Thursday, 20 February 2014

Alka Seltzer Paintings

We decided to combine science and art with our 3 year old group this week. Before we began, we let the children investigate the Alka-Seltzer tablets by touching, smelling, and even tasting it. This is what the children had to say about it:
"It feels like a marble."
"Smells like peppermint..yucky!"
"Taste yucky!"
"It bubbles."
"It's getting smaller."
"It's cool."
"Feels tingly."

Once the children were finished exploring the tablets, we put different colored paints mixed with water in old film containers. Once we were outside we added Alka-Seltzer tablets into the containers, (quickly) put the covers on, and stepped back to see what would happen! The children stood back with great anticipation waiting for the result!  We began to count together to see how long it would take for something to happen. After 14 seconds the first container exploded with a huge POP. Paint splattered over the ground and the children bolted over to see the results!          

When it was time to try our experiment again, the children decided what color we should do next. Tabatha would place the tablet in the next container, the children would run back, and we'd all begin counting! Not all of the containers exploded, but fizzled over like a volcano. When the children decided that it was a "dud one" they'd run over to listen to the fizzling sounds and watch it bubble all over the snow. After we tried shaking the containers to see if it would make a difference, and the cap went flying about 20 feet! 

The experiment resulted in colorful artwork all over our driveway. I noticed children bringing their parents over before leaving that day  to show them what they did! I'd like to try the experiment again, but perhaps adding different mixtures to the containers (vinegar & baking soda, mentos & soda) to see what happens! I wonder what kind of mixtures the children would think would work best? 

                                                                                                                   - Leslie Dionne

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