Experimentation Celebration -7yr- Science Notebooks
Susan in Houston, TX, USA
Science - my son loves science and wanted to have a science party for his seventh birthday. So after reading many of the party ideas on this website, the elementary teacher in me came alive. We came up with an "Experimentation Celebration!" in honor of my son's seventh birthday. It was a three-hour party, but worth every minute! Since he was turning seven, I agreed to seven science experiments. We printed our invitations on the computer, with the invite & my son's photo in the center of the page, personalized for each child he was inviting: "Adam West, you're invited to become a scientist at an Experimentation Celebration in honor of Joey's seventh birthday!" All around the invite/photo, were the names of the seven experiments, along with a cute little graphic for each that I found in clipart. Details of the were listed at the bottom of the page as follows: Who?Joey & his friends What?Scientific Experimentation When?Sunday, April 10, 2005, 2:00-5:00 p.m. Where?Alexander Deussen Park, Shelter #10 (see enclosed map) Why?To celebrate Joey’s 7th birthday & have lots of fun! How?RSVP to Joey’s mom, Susan @ 123-456-7890, by Weds., 4/6 FYI Joey has created a wish list at Toys R Us if interested, ask at the customer service desk.
When the guests arrived at the park for the party, they were each greeted by our scientific assistant (my son’s 12-year-old cousin) and given a small gift bag (aka supply bag) with handles, containing their scientist’s gear [child safety goggles, nylon lab apron, scientist’s notebook (aka scientific passport), mechanical pencil & magnifying glass] & a button with his name on it (since not all of the children invited to the party knew each other). The science notebook was a little book I made with sheets I created on Microsoft Word, with a page for each of the stations explaining the experiments and giving directions. At the back of the book, was a thank you from Joey & some science websites to check out (see bottom of them description). The children’s parents helped them into their aprons & goggles and the children rushed to join the fun in progress. Since I didn’t expect all of the kids to arrive at exactly the same time, we planned the first to scientific stations to be a bit flexible & independent.
Experiment #1 was Toothpick Towers. There were gallon ziplock bags with each child’s name waiting at the table. Inside the bag were the following: a snack ziplock of ~125 toothpicks, a ziplock of Tootsie Rolls, one of Cheese Puffs, one of tiny marshmallows and another with Gummy Bears, and a plastic plate for building upon. The kids’ task was to build the tallest, most stable structure, using whichever materials they thought would work the best. Some chose according to what the did or didn’t want to eat. There were Cheese Puff towers, Tootsie Roll towers and others. The kids had a grand time! As they finished up their structures (or got tired of building/eating them), they put their Toothpick Tower bags in their supply bag, and moved on to station #2.
Station #2 was Magnet Mania. I purchased a variety of magnets and magnet sets, then gathered many objects, both metal and non-metal. The objective of this station was to discover which objects stuck to the magnets and which did not, as well as to find out what effect the magnets had on each other and on the objects they touched. It was a great filler as the kids were able to share, swap, interact & discuss what they were doing, as I got ready for Station #3.
Station #3 we called Crash Test Eggheads. We made a wooden ramp on which we could send a wooden jeep racing down. We then put two eggs into the jeep (one driving and one in the back) and let it go down the ramp (after predicting what would happen to them of course). They cracked up on impact. The second time we sent it down the ramp, we buckled the driver into the car (using a Duct Tape seatbelt). This time, the driver survived without a scratch; the passenger wasn’t so lucky. This experiment was a special request by my son, who remembered seeing his school nurse do it for his kindergarten class. He learned how important seatbelts are and wanted to show his friends.
At station #4 the kids got to Grow Snow! Using a powder called Insta-Snow that I purchased from Steve Spangler’s Science website, the kids got to watch snow develop before their eyes in a peatree dish. They got to take home the test tube with extra powder, the peatree dish & their snow (in a ziplock bag). It was quite the hit with these Texas boys!
Station #5 was Test Tube Trials where the kids did some color-mixing in water-filled test tubes. I found Baby Soda Bottle Test Tubes online (again, Steve Spangler’s site), which are plastic test tubes with screw on lids (actually soda bottles that haven’t yet been blown up). I filled them with water ahead of time and then gave each child a test tube. The kids then added drops of food coloring to see what would happen to the water. They had a great time mixing colors, trying to get the water as dark purple (or brown, or green) as possible. The got to add the test tubes to their Supply Bags.
Station #6 was Green Slime. We used the Borax, Water, White Glue recipe to make our slime, adding green food coloring to make it green. Many different recipes available online. The kids made it, talked about it, then put it in ziplock bags so that they could take it home in their supply bags.
Our grand finale, station #7, was Pop Rockets. The kids made paper rockets around empty film canisters, which we then filled half-full with water, vinegar or club soda (they decided which liquid to use), and half of a tablet of Alka-Seltzer heartburn medicine, before quickly putting the lid on and placing it on our launch pad. The rockets blasted into the air and the kids had a wonderful time watching them predicting which would go highest and why. After our experimentation, we sat and talked as the kids filled in their Scientist Notebooks.
Then they loaded all of their goodies into their Supply Bags and joined the birthday boy at the table for cake & ice cream, and juice boxes. The cake was decorated with a 3-D volcano with sparklers inserted in the middle of the crater (erupting with red-orange frosting), and a number 7 on one corner. It read Have a Blast of a 7th Birthday, Joey!
After cake & ice cream, the kids all joined Joey on a blanket in the middle of the shelter area, to watch him open his presents. When the party was over, the kids took home their safety goggles and aprons, and all of the goodies collected in their Supply Bags. We were quite busy at the party, but all of the kids left talking about what a great time they had. My son, especially, had a fabulous time!
If you want to do a science party, it’s a lot of fun. There are tons of ideas for experiments you could do at the following websites: http://www.sciencebob.com/experiments http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/en/kids http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngkids/trythis http://www.nyelabs.com http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiments Sunday, April 10, 2005, 2:00-5:00 p.m. Where?To celebrate Joey’s 7th birthday & have lots of fun! How?
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