Sunday, June 1, 2008

Growing A Crystal Garden


Crystals are not alive, but they can grow. Growing crystals requires a little time and patience. If you take that plus a few ingredients, you can grow your own crystal gardens.

Before you start: Get ready all your supplies with parent supervision. Heed all warnings on the ammonia and bluing products.

MATERIALS:
Aluminum Baking Bowl or Pan, or any disposable plastic bowl (ex: empty cool whip tub)Charcoal / Lava Rock / Sponges / Broken Clay Pots to fill bottom of bowl
Measuring cup
Metal spoon for stirring
Mixing Bowl
¼ cup Table Salt (can be iodized)
¼ cup Water
¼ cup Bluing (Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing – for laundry)
2 Tablespoons Household Ammonia (found at Target or Menards)
Food coloring, any


INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Arrange the charcoal or other porous materials in the bottom of the bowl.
2. Pour the salt, water, bluing and ammonia into the mixing bowl, stirring until mixed. Note, have this in a ventilated area because the ammonia, which speeds up the evaporation process, is potent.
3. Pour this mixture over the charcoal, spooning the remaining thicker mixture evenly over the charcoal.
4. Sprinkle drops of food coloring randomly over the charcoal.
5. Let the bowl sit undisturbed for a couple days, and watch it grow!

WHAT IS HAPPENING?
In a crystal, atoms or molecules join together in a pattern that repeats itself over and over to create a certain shape. A crystal grows by adding atoms or molecules to all its sides in the exact same patterns as the atoms and molecules that were added before.

In the meanwhile, you learn about the virtue of patience and about the beauty within science!

1 comment:

  1. We did this last year and the kids LOVED it. One of the many reasons we home educate!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading about our family. I look forwards to sharing ideas, joys and struggles. God Bless you in your journey!

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