Thursday, February 20, 2014

Water Jelly Crystal from Steve Spangler Science




We have been learning about the rock cycle, and the crystals that are found in metamorphic rocks. So last week we made jelly crystals gardens in science as a crafty representation of crystals and how they are found in nature as types of gems in rocks. 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 and their choice of  food coloring  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!  We had blue, pink, orange, green and purple. Very cool!



 After the test tubes were almost overflowing with crystals we dumped them into a zip lock bags.
You could add seeds to them and watch your "Crystal Gardens" sprout seeds if you wanted. But we had already done our plant unit this year and made terrariums out of a 2 liter bottle, so we didn't add seeds this time to make a garden.  See our terrariums HERE.

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



Water Jelly Crystals experiment.....
Crystal Experiments were a fun enrichment activity in science. 

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.

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.
We had some new vocabulary words to learn as we have covered the rock cycle and the 3 types of rocks. This is how I taught them metamorphic rocks and what happens with heat and pressure. 

Some of the books I had out at the science center along with some rock and crystal samples. 


At the Natural History Museum field trip looking at some of the crystal displays....
This exhibit was so beautiful. There were gems and crystals from floor to ceiling behind a glass wall!

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.
minerals
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. It's a fun enrichment to go with learning about metamorphic or "changed" rocks and gems.

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