Wednesday, 7 March 2012

National Science and Engineering Week

March the 9th heralds the start of National Science and Engineering Week.  With my little scientist Kizzy, this is the perfect opportunity for her and other children to get scientific and have fun , learning about the world around them in new and exciting ways.

We were sent some great science sets for her to try out and she was thrilled to take on the role as chief tester. The first product to really catch her eye was the Perfect Perfume Laboratory from Wild Science.  It is one of their range of sets targeted at young girls combining science with beauty...a winning combination in Kizzy's eyes!

The set includes everything you need to extract fragranced oils and use them to make crystals, scented slime and vials of perfume.

The instruction booklet was very clear and well illustrated, taking you step by step through the process.  Jasmine, Rose, Mint and Eucalyptus infused cards can be used to extract their essential oils to be used in some simple, fun experiments.
My Scientist
Kizzy donned her safety goggles and enjoyed getting into experimental mode.  The experiment to make sublime scented slime was Kizzy's favourite one.  It involved extracting the scent and filtering the solution before mixing with the special slime powder.

Following Instructions
After stirring for quite a while, the slime begins to come away from the side of the beaker and is then ready to transfer into eager hands for squishing, stretching and oozing between the fingers!

Stirring the Slime
It is an intriguing substance encouraging the young scientists to explore states of matter, evoke their senses and test the elasticity of the gooey slime!  There is plenty in the set to do more experiments and ideas to expand your activities.

Multi-Sensory Science Fun
Next up for testing was the Green Science Weather Station which allows children to explore the nation's favourite conversational topic...the weather!  Recycling an old pop bottle, the kit allows you to build your own mini weather station.

The contents include a mini weather vane, an anemometer, a thermometer, a compass and a rain gauge which fit together and go onto the lid of an empty bottle.  There is instructions on how to turn the bottle into a mini-greenhouse by planting a suitable plant in it.  This looks really effective and is pictured on the lid of the box.  It is something we may do later, to explore the world of plants with a terrarium in a bottle!  For now we've filled the bottle with water to weigh it down.

Kizzy's Weather Station
This is much more of a long term project allowing a child to record the weather conditions over a period of time.  They can learn lots of weather facts and take a very hands on approach to a fascinating subject.  The Greenhouse effect can be explored with some further experiments to show the effects of global warming.  It may encourage a future environmentalist or meteorologist!

Ready for Recording the Weather
Taking the Temperature...12 degrees!
Our final kit to try out was the Electric Plane Launcher from 4M.  This piece of kit is a serious piece of equipment designed for teens.  Once built, it has the power to launch a paper aeroplane at 50kmh!  It lets children look at aerodynamics and design the perfect plane!

A series of spinning motors and plastic disks create the method of launching the aeroplane.  Ian was really excited about this one!  It took some skill and know how to build the launcher, so Ian helped Kizzy make the circuit and construct the mechanism to propel the paper planes.

Building the Launcher
The two rubber discs spin around so that when you push a paper aeroplane through them, they grip on and propel them through, launching them at a great speed across the room!  It was quite impressive seeing them shoot around.  Kizzy researched paper aeroplanes and tried out various designs including some that looped the loop!

These sets are all excellent ways of getting children involved in science, technology and engineering.  I loved how they captured Kizzy's imagination and got her excited about experimenting with perfumery, aerodynamics  and meteorology.  She had a lot of fun and learned a lot of facts and practised scientific techniques.

Kizzy said "Science is sometimes seen as a subject that boys like, but girls can enjoy science just as much.  I really loved playing with the sets and exploring all the different things in a fun way.  We do science at school but I think it is good to be able to learn more about it at home too.  I love science!"

How will you be celebrating National Science and Engineering Week with your little ones?


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