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Magic, Munchies, and More—
What Are You Waiting For?

By Lillian Chen, Intern Assistant

June is quickly approaching and with that comes sounds of freedom and crashing waves, the smell of hamburgers and barbecue, and the cool taste of ice cream and dripping popsicles. What else than SUMMER can excite a child more?

So in the month of May, the last frontier before school ends and textbooks are hidden in dusty corners, before the water cycle and algebra concepts are tucked comfortably in the back of the mind, students have a hard time concentrating on their studies. In fact, the days drag on longer and the hours tick by more slowly.

oobleck_cvrYou might be wondering, “How can I keep my child still interested in learning?” With a touch of summer fun, some magic and great stories, Oobleck, Slime, and Dancing Spaghetti is the perfect answer! With twenty easy, at-home science experiments, this book teaches children the fascinating aspects of polymers, natural dyes, non-Newtonian fluids, yeast and more! Not only do you learn about scientific properties, but you also learn about the favorite children’s books that inspired each one of the experiments.

For an exciting kick-off to summer in the hot Houston weather, try out Oliver’s Milk Shake Experiment. Start off by reading Oliver’s Milkshake by Vivian French and join Oliver as he learns about where his food actually comes from – the farm! In this experiment, your child will learn about the difference between store-bought and raw milk. On top of that, your child will be able blow bubbles (oh, no!) in his milk to see how its fat content affects the bubbles! Prepare for a frothy situation!

To do this experiment, first make a hypothesis: Does milk fat affect how many bubbles are produced in milk? Do you think whole milk or skim milk will produce more bubbles? Why?

You’ll need in this experiment:

½ cup whole milk
½ cup skim milk
Two 8 oz clear plastic cups
Non-bendable straws
Stopwatch
Marking pen

Procedure:

1. Label one cup “whole” and the other “skim” with your marking pen
2. Add ½ cup of cold whole milk to the “whole” cup and set aside.
3. Add ½ cup of cold skim milk to the “skim” cup and set aside.
4. Place a non-bendable straw in each cup
5. Allow cups to sit out for 20 minutes, so they reach room temperature
6. Blow simultaneously into both straws for one minute. Use the stopwatch for an exact measurement of time.
7.  Measure the height of the bubble column that forms inside each cup. You are measuring the volume of the foam. Now record the measurement on a data sheet table like the one below.

Whole Milk Skim Milk
Trial #1 Height of Bubble/ Foam column in _______ cm Height of Bubble/ Foam column in _______ cm
Trial #2 Height of Bubble/ Foam column in _______ cm Height of Bubble/ Foam column in _______ cm
Trial #3 Height of Bubble/ Foam column in _______ cm Height of Bubble/ Foam column in _______ cm
Trial #4 Height of Bubble/ Foam column in _______ cm Height of Bubble/ Foam column in _______ cm

8. Switch the two cups’ positions, so if the skim started on the left side, you move it to the right side, and so forth.
9. Blow simultaneously into both straws for one minute again. Make sure your child is blowing the same amount and strength of air into the cups.
10. Measure the height of the bubble column that forms and record measurement on data sheet.
11. Compare the two columns.
12. Repeat the experiment twice more to gather enough data for a comparison of the fat’s effect on bubble production and to see if your results are consistent.

Don’t stop there! After finishing the experiment, gather some fruits such as peaches, mangoes, strawberries and pineapple and blend it up to conduct a taste test.

Or just sip away and enjoy the “fruit of knowledge” and the fresh coolness of a yummy smoothie! It’ll be “udderly” delicious.

Bright Sky Press
Where Texas meets books. Bubbles.