Thursday, January 17, 2013

Water Jelly Crystals

We had fun this week making jelly crystals and growing crystal gardens in science. We are studying all the properties and types of rocks and the rock cycle, so minerals and crystals were a must!

I bought some water jelly crystals from Steve Spangler Science and we followed the directions in the video above. The students started by doing the experiment in a fat test tube. Nobody knew what would happen when they added water to the crystals!

Then after an hour the crystals had sucked up all the water and had turned into jell crystals. Then we added food coloring and waited. They filled up the entire test tube from 1/4 teaspoon of crystals! Very cool!

 After the test tubes were almost overflowing with crystals we dumped them into a zip lock bag and added some flower and vegetable seeds. I had about 20 packs to choose from. Then we made our "crystal" gardens out of cardstock, colored and cut them out.


Here are our water jelly crystals before we put them in the baggies.

And here they are after adding the seeds and stapling them to the cardstock "Crystal Gardens".

It was a very exciting and "colorful" experiment.  Most of the kids predicted correctly what would happen to the crystals. 

We had blue, red, green and purple and yellow crystals.
We also did experiments putting sugar and salt water on black paper and letting it dry. We saw the different crystal shapes of salt and sugar. 
Then we looked at the crystals through our magnifying viewers. 

Here are the 3 colors that were the most popular. The purple ones were cool too.

Then we looked on the internet and found a few websites where they had pictures of different types of crystal minerals. They were very beautiful. Here is a cool Pinterest Page HERE.

Here is a Pinterest page that had lots of cool minerals and crystals too, right  HERE.
Next we will be doing some salt crystals using charcoal briquettes and bluing and ammonia. It always grows some pretty spectacular crystal gardens.
Here we are with our beautiful crystals. And below are our crystal "gardens".  I hope they will sprout!
Here is the link for the Water Jelly Crystals at Steve Spangler Science. I bought a pound for $16 and I'll have lots left over for next year. It's a very cool experiment for kids to experience.

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