Children who are interested in science and technology are not likely to get up and engage in activities, as the activities that interest them are not typically on hand. They might sit around playing with smart phones and video games instead of finding new things to do. Parents can motivate technology-oriented kids by providing them with fun projects that pique their interest instead of having them waste time on gadgets.
Make a Density Column
A density column is a great way to demonstrate the varying densities of liquid. It also makes a neat multi-colored science demonstration, if you do it right. You need a clear cup, two mixing cups, water, rubbing alcohol, liquid soap, honey, vegetable oil and two different of food coloring. Fill one of the mixing cups about 1/5 of the way with water, add a few drops of food coloring and mix. Do the same with the rubbing alcohol. Fill the clear cup 1/5 of the way with honey. Slowly pour the liquid soap down the inside of the cup until there is roughly equal parts honey and soap. Next, slowly pour the water, vegetable oil and rubbing alcohol in the same manner and in that order. The liquids should remain separate, forming a column of varying colors. Discuss with your children why this reaction happens.
Build a Robot
LEGO makes excellent projects for budding computer and technology aficionados. These are the LEGO Mindstorms NXT robots. Kids can build and program these robots with the help of a parent. Once the robot is built, the child can control it through a PC or Mac. The software is designed with programming challenges for the kid. As a project, this combines the timeless fun of LEGOs and robots with computer technology.
Design and Build a Catapult
Design and build a small catapult. First, explain how catapults work and what they do. Provide graph paper, a protractor and a pencil so the child can design a catapult. Help younger children with this step. This should not require more than some wooden dowels, thin rope, wood glue and something for the catapult basket. Once the catapult is complete and the glue has set, take it outside with a dozen eggs and watch them fly.
Build a Website
Building a website is a great way for a child to learn basic html code and web design. For parents who are unfamiliar with web design, there are numerous easy to use tutorials. There are also website hosts that have simple design software that makes it easy to use both html and drag and drop building techniques. The site can even have a technology theme using pictures of projects that you have completed with the child and instructions on how to complete them. This will motivate the child to engage in future projects.
Make a Potato Battery
It is possible to make a weak battery out of a potato. You will need one potato, one zinc-plated nail, sandpaper, a voltmeter, wire strippers and a 4-inch length of copper wire. Use the sandpaper to clean the tip of the nail and the wire strippers to remove the insulation from the wire. Insert the nail and the wire into the center of the potato as close together as possible, but do not let them touch in or outside of the potato. They will be about 1 1/2 inches deep into the potato. Use the voltmeter to test the charge of the battery by touching one needle to the wire and one to the nail.
There are countless science, technology and computer projects that children can do with their parents. All they need is the motivation and knowledge to build, experiment and learn and a bit of help from you.
What is your child’s favorite science experiment?
=== About the Author ===
Lisa is an avid yoga enthusiast who enjoys writing in her spare time – home of usdish.com.