Science!! Who loves it? Well this week is British Science Week..... I never used to be hugely interested in Science when I was studying my G.C.S.E's I have to admit, and then I married a Physicist! Who'd have thought it. My life as a young adult revolved around molecule's, string theory and endless amounts of experiments (some really were pretty cool I have to say!) imagine Penny in the Big Bang Theory.....I was pretty much her without the blonde hair and figure! However, science and physics has not really been part of our life since my husband graduated with his Doctorate but I know he is keen for the children to have an interest in all things 'sciencey'.
Recently, we were sent this awesome Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit to try and out and what a brilliant introduction into the world of science it is.
This over sized lab bag stores everything you need to create around 15 experiments (or more if you invent your own) and comes packed with lots of items to ensure you can carry out these experiments and have a ton of fun while doing them. There are several fun and quirky items included such as a pair of science goggles, an Mc2 ring, a selection of conical flasks, slides, stickers and a fully working microscope. The best thing.......the lab bag that opens up with a rather cool zip has little storage areas for all of these things to go when not in use
Everything included is very child friendly and easy to use, aimed at 8+ it was aimed for a bit older than my 2 but I have to say Elarna took a huge interest in it and with my help we managed to do a couple of the simpler experiments and she loved it! Mostly she liked wearing the goggles and squirting things out of the pipette but when we manged to see some success in the experiments it really did capture her imagination.
What experiments can you do?
Well, included in the kit is an instruction book to guide you with what you can do and what you need. There is a fairly lengthy list of extra items you need to provide but mostly these can be found around the house.
The experiments you can try are as follows:
- Make a cloud in a jar
- Make fake boogers
- Peppermint water art
- Foam dough
- Red cabbage PH indicator
- Chromatography black magic
- Travelling water
- Rainbow in a jar
- Make bio-plastic
- Plastic bottle prank
- Giant gummy bears
- Dancing raisins
- Crazy colours milk
- Four colour flowers
- Glitter slime
We decided on a couple of the simpler experiments so that I could get a feel for them and Elarna could help. We decided on a cloud in a jar and crazy colours milk.
The cloud in a jar is very simple. Using a jar, some boiling water, an aerosol spray (we used hairspray) and some ice, the cloud is formed because the boiling water creates lots of warm water vapour which then becomes cooled by the ice forming tons of little water droplets ..... in other words clouds. Using the aerosol gives the molecules something to grab onto as they need to do this when cooling down.
This was a pretty cool experiment and I did try to capture the clouds on camera but sadly it didn't come out at all. However the overall effect was really very good and we kept having little puffs of clouds from the top of our jar, a great little experiment to do with Elarna. Despite the fact she didn't 'get' the science behind it she loved the process and watching the cloud in the jar and then coming out of it.
Next we tried the crazy colours milk. Again, another fairly simple experiment and nice and easy to involve a pre-schooler. You will need milk, food colouring, petrie dish, a pipette and liquid dish soap.
As milk has a certain amount of fat in it and soap likes to dissolve fat when the soap is added to the milk, the molecule's dance around as the soap starts to gather up the fat molecules. The food colouring gets dragged along and the colours start to move and dance around. We used 3 colours green, blue and pink but sadly I think that blue and pink food colouring were slightly different composition to the green and they sank to the bottom. We did have a good result with the green food colouring however, Elarna thought it was fascinating and did get a little over exuberant with the dish soap so I have no photos worth sharing of the end result!
Overall we had a great time testing this out. Although some of the experiments do require some forward planning there are definitely a few in the instruction book that can be done simply and quickly. We are yet to test the microscope out but generally the ultimate lab kit has been a success and a perfect rainy day activity. Retailing for around £39.99 at popular high street retailers I certainly don't think it's bad value for money. This is a great introduction to science related activities and for encouraging an interest in chemistry and science, having the added appeal of the Project Mc2 program is also a bonus. I can see this getting alot of use in the coming months, I am already planning making the foam dough and glitter slime!
What do you guys think of the ultimate lab kit? I would love to know your thoughts!