If you are like me and live where the snow rarely falls, then you will have a hard time exploring snow crystals like Wilson Bentley did. But never fear, there are many other types of crystals out there just waiting for you to observe, photograph, and possibly even “grow”!
When I taught 3rd grade, my students and I grew salt and alum crystals every year as part of a science unit. We also experimented with sugar and borax crystals a few times. However, my favorite kind of crystal to grow is alum because of its unique shape.
Salt crystals also have an interesting design and can be grown quite easily.
If you are curious about how this works and would like to create your own “magical garden,” check out these links for information on growing your own crystals:
Science Club Website: Crystal Growing
The Best Crystal Project
Crystal Science Fair Projects
Then sit back, watch them grow, and don’t forget to take some pictures.
As you could see from the photo in the last post, our exploration of chromatography expanded into learning about the light spectrum, too. We learned about the formation of rainbows and created our own “CD Spectroscope” (click here for link to directions). It was a fascinating addition to our study of color.
To learn more about light, color, and spectroscopy, visit the “College for Kids” website and check out these books:
When I taught 3rd grade, one of the highlights of our year was participating in the annual school-wide science fair. Each year I tried to find a new interesting topic as the focus of our display. We would learn about and experiment with our new topic for about a month and then end our study with the creation of our science fair display. I found this particular topic while viewing the 4-H displays at the State Fair one year.
So what is Chromatography? Check out this link and the following resources for some great info as well as ideas for your own experiments: