You can have a second chance to experience the thrill of discovery with your grandchildren. Using simple household items, you can explore science with a fresh perspective and share your excitement with your children or your grandchildren.
High school chemistry teacher and grandma, Jeannie Lythcott made science come alive at our January 2011 GaGa Sisterhood meeting. Jeannie, who’s also a GaGa Sisterhood member, just “retired” from the Stanford Teacher Education Program where she spent 10 years teaching science educators from kindergarten through the doctoral level. Then she returned to the classroom to teach high school chemistry at Summit High School in Redwood City, CA.
Demonstration of Surface Tension
As our members hovered around the demonstration table, Jeannie showed us some simple science experiments that were fun and easy to explain to our grandchildren. In one experiment Jeannie asked us to guess how many drops of water you can put onto a penny before it spills over. Ask the children to predict the number before you try it. Then count as you slowly squeeze drops from a dropper one at a time onto the penny. The water holds onto the penny without spilling over. This demonstrates the surface tension of water.
Here is a video of Jeannie demonstrating surface tension:
If you want to delve deeper into the world of science, check out My Big Science Book by Simon Mugford. There are 40 experiments for early graders with step-by-step, easy to follow instructions. All the projects use everyday materials and explain the relevance of the experiments to real life.