Blueprints for Family Science Fun
In a series of fun and accessible family science projects, Science Buddies and Scientific American make it easy to add family science to your together-time activities.
Through activities posted in Scientific American's Bring Science Home area, Science Buddies and Scientific American are helping encourage family science. Activities posted at Bring Science Home are written with parents of elementary school-age children in mind and are designed to make it easy for parents to choose to do science with their children, just as they might do an art project. Encompassing a wide range of topics, interests, areas of science, and "questions," these sciences activities use readily-available materials and can be great for summer, weekend, or rainy day exploration. Even more important, these hands-on science projects get families talking about science. For parents who may be uncertain how to approach science with their children, or may not think about science as something they should be doing with their kids, the weekly activities at Bring Science Home reinforce the value of family science and show parents how easy and fun family science can be!
Asking Questions; Finding Answers
Kids are naturally curious, and the best way to find out the answer to a question is often to put it to the test. The guided explorations available at Bring Science Home, many of which are family-friendly adaptations of Science Buddies Project Ideas, help parents investigate everyday science questions with their kids. Recent activities include:
- Shoreline Science: Exploring the Erosive Energy of Waves: investigate how beaches are formed and how different parts of a beach respond to the movement of waves. (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
- Spurting Science: Erupting Diet Coke with Mentos: explore the physical reaction that takes place when you drop a Mentos® candy into Diet Coke. (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
- Salty Science: How to Separate Soluble Solutions: mix sand and salt together and try to separate them again. Sound hopeless? A solvent can help! (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
- Skipping Science: An Experiment in Jump-Rope Lengths: figure out the relationship between the length of the rope and how quickly you can jump. (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
- Squirmy Science: Which Soil Types Do Earthworms Like Best?: earthworms do important tasks in helping to keep soil rich in nutrients. Find out what kind of soil they prefer. (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
- Dirty Science: What Makes Soil Become Dense?: soil that is too compacted can make it difficult for bugs, worms, plants, and other organisms to thrive. What factors contribute to how compacted an area of soil becomes? (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
- Hairy Science: Measuring Humidity with a Hair Hygrometer: a tool made from strands of hair can help you measure the amount of humidity in the air. (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
- Buoyant Science: How Metal "Boats" Float: steel boats might seem too heavy to float in water. Learn how the water pushes back to keep the boat afloat! (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
- Snappy Science: Stretched Rubber Bands Are Loaded with Potential Energy!: shoot some rubber bands to explore what the pullback stretch has to do with the "energy" in the rubber band—and how far the rubber band flies. (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
- Probability and the Birthday Paradox: as you learn more about mathematical probability, chances are that you will uncover two people who share a birthday, even out of a seemingly small group of people! (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
- Juice Box Geometry: how much juice does a juice box hold? The answer is in the geometry of the packaging and design. (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
- Rock Solid? How Particles Affect Porosity: when it comes to rocks, size can be deceptive. Investigate how different sized rocks can fit together to better understand how rocks have different porosities. (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
- Swinging with a Pendulum: a pendulum's swing is a result of gravity, but the time it takes a pendulum to swing from one side to the other and back has something to do with the length of the pendulum. What's the relationship? (full Science Buddies Project Idea)
For more information and a list of additional Science Buddies contributions to Bring Science Home, see: "Science Buddies Helps Scientific American Bring Science Home" (February, 2012).