Monday, January 21, 2008

Budding scientists hard at work.

Today is a school holiday. A bit rainy at that. We headed off to our favorite crepe place for lunch Queen Malika in the Castro. Aidan - butter, sugar, lemon; Quincy - strawberries & Nutella (chocolate/hazelnut spread); me - spinach, herbed feta, sundried tomatoes, caramelized onions. Sooo yummy. I love both of the ones the kids got. We discussed the difference between "sweet" and "savory". But I digress. We started the day with some paper airplane making. That book was next to a science experiment book and the kids picked one out. Vinegar in a bottle, baking soda in a balloon, balloon on top of bottle - watch it fill up with "air" from the chemical reaction in the bottle. Always a fun one. Aidan has a new book of experiments and the chapter on "money" caught his eye. How to clean pennies. Experiment with vinegar and salt and pennies. Then try your own concoctions. Fortunately we have a LOT of dirty pennies. They are testing solutions cooled in the freezer and warmed in the microwave. There have been a few spills (the place is smelling a bit vinegary!). I love their attire. Both have gone with aprons. They both have vests of sorts underneath. Hats are optional. Looks like they have tried pepper, soap, tomato juice (from my cherry tomatoes!). Haven't had much luck with those ingredients apparently... They are always much more interested in doing the experiments than WHY they work. I hope one day they will care enough to inquire... Aidan's new book does a nice job of explaining the "why" after each experiment and leaves many experiments open ended for your own explorations (hence trying pepper etc - heck if salt works why shouldn't pepper... seems reasonable if you haven't had much science in school yet).

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