Floating Ms, self-inflating balloons, and the necessary erupting volcanos took over the Stettler Library on Saturday, June 21 as about 25 kids took part in the library’s Mad Science day.
The program had seven different easy scientific experiments for the kids to take part in, developed by the library’s program manager, Darlene Philpot.
Experiments included the “Mystery of the Floating M,” floating eggs, self-inflating balloons, creating “goop,” and the quintessential science experiment, the erupting volcano, Philpot explained.
In the Mystery of the Floating M, the kids had to make guesses as to what would happen when different coloured M&Ms were put into warm water. What was really shocking for the kids was that the little white m on the candies would let go of the candy and float to the surface of the water.
“The kids were not only gobsmacked about the ‘m,’ but about how the colours didn’t get murky,” Philpot noted.
The colours from the different M&M candies remained close to the candies, rather than spreading a mixing. It’s because of the dyes used on the candies, Philpot said.
The white m would float to the surface because it’s actually made of edible paper, she added.
Kids also had to guess whether an uncooked egg would float or sink when placed into a bowl of water and a bowl of salted water.
The egg sunk in the normal water, but since the salt created a more buoyant surface, the egg floated in the second bowl.
Using vinegar and baking soda, the kids also inflated a balloon. This experiment was a sneaky surprise for the kids, since the chemical reaction was not as instantaneous as the younger minds would find exciting.
“It was a bit of a letdown at first,” Philpot noted. “Then the kids turned around later and the balloon was inflated.”
The kids also made rainbows using a glass of water and a sheet of white paper, aided by the wonderfully bright sunshine coming in the windows of the activity nook at the library.
And, of course, volcanoes. The science day would not be complete without the volcanoes, which used simple household items like baking soda and vinegar to simulate an erupting mountain.
“The library is a pretty cool place to be,” Philpot noted with a laugh.
The Summer Sizzler events kick off this week at the library and will run all summer, providing afternoon-long activities for kids of all ages. The brochures listing the different events are available at the main counter.