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Kickbutt's Science Notebook

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As you all have no doubt seen, I've been writing one post per day on a kitchen experiment. I just thought, for reference, it would be easier to have in one location. I'll just add a new experiment each day in the replies. Keep on learning!

Ok, I admit it, I'm addicted to science. I would happily throw away all other subjects and just devote my kids learning to that one, if it were possible. Lol! As many of you know, I used to be an aeronautical/electrical engineer. I hold degrees in Physics & Geology. In this post I'll be posting my favorite science experiments. They most often include products found around your house (no fancy equipment needed!)

Each of my kids has a Science Journal. In it they write out every experiment, hypothesis and result. I have them format it the way many colleges require for Lab classes. The journal is one of those bound notebooks.


Experiment title

Supplies: a billeted list of all supplies, with exact measurements and weights

Process: a numbered list of the step by step process used, plus any variations

Hypothesis: what the kids think might happen as a result of the experiment

Conclusion: what the final result of the experiment was, did it match their hypotheses - why or why not. This also includes a paragraph or so explanation of what happened.

Voila. Science is complete! We don't stick to a specific form of science usually, we tend to mix things us. But we do an experiment just about every day.


 Home Educators Toolbox  / Articles / Kicbuttmama's Crazy Lapbooks / Kickbuttmama's Home Education
Albert Einstein -- 
   "Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid." 

by on Jul. 16, 2012 at 8:29 AM
Replies (131-140):
by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Colorful Electrolysis

by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Liquid Extraction

by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Double SLit Experiment

by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Milikin Oil Drop Experiment

by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Faradays Experiment

by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Ripple Tank

by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 7:37 PM

When Air Masses Collide

Science Fair Survival Guide
Author: Michelle Formoso

Grade Level: 7th to 10th; Type: Meteorology


Use hot and cold water to simulate what happens when a warm front meets a cold one.

Research Questions:

What happens when a warm air mass meets a cold one?


  • Pencil and paper
  • 10-gallon aquarium
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Stirrer (a wooden spoon or a ruler would be great)
  • Five gallons of very cold water
  • Blue food coloring
  • Five gallons of very hot water
  • Red food coloring
  • Timer or clock
  • Latex gloves
  • Red colored pencil, crayon, or marker
  • Blue colored pencil, crayon, or marker

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Use the pencil to draw seven large rectangles that look something like the aquarium on the piece of paper. Label the seven rectangles “0 minutes,” “1 minute,” “3 minutes,” “5 minutes,” “7 minutes,” “10 minutes,” and “15 minutes.”
  2. Cut the piece of cardboard so that it just barely fits inside the aquarium, dividing it in half the short way. It should be very snug; it needs to keep the water on one side from mixing with the water on the other side for a minute or so. But don’t use any tape to keep it in place, it needs to come out easily!
  3. With the cardboard snugly in place, fill half of the tank with the very cold water. (If it’s ice water, so much the better, but don’t get any ice in the aquarium.) Put a few drops of blue food coloring in the water and stir it; repeat as needed until you’re happy with the color. This is going to represent the cold front, or mass of cold air.
  4. Now carefully fill the other half of the aquarium with very hot water and stir in some red food coloring. This is your warm front, or warm air mass.
  5. Quickly draw a picture of what the tank looks like now by using the red and blue pencils to fill in the rectangle marked “0 minutes.”
  6. Put on the gloves and quickly and carefully remove the sheet of cardboard. Try not to stir the water up too much in the process. Set the timer for one minute, remove the gloves, and watch what the water does until the timer rings.
  7. Set the timer for two more minutes, then quickly draw a picture of what the water looked like at the one-minute mark in the rectangle labeled “1 minute.”
  8. When the timer rings, set it for two more minutes and sketch what the tank looked like at the three-minute mark.
  9. Repeat, setting the timer for the appropriate number of minutes (watch out, that changes toward the end) until you’ve filled in all of your rectangles.
  10. Now look at your pictures. What did the “air masses” do? Did they mix right away? Was there a sharp division between them, or did the water combine and make a purple layer? Did the air masses stay side by side as they blended, or did one rise while the other sank? Why do you think the cold and warm fronts behaved the way they did?

Terms/Concepts: air mass, warm front, cold front

References: What’s Up? 45 Hands-On Science Experiments That Explore Weather, by B. K. Hixson, pp. 145-149 (Loose in the Lab Science Series, 2003).

by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Build a Model of the Cell Membrane

Science Fair Survival Guide
Author: Angela Pike

Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Life Science


  • To build a model of the cell membrane.
  • To investigate how the cell membrane regulates what moves into and out of cells.

Research Questions:

  • What molecules of the cell membrane do the cotton swabs represent?
  • If a molecule needs to enter or exit the cell and it cannot fit between the phospholipids how can it cross the membrane?

The cell membrane is a barrier that separates a cell from the external environment. It controls the passage of materials into and out of the cell. The membrane is made up of a double layer of phospholipids, called the lipid bilayer. Scattered between these phospholipids are various other molecules such as protein channels, pumps, cholesterol, and carbohydrate chains. With the cooperation of the phospholipids and other embedded molecules the passage of molecules into and out of the cell is controlled. Think of the cell membrane as the exterior walls and roof of your home. It’s scattered with a number of windows, doors and vents. Just like the cell, these items help to control what enters and exits your home.


  • 3 pipe cleaners of different colors
  • 1 regular-sized drinking straw
  • Thick, medium-size rubber band
  • Approximately 50 cotton swabs
  • Scissors
  • 1 marble
  • 1 BB

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Gather the cotton swabs into a bundle and place the rubber band around the middle to keep them in a bundle.
  2. Place a receptor molecule into the cell membrane.
    1. Take one of the pipe cleaners and place it through the bundle of cotton swabs.
    2. Bend one end of it into a circular shape. This shape represents how signal molecules bind to specific molecules. Only a circular-shaped molecule can bind with this receptor.
  3. Use the second pipe cleaner as a carbohydrate chain. Place it in the bundle of cotton swabs, just as in step 2. Don’t bend this pipe cleaner.
  4. Cut your drinking straw in half. Place each half into different locations in the bundle of cotton swabs. These represent the protein channels and pumps.
  5. Holding the cotton swabs vertically, place the marble on top of the swabs. Does it pass between the swabs? Why or why not?
  6. Place the marble on top of the straw. Does it pass through the straw? Why or why not?
  7. Still holding the cotton swabs vertically, place the BB on top of the swabs. Does it pass between the swabs? Why or why not?
  8. Place the BB on top of the straw. Does it pass through the straw? Why or why not?
  9. Place your mouth on the cotton end of the swabs and blow. Can you feel air on the other side of the swabs? Why or why not?
  10. Explain how the swabs and straws actually represent the components of the a real cell membrane.
  11. Roll the bundle of cotton swabs between your hands. Do the individual swabs move? Without pulling the straw out can you move it between the swabs? How does this represent the fluid mosaic model?

Terms/Concepts:Cell; Cell membrane; Phospholipid; Receptor and signal molecule; Selective permeability; Protein channels; and pumps; Carbohydrate chain; Fluid mosaic model


by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Osmosis: Why do our fingers prune when immersed in water?

Science Fair Survival Guide
Author: Melissa Bautista

Grade Level: 7th - 10th; Type: Life Science


In this study we will be examining the movement of water. Using a model of a cell we will demonstrate how our fingers prune when in water.

Research Questions:

  • How does water move with respect to concentration?
  • From this experiment determine why our fingers prune during prolonged exposure to water.

When you take a bath or go swimming for a prolonged period of time your fingers start to prune.


  • Dialysis tubing - available at medical supply stores or laboratory suppliers online.
  • String or dental floss
  • Sodium Chloride (NaCl)
  • Beakers - 2x 2000mL, 5x 500mL, 1x 250mL
  • Erlenmeyer Flask (50mL)
  • Graduated cylinder
  • Scale (with a range of 0.1g to 1000g)
  • Sharpies - 3 colors

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Make your salt solutions:
    1. 1% NaCl = 20 grams NaCl + 2000mL H2O
    2. 10% NaCl = 10 grams NaCl + 100mL H2O
    3. 50% NaCl = 500grams NaCl + 1000mL H2O
  2. Soak the dialysis tubing in a 500mL beaker of H2O for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Prepare the cells:
    1. Cut the dialysis tubing into four 3-4" sections. Place the tubing back into the water.
    2. Tie one end of the dialysis tubing closed with string or dental floss. Do this for all four.
    3. Take 1 tube section and fill it with 5mL of the 1% NaCl solution. You may need to use a funnel or pipette. Mark the ends of the tube with a Sharpie. Use the three colors for the three NaCl solutions.
    4. Close the other end with the string/dental floss.
    5. Repeat steps 3-4: Fill two tubes with 10% NaCl.
    6. Repeat steps 3-4: Fill 1 tube with 50% NaCl.
    7. Weigh each of the tubes/cells. Record on the chart ****
  4. Label a 500mL beaker with 50% NaCl and fill it with 400mL of the 50% NaCl solution.
  5. Label three 500mL beakers with 1% NaCl and fill them with 400mL of the 1% NaCl solution.
  6. Place one 10% NaCl cell into the 400mL of 50% NaCl solution
  7. Place the 1%, 10%, and 50% NaCl cells into each of the three 400mL 1% NaCl solutions.
  8. Wait 20 minutes.
  9. Remove the cells, one by one, and weigh. Record the weights on the chart.
Cell Concentration
Initial Weight
Solution Concentration
Final Weight
Weight Difference
1% NaCl
1% NaCl
10% NaCl
1% NaCl
10% NaCl
50% NaCl
50% NaCl
1% NaCl
  1. Which cells lost water? Which cells gained water? Explain your results.
  2. How do your results explain why our fingers prune?

Terms/Concepts: Osmosis; Hypotonic; Hypertonic; Isotonic; Permeable; Active transport; Facilitated diffusion


by on Mar. 31, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Create your own Herbarium

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