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  • Writer's pictureKate McDaniel

Summer Science!

Summer is Coming!

Are you teaching summer school this year? Or maybe you have to entertain your own kids over the summer? Get those little scientists outside for some extra science fun. We love a good outdoor science experiment! Here are some of our favorites. Summer is the perfect time to engage children in hands-on learning experiences, especially when it comes to science. Outdoor science experiments not only provide a fun and interactive way for kids to learn but also help them connect with nature and their surroundings. By encouraging kids to conduct experiments outdoors, you can foster their curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking skills while also promoting a love for science and the natural world. So, whether you are a teacher looking to spice up your summer school curriculum or a parent seeking educational activities for your kids during the break, consider trying out these outdoor science experiments to make learning both enjoyable and enriching.


Walking oobleck challenge

Materials: 

  • Long and shallow container

  • Corn starch

  • Water

  • Bin of water (to clean feet)


Procedure:

  1. Make your oobleck in your container by combining water and cornstarch in a 1:2 ratio. For every one cup of water, use two cups of cornstarch. It will take a lot of mixing to combine. If you are working with a large group of students, you can break them into smaller groups to make batches of oobleck to combine in the walking container.

  2. Once your container is ready, have students try to run across it. When students are fast the pressure of their feet turn the liquid into solid and they can run across it. If they slow down or stop the oobleck will act as a liquid and then will sink. 



Exploding watermelon

Materials:

  • Watermelon

  • Rubberbands (ideally all the same size, and you’ll need a lot! 500?

  • Bowl or other item to prop the watermelon up

  • Sharpie (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Optional: Draw a line around the middle of the watermelon where students should place the rubber bands (the closer the rubber bands are to the middle/each other, the faster the watermelon will explode. 

  2. Prop the watermelon up in the bowl so that it stands upright. 

  3. Add rubber bands to the middle of the watermelon.

  4. Keep a tally of how many rubber bands you are adding.

  5. Allow students to take turns adding rubber bands and rotate students though the job as tally taker. 



Bottle Rockets

Materials:

  • Plastic bottle

  • Cork

  • Baking soda (or alka seltzer tablets)

  • Toilet paper

  • Vinegar

  • Goggles 

  • Plastic shoe box or bin

  • Optional: Straws, tape and card stock

Procedure:

  1. Optional: Tape the straws to the top of the bottle to act as a launching stand (the top of the bottle becomes the bottom of the rocket). Use cardstock to make fins for your rocket.

  2. Add a small amount of vinegar to the bottle (the bigger the bottle, the more vinegar you will need)

  3. Making a baking soda burrito by adding a tsp of baking soda to a square of toilet paper and folding it up like a burrito.

  4. QUICKLY: drop your baking soda burrito into the bottle, gently but firmly put the cork in the bottle and flip over and place in the bin.

  5. When the pressure increases enough the rocket will shoot off the cork and fly away.

SAFETY: 

Goggles are highly recommended as the baking soda/vinegar reaction can be irritating on the eyes. 

The cork can shoot off the bottle with a fair degree of force. Make sure that the cork is ALWAYS facing away from people 



Make your own ice cream 

Materials:

  • Heavy Whipping cream

  • Vanilla

  • Sugar

  • Salt

  • Ice

  • Sealable quart bag

  • Sealable gallon bag

  • Optional: thermometers


Procedure:

  1. Mix the ½ cup of heavy cream, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tbsp of sugar into a quart sized plastic bag.

  2. Fill a gallon sized bag about halfway with ice.

  3. Add ¼ cup of salt.

  4. Put the bag of cream inside the bag of ice and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE

  5. It can take 5-10 minutes for the cream to freeze into ice cream. 


Solar Ovens

Materials

  • Small pizza box (or other box with a lid that is hinged and can be propped open, e.g. a donut box)

  • aluminum foil

  • Plastic wrap

  • Black construction paper

  • Scissors

  • Straws/dowels/item used to prop open the box

  • Tape

  • S’mores supplies (marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate)


Procedure

  1. Draw a square on the lid of the pizza box roughly one inch from the edges. 

  2. Cut three of the four sides of the square.

  3. Fold the uncut side to make a crease to create a flap that stands up.

  4. Wrap the flap in aluminum foil.

  5. Cover the window below the flap with plastic wrap. 

  6. Use a straw or dowel to prop open the flap covered in foil

  7. Line the bottom of the box with black construction paper. 

  8. Place your s'mores inside the box.

  9. Place your oven in direct sunlight and watch everything melt!




If you do any of these we would love to see pictures of your OmniLearners! Tag us on Instagram @omnilearnstem

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