dscochran11
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Borax Crystals

Postby dscochran11 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:23 am

Hi! My daughter did the science fair project that determined if borax crystals grew better at room temperature, ice bath, or in the refrigerator. We found it on this site. While reading the background information it said that crystals form better in warmer temperatures, but our crystals grew bigger in the colder temperatures. We are trying to find out the science behind it and WHY the crystals grew bigger in the ice bath. Are our results incorrect? Are they supposed to grow bigger in the warmer temps?

jennykim454
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Re: Borax Crystals

Postby jennykim454 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:49 pm

Hi,
Scientifically, the crystals should have been larger in warmer temperatures because it would have been more dissolved leading to a more saturated solution. Your results may have been influenced by other factors which could have led to an experimental error. One example is the longer it is kept in the solution the larger the crystals become so try the experiment again making sure other factors are kept constant and only the temperature is changing. Also, it might be good to have cold water, room temperature water, and boiling water to have a more definite contrast in the results. Hope this helped good luck!

dscochran11
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Re: Borax Crystals

Postby dscochran11 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:32 pm

It does help, thank you. We are on our 3rd trial. More crystals grew in the refrigerator water on our 2nd trial. We boiled water and dissolved the Borax in the boiled water, then poured the same amount of the water solution into 3 glasses. We then put 1 glass in the refrigerator, 1 in an ice bath, and left one on the counter for room temp. So are you saying that the glass with the room temp water solution should have the most/biggest crystals? I just want to make sure I understand before I try to explain it to my daughter. Thank you so much for your help! I appreciate it!

rrv17
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Re: Borax Crystals

Postby rrv17 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:29 pm

Hello,

Here is a link explaining the science behind the temperature and the borax crystals:
https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/magic-crystal-snowflake/

Since heating up the water increases the amount of borax that can be dissolved into the water, cooling it down to a low temperature will decrease the amount and thus, the borax will fall out of the water and create more crystals. Using this information, I think the ice bath would have the most crystals.

I also found a student who has done this experiment before:
https://prezi.com/mivh8xlx-0wk/my-borax-crystal-experiment/

Good luck!
-Regina

Gedens
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Re: Borax Crystals

Postby Gedens » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:10 am

Hi there! My third grade daughter is also doing this Borax crystal experiment. We followed the suggested procedure, putting one jar in an ice bath, one jar in the fridge, and leaving one on the counter for room temperature. We left the jars undisturbed for 5 hours. The crystals that formed in the ice bath jar definitely looked a little smaller and cloudier than the other two. The fridge and room temp jars results looked really similar though. Any thoughts? Also, another issue was that all three of the strings in the jar were COMPLETELY covered in smallish crystals and they are so clustered together (and so small) that it is impossible to count them individually. Any suggestions you may have for us would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

rrv17
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Re: Borax Crystals

Postby rrv17 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:34 pm

Hello,

There was this one version of this where they created a snowflake ornament-- making the surface area bigger and spread out could help with counting the crystals that form in the experiment. They also used pipe cleaners; I don't know if that would help specifically, but it is worth a shot!

Good luck! If you have any trouble, just message again.

-Regina

Gedens
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Re: Borax Crystals

Postby Gedens » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:26 pm

Thanks! Sounds good. We’ll definitely give that a try.

AmyCowen
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Re: Borax Crystals

Postby AmyCowen » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:42 pm

Are you following the procedure at Science Buddies? https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science- ... t-crystals

Did you have the same results for all three of the trials your student did?

The results you were seeing may have been correct.... the important step is to do the multiple trials and fill in the data table so that you can see if the results are consistent and then draw conclusions.

While the experiment in the "activities" version of this isn't suitable for a school science fair project, this may be helpful in understanding what you are observing with the crystals grown in different temperatures: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/stem-act ... w-crystals

Amy
Science Buddies


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