Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Making Crystal Rock Candy

Today's Science project: making Rock Candy.

We borrowed the book, "Solids, Liquids and Gases" by Melvin Berger from the Station Library last weekend that contained instructions for making Rock Candy.

For Trent's reading today (he reads 20 minutes a day), he read all about how to make rock candy - almost the entire page you see here.

We took 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water and boiled until 242 degrees.  A watched pot never boils.

We tried the non-thermometer way of testing to see if our sugar was hot enough by putting a small amount into a bowl of cold water and it should have formed a ball......uh, ours didn't do that (?).  Then we set up our cups with strings and safety pins like the book said.  Although I read about using a stick/skewer instead and think I would have preferred that method. The book said our string needed to hang down to the bottom, but not touch the bottom.

Then we poured our sugar water into the glasses. 

And because we like to spice things up, we added a little color.

And here are our finished projects.  I'm not sure whey they're so cloudy.  We must have messed this up somehow.   Watching something grow in a class that reminds me too much of the avocado seed that never flourished - we tried twice!  How are we supposed to watch the crystals form?  I'm confused.  Did I screw up another attempt at doing a science project with my kids.  We'll just have to wait and see.

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