3 Super Science Activitiesto Do with Kids Right Now Brought to you by
3 SUPER SCIENCE ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH KIDS RIGHT NOW page 1For 15 years, we at Scientific Explorer have been creatingaward winning science activity kits that are unmatched inthe specialty retail market. Our focus has always been onbuilding critical thinking skills, engaging imaginations, and,above all making science fun! Scientists, educators,parents and kids are all a part of the team at ScientificExplorer.We’re passionate about making real science fun.Scientific Explorer has four unique categories that appeal to different ages, genders and interests.Early Learning kits are geared for children ages 4+• Perfect science introduction for younger kids.• Practice using scientific skills, observing, analyzing, measuring, recording and classifying!• Great hands-on activity with tons of science content.• Fun for multiple kids to be involved!Girl Science Kits - Ages 8+• Research shows that girls interest in science and math diminish beginning with this age group.• Our kits are designed to maintain interest in science through fun themes.• Girls can pamper themselves while participating in inquiry– based learning.• Great for gifts and birthday parties!Family Fun Science Kits - Ages 6-8+• Fun gender neutral topics that are loved by girls and boys.• Activities the whole family can enjoy!• Great hands-on activities with tons of science and math applications.Boy Science Kits - Ages 8+• Learn real science in a disgusting new way!• Great hands-on activity with tons of science and math applications.More information can be found at http://www.giddyup.com/science
3 SUPER SCIENCE ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH KIDS RIGHT NOW page 2Create Your Own Craters!Watch out! There are rocks falling from the sky! They’re calledmeteoroids, and they come all the way from outer space. They’revery rare, and hard to find, but you don’t need to look for one—youcan make one at home! Let’s make some meteoroids!What you’ll need to get or use• Bouncy Ball• Baking dish or pan• Flour• Ruler or tape measure• Newspaper (optional)• Flashlight (optional)Fun FactWhat’s in a name?Meteoroids are particles of debris found in our Solar System—some are the size of a grain ofsand and some are as huge as boulders. When they enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they create astreak of light called a meteor (some people call this a “shooting star”). If a meteoroid hits theground and survives the crash, it’s called a meteorite.Fun FactReally big meteoroids are called asteroids.Some asteroids are so huge, they have their own moon!What are meteoroids made of?StuffStu floating around in outer space—some of the same stuff that created planets! But not allmeteoroids are the same. There are three different kinds: the most common are called stonyand are made of rocks and dust; others are made of iron; the least common are called stony-ironand are made of rocks and metal. We are going to pretend that a bouncy ball is a meteor inorder to create craters!
3 SUPER SCIENCE ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH KIDS RIGHT NOW page 3Fun FactMeteoroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere every day. Most of them are about the size of apebble, and they usually burn up before they reach the ground. About 500 of them land on theEarth every year, and only five or six of these are ever found.How do you know if you’ve discovered a meteorite instead of a rock?Here are some ways to tell the difference:• Meteorites sometimes have a black crust on their surface—kind of like an eggshell.• Meteorites are usually smooth—not full of holes or bubbles.• They might have grooves in them that sort of look like thumbprints.• They’re almost never perfectly round.• Meteorites won’t leave a streak if you rub them on tile.• They’re denser than regular rocks—denser means they’re heavier than other rocks of the same size. For example, meteorites are almost four times as heavy as same-sized chunks of granite.• Most meteorites contain some metal. You can test this with a magnet, which will stick to a meteorite.Fun FactMeteorites are named for the place they were found.Fun FactThe largest known meteorite is named Hoba. It was found in Namibia, Africa, and weighs over60 tons. That’s more than 120,000 pounds! The largest meteorite in the United States is calledthe Willamette and was found in Oregon. It’s 10 feet tall! Measure and weigh your meteoroid.How does it compare?
3 SUPER SCIENCE ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH KIDS RIGHT NOW page 4Activity #1: Crater Crash!When a meteoroid hits the Earth’s surface, it really makes an impact! Sometimes, it creates agiant crater, which is a kind of pit in the ground. Let’s see what your meteoroid can do!What you’ll need to get or use• Bouncy Ball• Baking dish or pan• Flour• Ruler or tape measure• Newspaper (optional)• Flashlight (optional)Note: This experiment might create some dust, so you’ll want to do it outdoors, in a garage orbasement, or someplace where it’s OK to get a little messy.Let’s get started!Step 1: Now we’ll need to set up a crash site. Find a baking dish or pan with rims along theedges—the deeper the dish the deeper the craters. (Note: You might want to put somenewspaper underneath to catch any spills.) Pour the flour into the dish until the entire surface iscovered and the dish is filled almost to the top. Kind of looks like a desert or the moon, doesn’t it?Step 2: Crash time! Toss your meteoroid (bouncy ball) into the dish. What happened? Did it kickup a cloud of dust? Did it make a sound? Did the crash create a giant crater? Did your spacerock survive? If so, now it’s a meteorite!Step 3: Let’s make some observations! Using a ruler or tape measure, measure your crater.How deep is it? How wide is it? Think you can make a bigger and better crater? Give it a try!Step 4: Keep crashing your meteorite (bouncy ball) with friends and family (you might need tore-fill the flour). Who makes the biggest crater? For even more fun, trying creating a meteorshower. Grab a flashlight and as you toss your meteorite, shine the bright light on your rock.Now you have a shooting star!
3 SUPER SCIENCE ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH KIDS RIGHT NOW page 5Meteor-ologyMeteoroids and asteroids orbit the sun, along with the planets of our Solar System. In fact,scientists think the space rocks might be parts of planets that broke off, or material that didn’tquite form a planet of its own. Most of these objects can be found in an asteroid belt betweenMars and Jupiter. They’re very, very old—4 to 5 billion years old, some of the oldest material inthe Solar System. At first, people thought meteors were the same as lightning and that craterswere volcanoes. Now we know better!Though it’s rare for a really large meteoroid to hit theEarth, when it does happen, the results are prettyawesome. The largest crater in the world is theVredefort Crater in South Africa. It’s over 150 mileswide. It was caused by an asteroid that was 6 mileswide and 2 billion years old. The largest crater in theUnited States is the Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona.It’sIt almost a mile wide. Astronauts trained there in the1960s to prepare for missions to the moon! Aerial view of Barringer crater in ArizonaHow big are those craters? The next time you’re ridingin a car, have an adult tell you when you’ve traveledone mile—that’s Barringer. On a long trip, have themtell you when you reach 150 miles—that’s Vredefort.Fun FactExtremely bright meteors—the light from a falling meteoroid—are called “fireballs.”Some fireballs can be as bright as the sun!Fun FactMeteorites have been found on the moon and Mars!If you enjoyed this activity check out our kits at http://www.giddyup.com/science
3 SUPER SCIENCE ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH KIDS RIGHT NOW page 6Activity #2: An Out of This World SolarSystem ProjectInevitably the day will come when your child must do her “solarsystem project” for school. You can head to the craft store forthe traditional foam balls and dowels, or you can usher herthrough an activity that increases her understanding of what isreally out there. One of the most awesome realizations aboutouter space is how much space there is. This project will getyour childs mind (and body!) moving.Note: To accommodate a childs hand size, this project is notexactly to scale. While the scale of the distances betweenplanets is accurate, the sizes of the planets were enlarged. Ifthe planets were to scale, youd need to cut a circle out ofpaper that is 0.18 mm—thats a project in itself!What you need• Compass• Ruler• Yard or meter stick• Cardboard or paper• Marker• Bamboo skewer or chopstick• Playing field of at least 100 yards long• Video camera or digital camera• Length of rope at least five feet long
3 SUPER SCIENCE ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH KIDS RIGHT NOW page 7What You Do1. First, cut out circles from paper or cardboard to represent each of the planets (see diameters listed below). Make a label for each planet with the planets actual diameter. Tape each planet and its label to a bamboo skewer or chopstick.2. Find a playing field (at least 100 yards long) near your home that you can use for your solar system. Bring a digital camera or video camera, the set of planets on skewers, a length of rope at least five feet long, and a yard or meter stick.3. Lay the rope in a large circle to mark the sun at one end of the playing field. Then measure out the following distances, placing the planets on sticks in their proper order. • Sun = 85 inches (bring a length of rope to mark out this size of circle on the ground) • Mercury = .3 inches (18 mm), placed at 1 yard (.9 m) • Venus = .7 inches (19 mm), placed at 1.9 yards (1.7 m) • Earth = .8 inches (20 mm), placed at 2.5 yards (2.3 m) • Mars = .4 inches (10 mm), placed at 3.8 yards (3.5 m) • Jupiter = 8.5 inches (216 mm), placed at 13.1 yards (12 m) • Saturn = 7.1 inches (180 mm), placed at 24.2 yards (22.1 m) • Uranus = 2.9 inches (73 mm), placed at 48.4 yards (44.4 m) • Neptune = 2.8 inches (70 mm), placed at 76.1 yards (69.6 m) • Pluto = .2 inches (5 mm), placed at 100 yards (91.4 m) (Sure its not really a “planet” anymore, but it is very cool to see just how far out there this dwarf planet is.)When the planets are set, take a tour of the solar system. If you have a video camera, considerrecording the tour with your childs narration. Or, she may prefer to take still pictures of themodel and then present the information in a short book or on a bulletin board for all to see.Regardless of how she shares her experience, the process of creating this scale model will stickwith her... into infinity!
3 SUPER SCIENCE ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH KIDS RIGHT NOW page 8Activity #3: Make a Bedroom Planetarium!If youre lucky enough to live near a museum or a universitywith a planetarium, youll definitely want to take your child for avisit to explore outer space with him. But you dont need to paythe price of admission for this delightful constellationcraft…youll just need an old round oatmeal container, aflashlight, and a few other common materials. Help your firstgrader learn to recognize constellations with this fun and easyactivity.activit Then, on the next clear night, take a walk and see if hecan find them in the sky!What you need• Round cardboard oatmeal container with plastic lid, clean and dry.• Plain flashlight• Black paper• Tape• White crayon• Constellation book• Push Pin• Pencil• Construction paper, gold stars, and clear contact paper
3 SUPER SCIENCE ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH KIDS RIGHT NOW page 9What You Do1. Start by decorating your Starfinder: Have your child glue or tape sheets of construction paper around the outside of the container, and decorate it with as many of gold stars as he would like (you might even encourage him to mark out a few constellations right on the container).2. When hes finished, help him to cover the whole design with clear contact paper (later, youll be pulling tape on and off, and the contact paper will protect the design).3. Now help your child cut a hole in the plastic lid with scissors or an X-acto knife, so that the flashlight can fit through.4. Tape the lid around the edge so that the flashlight is secure.5. Cut the round cardboard bottom out of the oatmeal can. Now use it to mark several circles on your black paper. Your circles should be larger than the original circle being used as a template. Trace a circle that is about ½” wider (all the way around) than the original circle cut from the oatmeal container.6. Look up some key constellations in a science book (constellations like the Big Dippe Little Dipper, Dipper, Draco, Andromeda, and Orion or you can surf the internet to find pictures of constellations. You can make copies or print these templates out and then have your child trace them onto white paper. Cut around them to fit the inner circle of your Starfinder, and glue them onto one of the black circles you and your child cut out. Then take a thumbtack and lightly poke a hole where every star in that constellation appears. Help your child do this several times on several different circles.7. Now put your whole starfinder together. Tape one black constellation circles to the end of your togethe starfinder, and then pop the plastic lid onto the top, with the flashlight inside, facing toward the constellation end of the Starfinder. Each time your child wants to look at a new constellation, you can replace the constellation circle on the Starfinder with a different one.8. Turn all the lights off in your childs room, turn on the flashlight in the starfinder, and see what you can see! Be prepared for oohs and aahs. With this activity, you and your child can bring the giant night sky into your very own home and do some star gazing from the comfort of your beds!