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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Spring Break Science Part 1

Uploaded: Apr 7, 2020
When the zoos and museums closed, I promised our kids that we would do more science demonstrations/experiments.  However, I didn’t want to make an extra trip to the grocery store or wait for items to be delivered.  So we started out by checking out Steve Spangler’s experiments.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Facebook
1. Our kids loved seeing Steve Spangler live on Facebook.  His liquid nitrogen rocket finale was quite impressive.  We are excited to check out his next Facebook Live event on Wednesday April 8th at 4:00PM Eastern Time.

2. Sometimes it is hard to explain to our kids why we are staying at home. I enjoyed showing them Steve Spangler’s demonstration about social distancing using mouse traps and ping pong balls. We are not just staying home to keep our family safe, but to keep others in our community safe too.

The Ellen Show
1. Many of the experiments Steve Spangler demonstrated on the Ellen Show are ones that we can’t try at home.  They are amazing and extremely elaborate.  However, our kids enjoyed watching his appearances on the Ellen Show starting in 2007.

2. While we couldn't do most of the science demonstrations, we were excited to try this party trick. Luckily we already had some clementines and empty toilet paper rolls.  Later we made the activity a bit more challenging using pennies, embroidery rings and test tubes.  

50 Experiments for 50 Days
We’ve completed many of Steve Spangler’s science experiments over the years; however, I love repeating them as our kids grow up.  They can learn a little bit more about the science behind the demonstration each time we do them. When I heard he had started "50 Experiments for 50 Days" I couldn't wait to repeat some of our favorites while we are staying safe at home.

1. Egg in a Bottle:  Our kids love this experiment and it is perfect for Easter when we have lots of dyed eggs.  It takes a bit of practice, but it’s quite impressive when the egg gets quickly sucked into the bottle (just make sure to work quickly and beware of the smokey eggy smell afterwards).

2. Colorful convection currents: Somehow I’ve never tried this experiment before, but it was a hit!  It was easier to balance one bottle on top of another bottle than I expected.  I assumed this would need to be an outdoor project, but we actually did it in our kitchen with little mess.  Although I knew the hot water would stay on top of the cold water, it was still impressive to see the colors stay separate. 

3. Cloud in a bottle: This was my favorite experiment.  It was challenging to get enough pressure inside the bottle on my own, but was much easier with 2 adults.  We didn’t have an extra rubber stopper, so I used a ball pump and a ball of clay to plug the top of the plastic bottle.  We didn’t have a lot of rubbing alcohol, but also successfully made a cloud using vinegar.  
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