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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Science Experiment #26 - Is it Art or Science?

Is it really the middle of August already?  Shocking!  The past few weeks have been filled with fun because some of my relatives, who live in Germany, have been visiting this month and we've been going to baseball games and the beach, having sleep overs and bonfires, and just getting together often.  As a result of all this family fun time, we have not been doing our weekly science experiments very regularly, but this week we are getting back on track.

I found today's experiment on Pinterest, and it looked simple enough, so I didn't even follow the link.
Image found here
The only problem is, it's a little bit tricky to decide if this is an art lesson or a science lesson since you use a pendulum to create a painting (I guess that makes it a STEAM lesson)!  I turned to Youtube to up the science factor and let the kids watch several movies (this one and this one) to illustrate what a pendulum is and how it works.   Then we made our own pendulum using a camera tripod, some string, and glue bottle cut in half.
We filled the glue bottle with tempera paint, opened the cap, and set the pendulum swinging.  It turned out to be a bit more tricky than the picture made it look, because I couldn't get the paint to flow with any sort of consistency out of the bottle top.  One second it would be dripping only occasionally 
and then suddenly it would start streaming so quickly that the paint would begin to puddle and ruin the design.
We did get it to work well enough to illustrate the pattern that swinging pendulums make, but we sure didn't make any works of art.  We'll call it a partial success.
Photo credits go to Ian.  He manned the camera while I tried to manage the glue bottle.

Happy science, everyone!

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