I have a confession to make: I am, by education and inclination, a historian and not a scientist. That's all fine and dandy, except that I am also a homeschool mom and homeschool moms do not get free passes to skip subjects they are not naturally adept at - like science. So, in order to insure that my kids get a well-rounded and thorough education, I search books and the internet for science experiments, only to discover part way through the demonstration that I don't really know the answers to all the questions that my kids ask about how and why the experiments work (or don't work, as the case may be). Hopefully their textbooks (or their father) will fill in these gaps for them!
This week, for our third experiment, we mixed colored water.
Each kid started out with a mostly full glass of water and added several drops of food coloring in a single primary color (red, yellow, and blue).
We arranged the glasses in the primary color triangle and then added three more glasses in the secondary color (orange, green, and purple) positions. The kids know about mixing basic colors, so they were able to correctly predict what colors would appear in the secondary glasses, but they were really curious about how the colored water was going to get into those glasses. Then we rolled up pieces of paper towel and draped one piece over the rim of two glasses, making sure one end was well immersed in the colored water.
The colored water immediately began to move up the paper towel toward the uncolored water.
After a few minutes the colored water started to swirl out of the paper towel into the secondary glass and then eventually to mix together to form the new color.
When we were all finished, the kids were quite pleased with their complete color wheel, even if their technical science vocabulary hadn't been increase by very much. Maybe I should have called this an art experiment?
Either way, happy experimenting everyone!