(Extra points if you read that in Edgar Oliver's voice.)
The boys got a Science Party for their birthdays this year!
As they entered the lab, all the kids got a badge and a lab coat first thing, and then we turned them loose to experiment to their heart's content! There were 5 stations.
non-newtonian fluid, making fx snow, and exploring algae with a microscope in Marie Curie's Chemistry Station. I'm thinking excited and glad, though... We pre-measured the snow into some petri dishes and they used disposable pipettes to add water a little at a time.
pocket plasma disk, some fiber optic finger lasers, and a rockin' cool plasma ball we borrowed from a friend.
David (a.k.a. our friend with the plasma ball) is also a super science geek and offered to show the kids some tricks with dry ice. You can't skate a figure 8 on dry ice, but you can do some pretty wikkid science with it! I was glad we had some beakers on hand as decoration because they totally added to the sciencey vibe!
Ellen Swallow Richards, who coined the word "ecology" as well as being an MIT grad and the inventor of Home Economics (as science, y'all), all our utensils, plates, cups, napkins, and even the trash bag were biodegradable and disposed of in the Ellen Swallow Richards Composting Station.
For decor, the boys and I performed the carnations in the colored water experiment. I really wanted to sing, "Come on do the circulation" the whole time. *Quick note, Steve Spangler's website says it takes 24 hours for the dye to show up, but it really needs more like 48. Also, all I could find at the time were yellow carnations. We have run the experiment again with white carnations and had much more noticeable results.
I loved how firm and opaque this looked, it's vegetarian so I and my vegan friend can partake, and agar is what scientists use in petri dishes when they make cultures so I was triple geeked about this!
Vegan, Sugar-Free, Food Coloring-Free "Jello" Brain
4 1/2 tsp agar powder
6 cups unfiltered apple juice
In a pot, bring juice just to a simmer (not boiling), then add agar. Stir well and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the agar has dissolved. Pour "jello" into a lightly oiled brain mold (trust me on this, the standard gelatin mold release tricks won't work on agar). Cover and chill about 2-4 hours or until set.
(You can use any juice with this, and if you want to add a little sugar, honey, or agave you can, though I don't find it necessary. If you want to add a little extra weirdness, float some fruit chunks in there! Apparently kiwi and pineapple interfere with the set, so skip those.)
As your body grows bigger, your mind must flower. It's great to learn, because knowledge is power!!
Whether or not all that power turns you into an evil scientist is up to you... (Me thinks this one has more Doofenschmirtz than Frankenstein about him...)