Friday, February 11, 2011


This week we studied ocean currents.

Memory work:
God created currents called the "paths of the sea"
They move the water to and fro; more lively the ocean will be.
Warm water moves to the poles, causing the cold to sink.
The cold water moves to the equator giving the fish a refreshing drink.

Nothing solidifies theory and definitions like a good experiment, 'eh?

Janel recommended we watch this YouTube video.  Inspired, we tried the experiment.

We used a lamp for warm water near the equator, a bowl of ice (instead of bag - probably a mistake) for the ice caps.  Salt was sprinkled on the ice to expedite the process. And Mr. Intensity insisted on "fish" thus the bottle caps (definitely a mistake).  In the picture, the lamp is turned off so that a better picture would result.

He used two drops of food coloring and almost immediately we saw movement toward the ice caps cups.
The bottle caps fish got in the way of the moving colored water so I removed them.  After about 20 minutes our water only moved a couple of inches.
I suppose our equator wasn't warm enough or the poles not cold enough.  The girl in the YouTube video recommended setting up the light and ice for a long time before starting.  Her experiment actually showed a circular motion of the dye from the equator to the ice cap and back to equator.  I turned on the light for about 30 minutes before, I guess not long enough.

Mr. Intensity still liked the experiment.


Dan Julian said...

I think I'd enjoy this experiment even at 30!

Mom and Kiddo said...

I like it! Also, nothing says "science experiment" like trial and error, right?

Anonymous said...

If he enjoys these kind of experiments you should check out "A Kids Can! Book by Williamson Books". We did a fun one all about the ocean call "Awesome Ocean Science". You don't even need the ocean! All the experiments in the book are things that are around the house or easily found at any grocery store.

It has some evolution in it, but when I did it with my kids we talked about evolution and why it is against creation.

It says ages 7-14, but I did it with 5 to 15 year old kids, and the 5 and 6 year olds had the most fun.


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