55Rachel Carson, a well-known scientist, once said that the child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.
As parents and teachers of these future scientists we have the opportunity to nurture their natural curiosity about the world.
The world we live in today would no doubt be a different place if it weren't for the amazing discoveries produced by famous scientists.
It is incumbent upon us as parents and educators to raise a new generation of scientists who will have the stewardship over new and remarkable scientific discoveries that will change the world in ways we can only imagine.
In the book "Sense of Wonder," author Cleveland Abbe stated that if a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
With Abbe's words of wisdom in mind, today I am going to share with you some fun science links that will give the opportunity to experience the wonder of science with your children at home.
You may be surprised to find out that it will be just as much fun for you as it is for your child.
All of these activities demonstrate a chemical reaction. In chemistry, a reaction happens when two or more molecules interact and the molecules (Chem4Kids.com) change. (When you get to these websites, do a search for the experiment name.)
• Homemade Flubber (LiveCraftEat.com) - This concoction is a lot like silly putty. It will stretch, bounce, pick up print from the newspaper and entertain both young and old alike.
• Foam Dough (EarlyLiving.MomTrusted.com) - This chemical reaction requires just two ingredients: cornstarch and shaving cream. It will give even your youngest children hours of fun. You will end up with a playdough-like substance that is softer and easier to clean up.
• Diaper Science (SteveSpanglerScience.com) - This activity will cause a chemical reaction that will end up with a super absorbent polymer. A polymer is a substance that has a molecular structure built up chiefly or completely from a large number of similar units bonded together. For this experiment you will need several toddler-sized disposable diapers and water.
• Growing Crystals (ScientificAmerican.com) - Have you ever wondered how crystals are made? Crystals come in all different shapes and sizes. The purest and cleanest crystals, however, are usually also the ones that grow to be the largest in size. In this activity you'll compare the size and shape of crystals grown in different temperatures. With just water and Borax, a household-cleaning product, you can discover the method for growing large, pure crystals!
I hope that these activities will awaken the inner scientist in your child and inspire both you and your child to explore more science fun together.
This summer Hobble Creek Learning Center is offering two awesome Jr. Engineering summer camps.
Young Engineer's Workshop: Tuesday, July 30, 1-4 p.m. (ages 10-14)
Come learn what is means to be an engineer and how engineers invent cool things that can change the world. You will learn how to become a great problem-solver using tools that engineers use to invent, innovate and solve problems in the real world. Then, using those skills we will do some fun, hands-on engineering challenges to build a "tower of terror." We might even tackle as a team a real world challenge. Go home knowing how to solve any problem at home or in school with your new problem-solving tools as a Jr. Engineer!
Engineering Everywhere: Monday-Friday, Aug. 5-9 (ages 10-14)
Come enjoy a hands-on engineering experience that will wake up your brain and your taste buds. We will be using problem solving skills and fun resources to engineer some cool ways to make our favorite frozen concoction, ice cream. This summer camp is a pilot program for The Boston Museum of Science. This internationally reknown museum chose Hobble Creek Learning Center to be the first pilot summer camp for this program. They will be using our data at the museum. Don't miss out on being a part of something great!
For more information and to sign up for these camps call Hobble Creek Learning Center at (801) 491-0825 and visit our website at www.hobblecreeklearning.com.
Stephanie Harker has been an educator for over 35 years. For the past seven years she has been the executive director of the non-profit Hobble Creek Learning Center. For more information or to contact Stephanie, log on to her website at www.hobblecreeklearning.com.