Many science experiments explain in detail how dry ice can be made but very few list its usage and application. Here is a detailed study of dry ice with possible science experiments, usages, and applications of dry ice in our daily lives.
What is dry ice?
The cold dense white mist produced by solid carbon dioxide in air is commonly known as dry ice. In chemical terms, dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide, a normal part of our earth’s atmosphere. Dry Ice is particularly useful for freezing, and keeping things frozen because of its very cold temperature: -109.3°F or -78.5°C. The coolest thing about dry ice is that it changes from a solid directly to gas without changing into liquid. Wearing insulated gloves is a must while handling dry ice.
Making dry ice –
Follow these easy steps to make dry ice easily.
- CO2 fire extinguisher or carbon dioxide tank
- Cloth bag
- Insulated gloves
- Put on your insulated gloves first.
- Carefully insert the nozzle of the fire extinguisher into the cloth bag.
- Clamp your hand around the mouth of your bag and discharge the fire extinguisher.
- Turn off the extinguisher and seal the bag.
- You will soon see dry ice in the bag. Store it in the freezer for longevity.
Science experiments with dry ice
Blowing up balloons –
- Empty plastic bottle with a narrow mouth
- Pellets of dry ice
- Insulated gloves
- Blow up a balloon with your breath and keep it aside.
- Put a few pellets of dry ice in a bottle.
- Hold a balloon over its mouth and see it getting inflated with the carbon dioxide that releases when the dry ice sublimes.
- Once it inflates, tie it up with thread.
- Toss up both the balloons in the air and notice their flights.
Observations and questions – Which balloon comes down sooner? Can you explain why?
Explanation – Carbon dioxide is heavier than air which is why the balloon that contains dry ice falls down faster!
Hot pot –
- Dry ice
- A large pot
- Hot water
- Place a few pellets of dry ice in the pot.
- Pour hot water in the pot and watch the cool cloud forming almost immediately.
Observations and questions – How soon does the cloud stop forming? Don’t add any more water till all the cloud is over. How does it happen?
Explanation – Over time, the dry ice will make the water cold and the “smoking” will slow down. Dry ice will blend only with hot water to produce carbon dioxide and smoke.
Aren’t the science experiments cool? They can be easily tried and tested at home with adult supervision and by wearing proper safety gear, especially insulated gloves. Dry ice will get you cold blisters if you don’t use gloves. Have fun with science!
I have a Pinterest addiction. Everyone who knows me know that once you show me even one pin, you’re not likely to get me to anything else for the rest of the day. Having said that, Pinterest has helped change our lives somewhat. For example, my latest obsession is Bento Lunch Boxes.
The Japanese are a health conscious race – some of the oldest people in the world are from there and it is due in large to how healthily they eat. I started experimenting with them a while back and realized that it is possibly the best way to get your kids to eat their veggies and fruits. I’m no artist and my lunch boxes look nothing like this but it has worked for me.
The drawback is that it’s not something a homeschooler can make everyday. Still, maybe a weekly treat isn’t too much to add to the timetable? I’ve already pinned a few Bento Lunch Box ideas on my Pinterest page. I’m going to, hopefully, start ticking them off as done.
Have any of you tried Bento lunches? Has it worked for you? Would you give it a try?
Summer is here and so are lazy afternoons and loads of playtime. Most kids look forward to unstructured summer schedules and you definitely don’t want to take that away. But it’s important to remember that learning is a year-long activity and summer break is no exception. In fact, you can put the hot weather to good use by linking it to simple science concepts that can be taught without investing too much time and do not require special equipment. No matter how old your child is, they are sure to enjoy these fun science games for kids.
Photo Courtesy – dvs
Invite your child outdoors to enjoy the sunny weather. Have him observe his shadow at different times of day. Explain how the length of his shadow is related to the sun’s position in the sky. Use chalk or a stick to trace his shadow and ask him to measure and chart it. Why does it grow and shrink at different times?
Grow your own Veggies
Summer is a great time to encourage your child to grow something in the yard or garden, or a pot on a windowsill. Let him grow flowers or herbs or veggies you can use later in the kitchen. Take an empty egg carton, fill it with water and use last night’s avocado pit to grow a houseplant. Explain that not all plants need soil to grow and why.
Stargazing can be a fun science activity for kids and is perfect for clear summer nights when you can easily spot the stars and planets in our solar system. Camp out in the yard or any open space and ask your child if he can identify the North Star, various constellations and the phases of the moon. Take your child for an outing at the beach and discuss how the tides of the ocean are affected by the moon.
Watching butterflies can be a fascinating pastime. Go to a local park where they have different kinds of flowers and ask your child to observe which ones attract the most butterflies. Discuss how butterflies go through different stages of development and what they look like during each stage.
Make your own Bird Feeder
Spread peanut butter on a roll of toilet paper with your fingers and roll it in bird seed. This is your homemade bird feeder. Hang it on a tree branch, get a pair of binoculars and watch those birds flocking hungrily! It’s a great way to meet the birds that throng your neighborhood and observe their habits.
What have you got in store to prevent the dreadful brain slide?