How to Encourage Young Scientist to Keep Experimenting - Science Experiments Over the Holiday Break

With the holiday break looming, it's hard to keep students' minds in learning mode. Just because school is out, doesn't mean learning stops. It's important to encourage a curious mind, even when out of the classroom. Here are a few science experiments that are perfect to do at home this holiday break.

Growing Crystals
You can grow your own crystals using things found at home. You will need: table salt, white sugar and Borax. You will also need: 3 wide shallow bowls, distilled water and a clean container to mix the water and crystals in. First, warm the distilled water a little, not too hot. Add about a cup of warm water to the container. Add salt while stirring. Keep adding salt until it no longer disappears when stirring. Let the salt settle to the bottom, then pour the liquid off the top into one of the 3 bowls and set aside. Then, repeat these steps with the sugar and the Borax, each going into a separate bowl. Now you wait until crystals start to form.

Wind Direction
A weather vane tells which way the wind is blowing. You will make your own weather vane to determine which way the wind is blowing this winter season. You will need: a paper straw, a sheet of thick paper, a pin, a pencil, and some clay. First, cut a slit in each end of the straw. Cut shapes out of the paper that look like the ends of an arrow. Put the pieces of paper into the slits made in the straw. Make a ball of clay and stick the pointy end of the pencil in it. Push the pin halfway through the middle of the straw, then into the eraser on the end of the pencil.

Fossil Impressions
Fossils are the remains of animals or plants that are preserved from a long time ago. You can make your own fossil impression using a paper rubbing technique. Find a handful of objects around your home that you find interesting. Try to find objects that have a lot of texture, like bumps, indents or lines. You will need: a blank piece of paper and a pencil. Place the piece of paper over your object. Use the side edge of the pencil to rub over the paper that is covering your object. The texture of the object underneath the paper should start to appear. Don't press too hard with the tip of the pencil.

Get even more science experiments from our FREE CONTENT page. And for more great ideas to keep students learning this holiday break, check out our December 17, 2018 blog post for strategies on encouraging students to keep learning and maintain a curious mind over the holidays. Then, read our December 7, 2017 blog post to get tips on how to encourage students to keep reading over the holiday break.