We mix cooking salt (NaCl) with water (H₂O). Then add an electric current, more than 1.23volt and the electrolysis starts. There is produced H₂ (hydrogen), O₂ (oxygen), NaOH (Sodium hydroxide) and Cl₂ (chlorine gas). We did not intend to produce chlorine gas, but luckily it was in so small amounts, that no harm was done to us. We have red cabbage as an acid – base indicator, and salt water as a neutral. After the electrolysis there is formed NaOH and the solution becomes base, which is seen by the solution turning green/yellow.
A simple experiment to do at home to investigate mixing different size molecules to reduce mass.
Many of our projects spring out of a flee market purchase. We love flee markets. You never know what you will find and you feel like all is possible at an affordable price. This Pyrex flask was used for a large number of projects. First we calculated the volume inside the flask. Then we filled it with water and measured if the amount of water agreed with our calculations.
Then we examined the magnifying effect.
Then we tested how effective the firestarter was.
My husband had for a long time wanted to make the periodic table more easily understandable, and got the idea that by working with the most common everyday used metals, we could actually touch the atoms.
We have had a few different versions of the periodic table on our wall for many years, but got a new more clear version given, so we decided to take the old ones down and put that clearer and larger one up in our living room.
That started a collection of little metal fragments, that the kids put up on the table by the correct metal.
Then my husbands holiday came, and we had the time to do a metal project. He made a specification sheet that they should fill out for every metal we worked with.
Monday we talked about iron. A metal easy to recognize and plentiful in our surroundings. He had made a iron coil earlier around an iron pole, so we got the chance to also do the Ørsted experiment again.
Tuesday we talked about gold. He told the story about the King who wanted to make sure the crown he had ordered was completely made of gold, and how Archimedes helped him solve that problem. We also looked at the stock exchange quotes for metals in the newspaper (Børsen).
Wednesday we talked about copper. Copper is widely used for wires used for electronics, so we had the chance to measure electric circuits on our Oscilloscope and our newly made Joule Thieves. After the lesson at home, we went to The Technical Museum in Elsinore and saw the original Ørsted Compas from 1820 (see photo). We also saw an Exhibition dealing with our extreme use of mobile phones today, which also take great use of copper and a large number of other metals.
Thursday we talked about aluminium. Many of our pots and pans were made of aluminium. Aluminium is very thermally conductive, so good when cooking food, to get a high heat quickly and to get back to a low heat quickly too.
Friday we went on a field trip to the local Metal Scrap Yard. We had made an appointment earlier with an employee there, who were kind enough to show us around on a guided trip.
We have made quite a few crystals during the years, and it is always like magic. This is the most recent one – a glow in the dark crystal.
2 months ago we found some moldy bread in the kitchen. Great opportunity to make it grow. Immediately we found a name for it – Bob. So Bob was put into a plastic bag and given a place to live in our kitchen, where he could develop in peace and in a non stressful environment. So we have been looking at him once in a while the past 2 months. This is what he looks like now.
Doing simple experiments with things you can find in your kitchen is cool. We like doing acid base tests with red cabbage. It is a simple harmless thing you can do with all age groups. And they can easily see that something happens. They can all take part. In this experiment, we mix red cabbage, boiling water and Sodium hydroxide. That strong base will change the colour to first green, then blue then end at yellow. Then the other glass is red cabbage, boiling water and lemon. That acid mixture will turn red.
My oldest daughter found these very motivating videos on youtube. How great to have youtube while home schooling. So many great people out there! She can sing a great part of it now. Learning can always be fun. You just have to be a little creative.
Great to dance to and think about. We look up the things we don’t understand and learn about new areas.
We like fire. All sorts of fire. As long as it is real old fashioned fire. We attended scouts for 5 years with the kids, in reflection, I think just to sit at a bonfire and stare into the flames. We love starring into a bonfire and feeling the warmth. No thoughts in our brains. It is relaxing. Meditative. It is so lovely simple and primitive. Still so fascinating and magic. A chemical reaction and pure energy.
When we suddenly realized that we could just make a bonfire in our garden, we stopped being scouts and continued the fire love in our garden. The smell is also wonderful. When you have made any kind of food over the fire or just sat next to a bonfire you smell wonderfully of bonfire. For many days. Your clothes keep the smell for weeks.
We have done a lot of cooking experiments over fire and other things too, but lets try to focus on the food things for now. Our favorite is pancakes and fried bacon.
Today we held a gathering for Home Schoolers in the celebration of Christmas. We had a market for the kids to sell their home made crafts and our oldest daughter had been given the job of selling and frying pancakes over the large bonfire. We held the event at a Nature Cottage owned by the borough. They have 2 large bonfire places.
Then my husband had been reading about how soldiers can make a Dakota Fire Pitt, which is a bonfire buried in the ground. The effectiveness of this fire is that you dig 2 holes next to each other and make an air canal between the two to make a ventilation duct. That reduces the smoke and visibility from afar of the bonfire. You can then get heat and cook food without being found by the enemy.
So today was the day and he made one. It turned out really fine and worked.
My Husband is against having real candles on our Christmas tree. I always had real candles on our Christmas tree when I was a child, so I have been complaining about my loss of atmosphere at Christmas, by having to live with artificial lights on our tree.
So he needed arguments, to defend his opinion. So as usual, he watched a million youtube movies and read a million articles about the subject.
And of course he came to the decision, that we had to try out the fire threat ourselves. We had to do an experiment. So this year we would not go to a workshop and make things out of the tree trunk, but set fire to it, and see how quickly it would burn. Real quickly, was the answer. With 5 m high flames.