NOTE: YOU MUST CHOOSE TWO ACTIVITIES! You must use graph paper and you must follow your lab write up procedures.
1. Atoms on Display: Draw sketches or construct models of atoms to show your family. The models can be made of clay, beads, string, and other simple materials. Explain what makes the atoms of different elements different from each other. Emphasize that everything in your home is made of about 100 different atoms.
2. Halogens in the Home: Make a survey of compounds in your home that contain halogens. Look at labels on foods, cooking ingredients, cleaning materials, medicines, cosmetics, and pesticides. The presence of a halogen is often indicated by the prefixes fluoro-, chloro-, bromo-, and iodo-. Show your family examples of substances in your home that contain halogens and describe the properties of the halogen family.
3. Comparing Reaction Rates: Place an iron nail in a plastic cup. Add enough water to almost cover the nail. Place a small piece of fine steel wool in another cup and add the same amount of water. Ask family members to predict what will happen overnight. The next day, examine the nail and steel wool. Compare the amount of rust on each. Were our family’s predictions correct? Explain how the reaction rates are affected by the surface areas.
4. Family Safety Plan: Work with your family to formulate a fire safety plan. How can fires be prevented in your home? How cans fires be put out if they occur? Is there a functioning smoke detector on each floor of the home, especially near the bedrooms? How can the fire department be contacted in an emergency? Design a fire escape route. Make sure all family members know the route as well as a meeting place outside.
5. Passing Through: With your family, mix together a spoonful each of sugar and pepper in about 100 mL of water. Pour the mixture through a coffee filter into a second container. Have a family member guess what happened to the sugar. Let the water evaporate overnight. Explain to your family the difference between a solution and a suspension. Also explain why the sugar was in the second container.
6. A Warming Trend: With your family, make a saturated solution of baking soda in water. Add one teaspoon of baking soda to about a cup of cool water. Stir until the baking soda dissolves. Continue adding baking soda in this manner until no more dissolves. Keep track of how much baking soda you use. Then ask your family to predict what would happen if you used warm water instead. Test their predictions and compare the results with those of the first test.
7. Liquid Layers: You can make a simple salad dressing to demonstrate one property of organic compounds. In a transparent container, thoroughly mix equal amounts of a vegetable oil and a fruit juice. Stop mixing, and observe the oil and juice mixture for several minutes. Explain your observations to your family.
8. Metal Inventory: Find items in your home that are made from metals or alloys. Look for cooking utensils, tools, toys, sports equipment, appliances, and other household items that are made with these materials. Discuss with members of your family how properties of the metals or alloys relate to the uses of the objects.
9. Hot Wire: Straighten a wire hanger. Have your family members feel the wire and observe whether it feels cool or warm. Then hold the ends of the wire and bend it several times. CAUTION: If the wire breaks, it can be sharp. Do not bend it more than a few times. After bending the wire, have your family members feel it again. Ask them to explain how energy conversions can produce a change in temperature.
10. Room Temperature: Ask your family members to look around your home for situations in which temperature is important. Perhaps the temperature in the oven is important. Or you might set your air conditioning for 78 degrees. Make a table describing each situation. Your family members will probably use the Fahrenheit scale. Ask them to describe any situations they are familiar with that make use of the Celsius scale.
11. Freezing Air: Blow up two medium balloons so that they are the same size. Have a family member use a measuring tape to measure the circumference of the balloons. Then ask them to place one of the balloons in the freezer for fifteen to twenty minutes. Remove the balloon from the freezer and measure both balloons again. Explain how changes in thermal energy cause the change in circumference.