't allow the water to enter.

Air pressure is stronger than you think

This is one that Robbie chose from the video.  He was very excited about it.  He ran hot water into the plastic bottle and let it sit for a few minutes, then poured it out.  He capped it immediately.  He then placed it into a bowl of ice water.  As the water vapor inside the bottle cooled, it turned to water and took up less space in the bottle.  The air pressure outside of the bottle crushed it.  He loved this one.


Frozen cooking oil vs. frozen water

This was an investigation of Robbie's own making.  He wondered if cooking oil could be frozen, and how it would be different from frozen water.  We filled one cup of an ice cube tray with water and one with vegetable oil.  The next morning, both were frozen.  He noted that the frozen oil was slicker, softer and melted faster than the frozen water.

Oil and water

Robbie first guess with this one was that the water would float on the oil, since the oil "felt denser" than the water.  He was surprised when the opposite happened.  We also discussed why the food coloring only stays with the water.

He has plans for more experiments, and I hope that this recent spark of scientific curiosity flares into an inferno (not literally... not even for the sake of science).  Our study of life science this year has been educational, but it's lacking the hands-on and investigative aspect that all science should incorporate.  I may be making a change in our science in the near future.

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