This year we decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day in an unusual way…with science!! This program was designed for children between Kindergarten and 3rd Grade.
-Welcome and Introduction
-Group Science Experiment
- Conversation Heart Activity
- Explore the different reactions that conversation candy hearts would have in different substances.
- Materials: conversation hearts, bowl with hot water, bowl with cold water, bowl with salt water, bowl with vinegar, bowl with honey, bowl with bleach, hypothesis/result sheets.
- Process: Make predictions about how candy hearts will react to each substance.
Place candy heart in substances (hot water, cold water, salt water, vinegar, honey, and bleach) and record initial reaction.
Check every ten minutes to see changes.
Make final observations then compare to initial predictions.
- More details about the experiment at Coffee Cups and Crayons
- Roll to Fill
- Explore estimating, counting, and probability while filling up heart-shaped cookie cutters!
- Materials: cookie cutters (heart-shaped and circles), pom poms, large dice, result sheets.
- Process: Pick a cookie cutter.
Estimate how many pom poms it will take to fill the shape.
Roll the dice, then place that many pom poms in your shape.
Record what number you rolled on the dice.
Repeat until the shape is filled.
- More details about the experiment at Modern Preschool.
- Heart Rate Investigation
- Explore how our heart rate responds to varying levels of activity
- Materials: stopwatch, result sheets.
- Process: Record your resting heart rate.
Do jumping jacks for 1 minute.
Record your heart rate.
Rest for 1 minute.
Record your heart rate.
- Marshmallow and Toothpick Structures
- Create 2-D or 3-D structures using just marshmallows and toothpicks.
- Materials: marshmallows (mini-sized), toothpicks.
- More details about the experiment at Buggy and Buddy.
- Secret Messages
- Use chemistry to make secret messages with baking soda.
- Materials: white paper, baking soda, water, paint brush, small spray bottle with lemon juice.
- Process: Mix the baking soda and water together to create the “paint”.
Paint your message on the white paper.
Allow to dry.
Once dry, brush off any excess baking soda.
Spray the lemon juice onto the paper to reveal the message.
- More details about the experiment at Inspiration Laboratories
- Fizzing Hearts
- See how vinegar reacts to baking soda!
- Materials: paper, white glue, baking soda, vinegar, red food coloring, fine motor dropper.
- Process: I prepped the paper so that there were two hearts made from white glue with baking soda sprinkled over the glue.
Mix vinegar with red food dye.
Children can use the fine motor droppers to apply vinegar to baking soda hearts.
- More details about the experiment at Powerful Mothering.
-Wrap Up Discussion and Goodbyes
I was really happy with the outcome of this program! I had a large group because an entire girl scout troop attended. I was expecting it to be mass chaos, but it was actually very quiet…hopefully because everyone was so focused and not because they thought it was boring!
During the group activity, they made some great predictions. Throughout the program, some of the children (maybe three or four) wandered up to the table to see how the candy hearts were reacting.
Of the individual experiments, the marshmallow/toothpick structures and secret messages were the most popular. The heart rate investigation was the least popular, but I believe that was because most of the students had done something similar to this recently.
During the wrap up discussion, we pulled the candy hearts out of the substances and talked about the changes that had happened to them. They were really excited to see this, and I was happy that some of the candy hearts looked quite different.